Blazing Mako Festival – Florida Keys Fishing Tournaments

The Fabulous Florida Keys is where you’ll find Islamorada. It’s a village of six islands in an environmentally-sensitive estuary, home to hundreds of species of marine life, including top game fish. Islamorada is also where you’ll find one of the best Florida Keys Fishing Tournaments. And fishing tournament enthusiasts will soon experience why Islamorada is called “The Sportfishing Capital of the World.”  Competitive anglers will be chasing backcountry trophies and enjoying three days of activities June 16 – 19 in the Blazing Mako Tournament and Festival.

“It’s truly the best place in the world to host an inshore fishing tournament,” said Capt. Cliff Jensen, director of sportfishing and water sports for the Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts, which is managing the Tournament. “Islamorada is where backcountry sport fishing and saltwater fly fishing were pioneered.”

The Blazing Mako Tournament & Festival, named for Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) mascot, the Mako shark, has designated a $2,500 entry fee (three anglers) for inshore competition. The offshore and backcountry teams are eligible for the $10,000 first prize and the perpetual Blazing Mako trophy, not to mention bragging rights as top tournament angler. Tournament scoring will be based on a point system. It’s a great opportunity to charter one of the Florida Keys’ world-class fishing captains and greatly increase the odds to be in the running for the top prize, while enjoying Islamorada fishing at its best.

The tournament date of June 18 falls squarely during the peak of the inshore fishing season in and around the Florida Keys, and two days before the full moon. Entrants will catch, measure, photograph and release the eligible back country species of permit, bonefish, tarpon, snook, and redfish for points, cash, and bragging rights. Anglers will be allowed to enter a maximum of five fish in each category using live bait, artificial lures, or fly tackle. More points will be awarded for lures and fly rod. Also available to fishing teams and local guides will be free downloads of the iGHOFish app powered by iAngler, which will collect valuable information for fisheries.

In addition to the not-for-profit fishing tournament, the public is invited to enjoy innovative art exhibits, live music, conservation organization displays and local vendors — all showcased in a 100-tent “Conchservation Village” to be located at The Islander Resort. Also planned are a series of water sport competitions, including a “Poker Run” paddleboard competition, a Kids Pier Fishing Tournament, fishing seminars and a Rum Village. The event will also raise funds for marine sciences scholarships at the NSU Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography. For more information, visit