KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Anglers can follow the lead of legendary writer Ernest Hemingway, who pursued marlin and other gamefish in Key West waters during the 1930s, Wednesday through Saturday, July 20-23.
Teams in the Bacardi Oakheart Key West Marlin Tournament are to target blue marlin, white marlin and spearfish while competing for a guaranteed $50,000 cash purse. All marlin under 600 pounds must be released.
A $25,000 cash prize awaits the first-place team, while second- and third-place teams are to receive $10,000 and $5,000, respectively. Teams can enter one fun fish (dolphin, tuna, wahoo or released sailfish) per boat per day for additional points.
Boats in the marlin division also can enter the fun fish division to compete for an additional $10,000. Cash prizes are to be presented for the three heaviest dolphin fish, wahoo and tuna (yellowfin, blackfin and skipjack).
The tournament takes place in conjunction with Key West's Hemingway Days, celebrating Ernest Hemingway's vigorous sporting lifestyle and literary excellence.
Final registration is set for 4-6 p.m. Wednesday, July 20, on the deck above Dante's Key West Pool Bar and Restaurant, 951 Caroline St. A captains meeting begins at 6 p.m., followed by an auction and raffle.
Anglers can pursue their prey from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday, July 21 and 22, and from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Weigh-ins at Dante's are scheduled after each day's fishing.
Tournament social events include an island-style pig roast, a fish fry, a party with the Bacardi Oakheart team and Saturday night's awards banquet.
Entry fees are $1,800 per boat before June 15 and $2,100 per boat after that date for two anglers to compete in the marlin division and attend tournament social events. Marlin division competitors can qualify for cash prizes in the fun fish division for an extra $450 per boat.
Additional anglers over two can register for $200 apiece including social privileges.
Tournament information and registration: KeyWestMarlin.com or 305-292-2710
Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
Florida Keys fishing information: fla-keys.com/fishing