Nick Sheahan Dolphin Rodeo returns for its 11th installment from Friday through Sunday, May 4-6. The annual fishing challenge was first organized in 2008 to honor Nick Sheahan, who passed away four years earlier while diving in the Bahamas. Nick, who would have graduated from Coral Shores High School in 2006, is remembered for being active in many sports and for his passion for fishing, spearfishing, and free diving.
“A lot of his friends that have moved away come back the weekend of the tournament and fish it,” said Nick’s father, Tom Sheahan.
The rodeo begins with an official rules meeting and cookout on Friday, May 4, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Tavernier Creek Marina. The next day, it’s lines-in for anglers from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and on Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Anglers interested in participating can do so by registering at nicksheahan.com. Entry to the dolphin rodeo is $185 per adult and $50 for junior anglers.
Anglers who reel in the three heaviest mahi mahi win cash prizes of $3,000, $1,500 and $1,000. First, second, and third-place trophy and prize packages will be given to the top junior anglers, too. This year’s rodeo will also features a $25,000 prize to any angler who breaks the current Florida state record for dolphin. Prizes will be awarded for the largest wahoo or tuna. Anglers are permitted one entry per species.
Live and silent auctions offer guests packages that include golf outings, jewelry, and hotel getaways.
“We’re really proud of our auction items, and all the good the tournament does to raise money,” said Sheahan. “I’d like to thank Marsha Panse, Becky Dunlap, Brandi Smith, and Joe Biondoletti for their support and hard work; we couldn’t do it without them. Brandi and Becky were classmates of Nick.”
Money raised by the competition funds the Nick Sheahan Scholarship Fund for Coral Shores High School graduating seniors. Last year the tournament awarded $2,000 scholarships to 15 graduates. So far, $185,000 has been raised.