ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys — Designed to promote fishing for anglers of all ages in a team event, the multi-species Islamorada Spring Classic is set for Friday through Sunday, April 28-30, with all fishing designated in Florida Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. The tournament's team format follows a weight and release formula to promote responsible use of the Florida Keys' resources and to maintain healthy fisheries.
Different from February's Winter Classic that is staged oceanside, the Spring Classic allows up to six anglers per boat, professionally guided or unguided, to pursue cobia, snapper, jacks, mackerel, tarpon, redfish, snook, trout and tripletail in gulf or bay waters.
Teams are scored on five releases of each of the eligible species per day. One fish of each eligible species may be weighed per team per day. The largest weight fish is to win that species.
Winners in adult, teen (age 13-19) and junior (age 12 and under) divisions are to be awarded for the most releases on a daily and overall basis.
A captains meeting and kickoff are set for 5 p.m. Friday, April 28, at the Lorelei Restaurant & Cabana Bar marina, mile marker (MM) 82 bayside.
Fishing is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 29, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, April 30. An awards ceremony follows Sunday's fishing.
Boats are eligible to depart between Garden Cove Marina at MM 106 and the east end of the Seven Mile Bridge. Teams must fish along the northwest side of U.S. Highway 1. Score sheets must be turned in at the Lorelei.
Entry fees received after April 9 are $150 for adult anglers, $125 for teen anglers and $75 for junior anglers. Until April 9, registrants save $25 off fees.
Tournament information and registration: islamoradaclassic.com
Islamorada visitor information: fla-keys.com/islamorada or 800-FAB-KEYS
Keys fishing information: fla-keys.com/fishing