KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Anglers targeting marlin and other fish are to compete for $50,000 in guaranteed cash prizes in the 2017 Havana Club Key West Marlin Tournament, scheduled Wednesday through Saturday, July 19-22.
The tournament is held in conjunction with Key West's July 18-23 Hemingway Days celebration. Ernest Hemingway, an avid sport fisherman, lived and wrote in Key West during the 1930s and fought countless marlin in area waters.
Teams that accumulate the most points for blue marlin, white marlin and spearfish during the tournament's three fishing days are to split $40,000 cash, including $25,000 for the first-place finishers. All billfish must be released except blue marlin exceeding 600 pounds.
Teams also can earn points by entering one fun fish (dolphin fish, tuna, wahoo or released sailfish) per boat per day.
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, wahoo and tuna (yellowfin, blackfin and skipjack). Minimum weight for these species is 15 pounds.
Final registration is scheduled at 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 19, at the Waterfront Brewery, 201 William St. A captains meeting, auction and raffle are to follow.
Fishing is set for 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday, July 20 and 21, and 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 22. Weigh-ins are 4-6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 3-5 p.m. Saturday, on the dock outside the Waterfront Brewery.
Tournament social events include cocktail gatherings, an island-style pig roast and a fish fry. Saturday night's awards banquet and silent auction are scheduled at the Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina, 245 Front St.
Marlin division entry fees are $2,100 per boat, allowing two anglers to fish. There is no maximum number of anglers per boat, but additional anglers must pay $200 apiece. Entry in the fun fish division is an additional $300 per boat.
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