With all the sports in the news lately -- national basketball championship, World Cup soccer, and baseball, fishing is entering the mix with a great opportunity to fish in the Florida Keys amid celebrity football players. More than 100 boats are expected to compete in the fourth annual University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame Celebrity Dolphin Fishing Tournament set for June 27-28 in Islamorada. Target species are dolphin, tuna (blackfin and yellowfin), kingfish and wahoo. The event is hosted by Michael Irvin, NFL Hall of Famer and University of Miami football great .
Former Hurricanes sports stars scheduled to participate in the event include NFL Hall of Famers Warren Sapp (Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oakland Raiders) and Ted Hendricks (Baltimore Colts, Green Bay Packers, Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders); Clinton Portis (Denver Broncos, Washington Redskins); Brett Romberg (Jacksonville Jaguars, St. Louis Rams, Atlanta Falcons); Gary Dunn (Pittsburgh Steelers); Damione Lewis (St. Louis Rams, Carolina Panthers, New England Patriots, Houston Texans); and Randal Hill (Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals, New Orleans Saints).
Tournament activities take place at Founders Park at mile marker (MM) 87 and Coconut Cove Resort and Marina at MM 85. A Friday evening party and a mandatory anglers and captains meeting kick off the weekend from 5 to 8 p.m.
Saturday's fishing begins at 8 a.m. and concludes when the weigh station closes at 4 p.m.
Reflective of the Hall of Fame's mission, the tournament enables University of Miami sports fans to celebrate the accomplishments of former student athletes as well as compete side by side with them while raising money for charitable causes.
Cash prizes of $3,000, $2,000 and $1,000 are to be awarded for the top three dolphin, respectively, in addition to trophies. A $500 "King of Fish" cash prize awaits the angler with the heaviest overall total of the other eligible species -- wahoo, tuna and kingfish.
Lady and junior anglers compete for trophies in their own categories. In addition, tournament participants can buy into optional added-value categories to be eligible for other cash prizes.
The tournament entry fee is $650 for the first four anglers on a boat and $125 per additional angler.
A percentage of all entry fees and optional added-value categories is to be donated to Habitat for Humanity of the Upper Keys, The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis and the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame.