KEY WEST FISHING TOURNAMENT
March Through November
How To Enter
Catch a fish before a witness and release it or have it weighed at one of the official tournament weigh stations. All fish must be entered on an official KWFT entry form and signed by an official weighmaster.
All fish that qualify or exceed the minimal weight or length requirements will receive an outstanding angling and/or sportsmanship citation.
The heaviest of 37 species of fish will receive an award in each of the line classes listed for men, women, junior and peewee.
Most Releases of bonefish, permit, sailfish, tarpon, barracuda, blue marlin, dolphin and Most Releases Overall are awarded for entries that meet or exceed the minimal length requirement. Peewee anglers are not eligible for Most Releases awards.
The KWFT strongly encourages the release of all game fish. Our efforts to protect our marine species has brought about a major rule change. Effective April 1997, we no longer recognize the killing of any sailfish, marlin, spearfish or tarpon in the KWFT. All Sharks were added to the list of “Release Only” species, Effective March 2012.
Tournament Fishing Rules
- All catches must be made on regulation tackle.
- Entries must be categorized as either “angler assisted” or “angler unassisted.”
- Unassisted entries – Angler must hook and fight the fish without any assistance and no other person may touch the rod, reel, or line or assist the angler in any way until the fish is released or brought to gaff.
- Assisted Entries – Angler must fight the fish without assistance from any other person and no one may touch the rod, reel or line in any way until the fish is released or brought to gaff. However, only one person other than the angler may perform a dropback, set a hook or do both as long as the possession of the rod, reel, or line is immediately transferred to the angler upon hookup. Angler assisted entries will not be accepted in any of the artificial casting divisions.
- Shooting, harpooning or handlining a fish shall disqualify it for entry.
- If a fish is mutilated between the time of hooking and landing the catch, it will not eligible for entry.
- If any equipment failure offers an advantage to the angler, the fish will be disqualified.
- All fish entered in the tournament must be submitted on an official tournament entry form. Failure to complete the entry form in its entirety will disqualify the entry. Angler and witness/captain must each sign their own names and the witness must have been present and seen the fish caught or released.
- In order for a species to qualify as a release, the leader not just the double line must be touched.
- All charterboats and guides for hire must be registered in the KWFT to be eligible to participate.