The Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament began in 1964. The tournament was first held in Islamorada in the Florida Keys and has been hosted there ever since. The Gold Cup was originally a spin, plug and fly format and was started with the help of baseball hall-of-famer Ted Williams. The tournament was open to both men and women.
In 1972 the format changed to fly fishing only. The tournament has been won in the past by notable anglers like 5 time Grand Champion Glenn Flutie and Andy Mill, 4 time champion Billy Pate, 3 time champions Sandy Moret, Eizo Marahashi and Jimmy Bell Jr., 2 time winners Ted Williams, Carl Navarre Sr., Stanley Sherman, and Ben Hardesty, David Dalu and Thane Morgan. Other participants included Joan Salvato Wulff, Joe Brooks and Al Pfleuger,Jr..
These anglers have been guided by the some of the pioneers of flats fishing like Jim Albright, Cecil Keith, Hank Brown, Nat Ragland, Jack Brothers, Stu Apte, George Hommell, Steve Huff, and Harry Spear. The tournament has evolved over the years into the premier tarpon tournament in the world.