MARATHON, Florida Keys — A challenging Middle Keys marlin tournament is to test anglers' skill Friday through Sunday, July 14-16.
For some teams, the Marathon Marlin Tournament will be a prelude to fishing the long-running Havana Club Key West Marlin Tournament, set for July 19-22 in conjunction with Key West's Hemingway Days celebration.
For others, the event stands on its own as a cost-effective competition for anglers eager to pit their wits against billfish in Florida Keys waters.
The Middle Keys tournament is to begin with a 5 p.m. registration and 7 p.m. captains meeting Friday, July 14, at the host property, the Faro Blanco Resort & Yacht Club at 1996 Overseas Highway bayside in Marathon.
Fishing is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday with daily weigh-ins at Faro Blanco.
First- through third-place teams are to compete for marlin division trophies as well as fun fish trophies for the three heaviest dolphin fish, wahoo and tuna (yellowfin, blackfin and skipjack).
Tournament chairman Tim Greene said the top-scoring team in the Marathon tournament is to be entitled to free entry (valued at about $2,000) in the Key West Marlin Tournament, which features $50,000 in cash prizes including $25,000 for the first-place team.
Entry fees are $600 per boat, enabling two anglers to fish and including social privileges for four. There is no maximum number of anglers allowed per boat, but additional anglers must pay $200 apiece to fish and enjoy social privileges.
Havana Club is the primary sponsor of both the Marathon challenge and the Key West Marlin Tournament.
Tournament information: keywestmarlin.com or 305-292-2710
Tournament information and registration: KeyWestMarlin.com or 305-292-2710
Marathon visitor information: fla-keys.com/marathon or 1-800-262-7284
Florida Keys fishing information: fla-keys.com/fishing