Middle Keys get a new marlin tourney

Back-to-back July marlin tournaments are on tap for anglers in the Florida Keys.

The first is new and being staged in Marathon as a cost-effective prelude to the Key West Marlin Tournament, a decades-old event steeped in angling history and coinciding with the annual Hemingway Days festival in Key West.

The inaugural July 15 to 17 Marathon Marlin Tournament event is to be held at the Hyatt Place Faro Blanco Resort & Yacht Club. The $600 boat fee includes entry for two anglers.

First- through third-place teams are to compete for marlin division trophies as well as fun-fish awards for the three heaviest dolphin fish, wahoo and tuna (yellowfin, blackfin and skipjack).

Tournament chairman Tim Greene said the top-scoring team in the pre-tournament is entitled to free entry (valued at about $2,000) into the following week's Key West Marlin Tournament, set for July 20 to 23 and featuring $50,000 in cash prizes, including $25,000 for the winning team.

Final registration for the pre-tournament (Marathon) is set for 5 to 7 p.m. July 15 at the Hyatt Place Faro Blanco Resort & Yacht Club, 1996 Overseas Highway bayside in Marathon. A captains meeting is to begin at 7 p.m. Fishing is scheduled July 16 and 17 with daily weigh-ins at Faro Blanco, which also is to host the banquet.

Key West Marlin Tournament activities and daily weigh-ins are being staged primarily at Dante's Restaurant and Pool Bar, 951 Caroline St. in Key West. The awards banquet is set for the Westin Key West the evening of July 23.

Bacardi Oakheart is the primary sponsor of both angling competitions. For specifics on both tournaments, call (305) 292-2710 or go to