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May 16, 2006

Gator Club Dolphin Derby to Kick off June 23

Anglers targeting dolphin are to vie for more than $35,000 in guaranteed cash, prizes and trophies Friday through Sunday, June 23-25, during the 17th annual Key West Gator Club Dolphin Derby.

KEY WEST, Florida Keys -- Anglers targeting dolphin are to vie for more than $35,000 in guaranteed cash, prizes and trophies Friday through Sunday, June 23-25, during the 17th annual Key West Gator Club Dolphin Derby. Based at Oceanside Marina, 5950 Peninsula Ave., the tournament is timed to coincide with the height of dolphin season in area waters.

Each angler is allowed to enter one qualifying fish on each of the derby's two fishing days. The top prize of $5,000 is to be awarded to the angler scoring the heaviest combined weight of both dolphin.

The angler who catches the single heaviest dolphin is to receive $1,000 in cash and a new four-stroke Yamaha Outboard from the Florida Keys Boat Center.
Anglers also can compete for other trophies, prizes and cash awards valued at more than $25,000 in the dolphin challenge's divisions for men, women and junior anglers.

The tournament kickoff is scheduled Friday, June 23, at Oceanside Marina, with registration closing at 7:30 p.m. and a rules meeting to follow.

Lines are to be in the water from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 24 and 25. Weigh-ins are scheduled at Oceanside until 5:30 p.m. both days.

Tournament social events are to include a Saturday night dinner at Oceanside. The Sunday night cocktail party, buffet dinner and awards ceremony are to begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Doubletree Grand Key Resort, 3990 N. Roosevelt Blvd.

Proceeds from the tournament are to benefit Gator Club scholarship funds for local students attending the University of Florida.

Tournament entry fees are $125 per person for adults and $60 per person for junior anglers (under age 14). Social tickets for non-anglers, allowing access to all tournament functions, are $60 per person.

For more information and registration forms, call John Stuempfig at (305) 296-7511, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For lodging information in Key West, contact the Key West Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-LAST-KEY (800-527-8539), or visit the Keys Web site at www.fla-keys.com.