MARATHON, Florida Keys — Anglers from virtually around the world come to confront the mighty silver king during the annual Marathon International Tarpon Tournament set to begin Thursday, April 30, with three evenings of fishing.

The popular tournament, now in its 43rd year, is to begin at 2 p.m. Thursday with a late sign-up followed by a captains meeting and kick-off party at the World Class Angler, mile marker 49 gulfside in Marathon.

Thursday and Friday, fishing is scheduled from lines-in at 5 p.m. to lines-out at 9 p.m. Lines-in is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday, with lines-out at 8 p.m.

The tournament banquet and awards ceremony are planned for 9 p.m. Saturday at Key Colony Inn, 700 West Ocean Drive in Key Colony Beach.

Trophies are to be awarded for first through third place in categories for individual anglers and two-angler teams. Additional trophies will be awarded for most tarpon released, most fish other than tarpon released, most total fish released (including tarpon) and first- and second-place captain.

All tarpon must exceed 36 inches in length from tip of mouth to fork of tail to qualify for points.

Anglers can use 12- or 30-pound test line on conventional or spinning tackle. Live and dead bait, lures and fly are permitted but chumming is not allowed. Tarpon caught on 12-pound test line count for 225 points each while those caught on 30-pound test line count for 150 points each.

Entry fee is $250 per angler. An additional $40 registration is required for two anglers to fish as a team. Social tickets are $50 per person.

For more information and entry forms, call Dave Navarro at the World Class Angler at (305) 743-6139 or e-mail worldclassan@comcast.net.

To find out about area accommodations, call the Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce at (305) 743-5417 or (800) 262-7284, e-mail visitus@floridakeysmarathon.com or visit the Florida Keys & Key West Web site at www.fla-keys.com.
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