Two-Day Sebastian Lionfish Fest slated for May 19-20

Attendees at last year’s festival getting an up close and personal look at the invasive Lionfish. Photo courtesy of Coastal Connections, Inc.

The third annual Sebastian Lionfish Fest will take place May 19-20, 2018, at Captain Hiram’s Resort and Marina in Sebastian. Each year, this event is met with great success, last year hosting almost 600 attendees, who devoured over 1,200 lionfish, and removed another 300 lionfish from Treasure Coast reefs. The Sebastian Lionfish Fest is a multi-faceted festival, which includes a two-day lionfish tourney, a cook-off between eight local restaurants, and an educational fair of organizations and vendors teaching the community about the impact of the invasive lionfish, as well as other environmental opportunities in our area.

Presented by the newly founded non-profit Coastal Connections, Inc., along with Indian River County, Florida Fish and Wildlife, and Captain Hiram’s Resort, all proceeds go to Coastal Connections to fulfill the non-profit’s mission of “Protecting natural habitats through education and connecting people to the environment.”


May 19-20, 2018 – Lionfish Tournament (Captains Meeting: May 18)

Teams of 1-4 anglers will compete to harvest the most fish, smallest fish and largest fish along the Treasure Coast. Entry fee is $125 and registration is available online or at the Captains Meeting on Friday, May 18. More than $3,000 in prizes are up for grabs this year, including a new prize category for first-time lionfish divers. Participants receive discounted cook-off tickets and those holding a Saltwater Products License issued by FWC (available online) may also sell their speared goods to local fish markets.

May 20, 2018 – 12-4 pm. – Cook-Off and Lionfish Removal & Awareness Day

The Sebastian Lionfish Fest is unique, as the favored component is the cook-off. Delicacies will be created from the destructive fish by eight renowned local restaurants, and people line up EARLY to get the first taste. Advance tickets (available online) are $13.50 per person or $15 at the door.

For full event details, to register for the tourney, sign up to be a vendor, or purchase cook-off tickets, visit