Key West Marlin Tournament: Cast for Cash and Channel Your Inner Hemingway

Get ready to reel in the big bucks and live out your Hemingway fantasies at the Key West Marlin Tournament, happening Wednesday through Saturday, July 17-20. With a whopping $50,000 up for grabs, anglers will be targeting blue marlin, white marlin, spearfish, and other "fun fish" species.

Here’s the hook: Teams racking up the most points for marlin and spearfish over the three-day fishing fest will split a cool $40,000. To keep things sporting, all billfish must be released to qualify for prizes. But don’t worry, there’s more than one way to catch a win. Teams can also earn points by entering one fun fish (dolphin fish, tuna, wahoo, or released sailfish) per boat per day, provided they meet the minimum weight of 15 pounds.

Feeling competitive? Boats in the marlin division can also enter the fun fish division for a shot at an extra $10,000. Cash prizes will be awarded to the three heaviest dolphin fish, wahoo, and tuna (yellowfin, blackfin, or skipjack), again with a 15-pound minimum weight.

This tournament isn’t just about fishing. It’s part of Key West’s Hemingway Days, running July 16-21, celebrating the rugged lifestyle and literary genius of Ernest Hemingway, who called Key West home in the 1930s.

The action kicks off at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, July 17, with final registration in the Opal Key Resort & Marina ballroom, followed by a captains meeting, reception, auction, and raffle. Fishing hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Weigh-ins are set for 4-6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 3-5 p.m. Saturday at Stock Island Marina Village.

Social events are just as enticing, with a waterfront dinner, island-style pig roast, and a Saturday night awards banquet and silent auction at the Opal Key Resort & Marina, starting at 6:30 p.m.

Want in? The marlin division boat entry fee is $2,550, covering two anglers and social privileges for four. Extra anglers can join for $250 each. Entry in the fun fish division is an additional $450 per boat.

For more details and to register, visit Happy fishing!