2017 Lionfish derbies & tournaments


Date Location Name Contact
2/11 Key Largo REEF Winter Lionfish Derby Emily Stokes Emily@REEF.org
4/20-5/20 Jacksonville Northeast Florida Lionfish Blast (LRAD)

Donny Trauthwein lionfishblaster@gmail.com

4/22 Miami 4earth Lionfish Derby

Analisa Duran, Miami Seaquarium education@msq.cc

5/20-21 Pensacola Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day Tournament

Andy Ross, Gulf Coast Lionfish Coalition sharkman58@gmail.com

5/20-21 Sebastian Sebastian Lionfish Fest (LRAD) Kendra Cope kcope@ircgov.com
5/20-21 Destin Destin Lionfish Tournament (LRAD) Robert Provost support@discoverydiveworld.com
5/20-21 Panama City Beach Lion Tamer Tournament (LRAD) Stacie Galbreath stacie@diversdenpcb.com
5/20 St. Petersburg Florida Skin Divers Association Lionfish Calcutta (LRAD) Teresa Hattaway jimsdiveshop@earthlink.net
5/20 Key Largo REEF Lionfish Derby (LRAD) Emily Stokes Emily@REEF.org
6/2-3 Jupiter 7th Annual Lionfish Round-Up info@mclionfish.com
6/3 Mexico Beach Mexico Beach Gollywhopper Zach Childs zachchilds@gmail.com
6/10-11 Gulf Breeze Gulf Breeze Sertoma 27th Family Fishing Rodeo Andy McKeown andymc@techwire.us
6/24 Miami 7th Annual Lionfish Bash

Lucy Foerster lucy@woodyfoundation.org

7/7-9 Sarasota REEF Sarasota Lionfish Derby

Emily Stokes Emily@REEF.org

7/14-15 Fort Lauderdale REEF Fort Lauderdale Lionfish Derby

Emily Stokes Emily@REEF.org

7/28-29 Upper Keys REEF Upper Keys Lionfish Derby

Emily Stokes Emily@REEF.org

8/11-13 Palm Beach REEF Palm Beach County Lionfish Derby

Emily Stokes Emily@REEF.org

9/7-10 St. Petersburg Guy Harvey Lionfish Safari

Reef Monitoring sponsorship@reefmonitoring.org

What is a lionfish derby?

 A lionfish derby is a single day competition to collect and remove as many lionfish as possible. Teams of spearfishermen collect lionfish by spearing while SCUBA diving, or less commonly by free diving. Teams begin competing at sunrise and are required to bring their catch to the scoring station by a designated time. Each fish is measured, and prizes are awarded for teams catching the most, biggest, and smallest lionfish. The public is invited to watch scoring, taste free lionfish samples, watch filleting and dissection demonstrations, and ask questions about lionfish.

The evening before the derby participants attend a mandatory Captain's Meeting. This presentation includes lionfish biology, ecology, impacts, collecting and handling tools and techniques, and derby rules.

Why hold lionfish derbies and lionfish tournaments?

 Good Question

Early on in the lionfish invasion the goals of the lionfish derby were to 1) Remove significant numbers of lionfish 2) Increase education and awareness 3) Train divers to hunt lionfish 4) Provide samples for research and 5) Create a commercial market

We've created the commercial market

In 2011 there were 2381 pounds of commercial lionfish sold in Florida. In 2012 it was 11,450 pounds, in 2013 12,946 pounds, in 2014 24,511 pounds and in 2015 it reached a whopping 72,446 pounds. 

We have also done a great job of increasing awareness among divers. We feel that it's time to allow the market to take over since divers can now profitably sell their lionfish. (See this list for wholesalers looking to buy your lionfish in Florida)  



2016 Lionfish Tournament and Derby Results



Name Location Date #Harvested Largest Smallest
See 'Em, Spear 'Em, Eat 'Em Port Canaveral 2/20      
REEF Locals' Winter Lionfish Derby

Key Largo





Northeast Florida Lionfish Blast Jacksonville 4/15-5/15 3,478 n/a n/a
2nd Annual Lionfish Derby Destin 5/7 1,930    
Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day Tournament Pensacola 5/13-15 8,089 445 mm  
Sebastian Lionfish Fest Sebastian 5/17  31 384 mm 123 mm
41st Annual Fishing Rodeo Gulf Breeze 5/13-15 2,289 2.72 lbs .019 lbs
Lion Tamer Tournament Panama City Beach and Mexico Beach 5/14-15 728 2.8 lbs .25 oz
Florida Skin Divers Lionfish Calcutta Belleair Bluffs 5/14 655 415 mm 103 mm
2016 Lionfish Shootout Naples 5/27-29 71 410 mm 120 mm
6th Annual Lionfish Round-Up Jupiter 6/3-4 239 403 mm 127  mm
Florida Skin Divers Assoc. Southern Open Clearwater 6/3-5 211 394 mm 130 mm
Treasure Coast Lionfish Safari Fort Pierce 6/10 – 12 740 410 mm 70 mm
Lionfish Safari Key West 6/11 - 12 26    
Guns & Hoses 15thAnnual Spearfishing Tournament Pensacola 6/11 - 12 370  2.12 lbs 4.12 inches

Sarasota Lionfish Derby



429 385 mm 112 mm

REEF Teeples Memorial Lionfish Derby

Fort Lauderdale


1,250 427 mm 98 mm

Spines and Spinys Tournament

Marathon  7/28-29      

REEF Palm Beach County Lionfish Derby

Juno Beach 8/13 337 424 mm  24 mm

St. Pete Open

St. Pete 8/19-21 343    

Guy Harvey Lionfish Safari

St. Pete Beach 9/10 1,554     

REEF Upper Keys Lionfish Derby

Key Largo 9/10 323 414 mm 48 mm

Divers Supply Jacksonville Spearfishing Tournament 

Jacksonville 9/10 216    

Suncoast Spearfishing Tournament External Website




Lionfish Safari External Website

Key Largo



Florida Spearfishing Tournament