ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys — Fans of fishing and football can target multiple species in the Publix Mad Dog Mandich Fishing Classic, set for Oct. 18-19 to honor the late Jim “Mad Dog” Mandich, a passionate angler and former tight end for the University of Michigan and the Miami Dolphins.
A top boat prize of $5,000 cash and a trophy is to be awarded to the team scoring the highest cumulative weight of the tournament’s target species –dolphin, kingfish, tuna and wahoo. The second-place team is to receive $1,000 and a trophy, and $500 and a trophy apiece are to be awarded to the anglers who catch the heaviest of each of the target species. Additional trophies await the top female and junior anglers as well those catching the top grouper and snapper.
Former Miami Dolphins players are to appear as guest hosts and anglers in the event, and are to be confirmed as the tournament nears, according to organizers.
A kick-off party, final registration and captains meeting are set for 5-8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, at Ziggie & Mad Dog’s Restaurant, mile marker (MM) 83 bayside. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres are planned, as is as a silent auction fundraiser featuring sports memorabilia, fishing gear, exotic trips, artwork and more.
The following day boats can depart at 7 a.m. Fishing is to continue until 3:30 p.m.
All fish must be weighed in between 4 and 6 p.m. at the weigh station at Chesapeake Beach Resort, MM 83.5 oceanside. Cocktails and appetizers are to be served during the weigh-in and dock party.
A dinner buffet catered by Ziggie & Mad Dog’s Restaurant with live music starts at 6:30 p.m. under a party tent, followed by awards at 7:30 p.m. Activities are to be held on the beach at Chesapeake Beach Resort.
Registration is $450 per boat for four anglers, and early entry is $400 if received by Oct. 11. Entry fee includes food, drinks and a goodie bag with T-shirt, hat and social ticket per angler.
All tournament events are open to the public. A portion of tournament proceeds benefits oncology services at the Florida Keys’ Mariners Hospital.
Following his NFL career, Mandich was involved in a number of business ventures, including opening Ziggie & Mad Dog’s Restaurant in Islamorada, and was the color commentator on Miami Dolphins radio broadcasts. He died in April 2011 following a battle with bile-duct cancer.