ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys — Appealing to anglers of all ages, the Islamorada Winter Classic team event is set for Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 27-28, after a Feb. 26 kickoff.
The tournament’s weight/release format promotes the Keys’ responsible use of its resources and maintenance of healthy fisheries. Target species are sailfish, barracuda, dolphin, cobia, wahoo, tuna, mackerel, hogfish and snapper.
Teams of up to six anglers per boat, either professionally guided or unguided, 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, and the largest weight fish is to win that species.
Winners in adult, teen (ages 13-19) and junior (ages 12 and under) divisions are to be awarded for the most releases on a daily and overall basis.
The boat event opens with a captains meeting, kick-off event and silent auction Friday, Feb. 26, at 5 p.m. at the Lorelei Cabana Bar & Marina, mile marker (MM) 82 bayside.
Fishing is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, and 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28. An awards ceremony follows Sunday’s fishing.
Boats are eligible to depart between Garden Cove Marina (MM 106) and the east end of the Seven Mile Bridge. Teams must fish along the ocean side of U.S. Highway 1. All score sheets must be turned in at the Lorelei Cabana Bar & Marina.
If received after Feb. 12, entry fees are $150 for each adult angler, $125 for each additional teen angler and $50 for each junior angler. Until Feb. 12, anglers can save $25 per person.
Tournament information and registration: www.islamoradaclassic.com
Islamorada visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/islamorada or 1-800-FAB-KEYS
Florida Keys fishing information: www.fla-keys.com/fishing
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Contact: Andy Newman/Carol Shaughnessy
1-800-ASK-KEYS 800-275-5397 or 305-461-3300