Anglers targeting dolphin can also land cash prizes and awards totaling more than $36,000 in the 14th annual Big Pine and Lower Keys Dolphin Tournament.
Set for Friday through Sunday, June 15-17, the tournament is presented by the Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce. Events are to be headquartered at the Sugarloaf Key Resort KOA at mile marker (MM) 20 oceanside on Sugarloaf Key.
The first 330 registered anglers are eligible to win a $25,000 cash prize for weighing in the heaviest dolphin over 55 pounds. In the tournament's open division, a cash prize of $3,400 awaits the angler who catches the heaviest dolphin. Second prize is $1,700, and cash prizes are to be awarded through 10th place.
Prizes in the youth division, for anglers age 15 and under, include fishing rods and trophies awarded through third place.
While dolphin is the only species of fish eligible for cash awards, other prizes await entrants who catch the largest wahoo and tuna. The tournament's top three lady anglers are to receive cash and prizes.
The tournament is set to kick off at 5:30 p.m. Friday, June 15, with a registration party featuring hors d'ouevres and a cash bar at the Sugarloaf Key Resort KOA. A captains meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Entry fees are $150 per angler in the open division and $50 per angler in the youth division. Admission to the awards dinner and other tournament social events is included in the entry fee. Additional social passes can be purchased for $20 per person for adults and $15 per person for youngsters 15 years old or younger.
Proceeds from the tournament benefit the Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce.
Registration forms for the Big Pine and Lower Keys Dolphin Tournament are available at the Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce, MM 31 oceanside on Big Pine Key, the Sugarloaf Key Resort KOA and on-line at www.lowerkeyschamber.com.