Unfortunately, REEF’s Winter Lionfish Derby Event at Sharkey’s Pub and Galley for April 4, 2020 has been cancelled. We have exhausted the options of hosting a remote competition where teams can just drop off their fish, but at this time we are going adhere to the recommendations worldwide and encourage social distancing.

We will try to reschedule the Lionfish Derby competition in some capacity if possible in the upcoming months.

We will hopefully see you all at our derbies later this year…until then Stay Healthy!


Join us for REEF's 8th Annual Winter Lionfish Derby

hosted by Sharkey's Pub and Galley Restaurant

Winter Derby Schedule 

Late Registration: Friday, April 3, 2020 from 5:30-6:30pm

REEF Interpretive Center 98300 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037

Team RegistrationOnline WaiversWinter Derby Rules

Registration cost: $120.00 per team (minimum 2 people per team, maximum 4 people)

Pay Registration Fee

Captain's Meeting: Friday, April 3, 2020 from 6:30-7:30pm

REEF Interpretive Center 98300 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037                                                 

***Captain's Meeting is mandatory for the team captains, and all team members are encouraged to attend. The team captain must be one of the four participants in the derby, but does not need to be the captain of the boat. Safe collecting and handling techniques and derby rules and permits will be reviewed. IMPORTANT: This year we are allowing for remote attendance of the Captain's Meeting via Go To Meeting (details will be emailed out). Remote attendance of the captains meeting IS NOT allowed for teams that will be fishing in the areas that fall under the FKNMS, FWC, and Pennekamp derby permits. To get approval to attend the captains meeting remotely a member of the team must call REEF Headquarters and speak with Alli Candelmo 305 856 0030***  

Derby Day: Saturday, April 4 at Sharkey’s Pub and Galley Restaurant

522 Caribbean Dr, Key Largo, FL 33037

Sunrise: Teams may begin collecting lionfish                                                               

6:00 pm: All lionfish must be turned into the scoring station (dock at Sharkey's Pub & Galley)

5:00-7:00 pm: Scoring and public lionfish tastings

Awards will immediately follow scoring (7PM)    

As this is traditionally the “local” derby lionfish may be taken only in Monroe County waters (except FKNMS no-take zones, research areas & SPA’s). During this single day event, permits from the FL FWC, FKNMS and Pennekamp State Park will allow the use of pole spears with paralyzer tips to collect lionfish in the existing no-spearfishing zones on the Atlantic side of the Upper and Middle Keys from Broad Creek south to the north end of Long Key Bridge and offshore to Tennessee Reef as well as the Looe Key FKNMS Existing Management Area.

Find A Team: You can use our Winter Derby Facebook Event to message others about setting up a team.

You Can Sell Your Fish

Teams with an FWC Saltwater Fishing License will have the option to sell their lionfish after the scoring at the derby so if you don't have you license apply for it today online

Lionfish scoring, fillet and dissection demonstrations, games, raffle prizes and other activities will start at 4:00PM. Sharkey's will be offering lionfish tastings and drink specials open to public.

If you are interested in volunteering or sponsoring this event, please contact lionfish@REEF.org.


Awards for the Winter Derby will be determined by registration fees from the participating teams with supplemental prizes from inkind sponsor donations.  

Sponsor REEF's Invasive Species Program

Special thanks to all of our sponsors that make these events possible!

Activities occurred within NOAA Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary under permit