ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys — Anglers and University of Miami Hurricanes sports fans can fish with their favorite 'Canes All-Stars at the annual University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame Celebrity Fishing Tournament. The tournament is scheduled Friday and Saturday, June 23-24, in Islamorada.
This year's event is to be hosted by UM alumnus and NFL Hall of Famer Ted "The Mad Stork" Hendricks, who played 15 consecutive seasons for the Baltimore Colts in addition to seasons with the Oakland Raiders and Green Bay Packers.
The high-energy tournament features both an offshore and an inshore division. It celebrates the accomplishments of former student athletes as well as allowing anglers to compete side by side with them while raising money for charitable causes.
Former Hurricanes sports stars scheduled to participate in the 2017 event include NFL Hall of Famer and 2012 tournament host Warren Sapp (Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oakland Raiders); Clinton Portis (Denver Broncos, Washington Redskins); Brett Romberg (Jacksonville Jaguars, St. Louis Rams, Atlanta Falcons); Gary Dunn (Pittsburgh Steelers); Damione Lewis (St. Louis Rams, Carolina Panthers, New England Patriots, Houston Texans); and Gino Torretta, 1992 Heisman Trophy winner and former quarterback for several NFL teams including the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks.
Tournament activities are to take place at Founders Park at mile marker (MM) 87 and Postcard Inn Resort & Marina at MM 84. Activities begin Friday evening at Founders Park with a final registration, captains meeting and kickoff party with live music, food and a silent auction.
Saturday's fishing begins at 8 a.m. and concludes when the weigh station closes at 6 p.m. Target species in the offshore division are dolphin fish, blackfin and yellowfin tuna, kingfish and wahoo. Inshore division anglers are to target trout, snook and redfish.
Cash prizes of $3,000, $2,000 and $1,000 are to be awarded for the top three dolphin fish, respectively, in addition to trophies in the offshore division. A $500 "King of Fish" cash prize is to be given the angler with the heaviest overall of the other eligible offshore species.
Lady and junior anglers also compete for top trophies in their categories. Anglers can opt in to value-added categories to be eligible for Calcutta cash prizes as well.
In the tradition of inshore tournaments, trophies are to be awarded for the longest trout, longest snook, longest redfish and grand slam winners of the inshore division.
Inshore tournament entry fee is $150 per person for up to three anglers per boat.
Offshore tournament entry fee is $500 for the first four anglers and $125 per additional angler. After June 1, entry fee for the first four anglers increases to $650.
A percentage of all entry fees and optional Calcutta categories are to be donated to tournament charities including Habitat for Humanity of the Upper Keys, Coastal Conservation Association Florida and the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame.
Tournament information: canesfish.com
Islamorada visitor information: fla-keys.com/islamorada or 800-FAB-KEYS
Keys fishing information: fla-keys.com/fishing