Edited by Craig Nyhus
Photo by David J. Sams
The reminder goes out each year about this time, but some anglers still forget.
It’s time to sign up for the the 27th Annual CCA Texas State of Texas Anglers’ Rodeo (STAR) sponsored by the Texas Ford Dealers, Tilson Home Corporation and Capital Farm Credit.
CCA Texas STAR officials will release 60 redfish ranging from 20 1/2 to 25 1/2 inches in length before the tournament begins on Saturday (May 28) at sunrise. These tagged redfish will be released throughout 600 miles of Texas coastal waters, from Sabine Lake to South Padre Island.
“Since redfish can grow up to one inch per month, we are releasing fish that meet all the state regulations,” said Bill Kinney, tournament director.
While the reds may not be big, they make up for it in value. The first five winners will drive home in a 2016 Ford F-150 “Texas Edition” XLT SuperCab, pulling a brand new 23’ Haynie BigFoot boat rigged with a Mercury 150L Pro XS OptiMax motor and Coastline trailer. The next five tagged redfish winners will each claim a 23’ Haynie BigFoot boat with a Mercury 150L Pro XS OptiMax motor and Coastline trailers.
Last year, 10 tagged redfish were caught, but only five anglers claimed prizes. The others had not registered.
Other fish can net big rewards in the tournament. STAR contestants who catch the largest speckled trout in the north, central and southern regions of the Texas Coast will each take home the legendary Mowdy 22 V, powered with a Suzuki DF150 4S motor and Coastline trailer. Bluewater anglers who land the heaviest kingfish, dorado and ling (cobia) in the Offshore Division will each win the awesome Polaris Ranger Crew 570 EPS UVs in Polaris Pursuit Camo each with a Big Tex 35sa Trailer. In the Inshore Division, the Shoalwater 19’ Cat boat, Mercury 115 ELPT 4S motor and McClain trailer will also be given to the anglers for netting the biggest flounder, gafftop and sheepshead.
The STAR Scholarship Divisions offer a total of 10 college scholarships in $25,000 and $50,000 increments. STAR participants, ages 6-10, who catch the largest flounder, sheepshead or gafftop will each be awarded a $50,000 college scholarship. Participants, 11-17 years of age, who catch the largest flounder, sheepshead or gafftop, as well as, the largest speckled trout in each of the three Texas Coast regions (north, central and south) will each be awarded a $25,000 college scholarship. Youngsters, ages 6-17 years old in 2016, are eligible for a bonus drawing that will net one lucky youth a $25,000 college scholarship even if the participant never wets a line.
The STAR fishing tournament drew over 48,000 participants to the Texas coast in 2015, making it one of the world’s largest saltwater fishing tournaments. The event ends on Labor Day, September 7 at 5 p.m.
Major sponsors include Texas Ford Dealers, Tilson Home Corporation, Capital Farm Credit, Academy Sports + Outdoors, Whataburger, LP Building Products, Rio Ammunition, KTRK-abc13, Houston Community Newspapers & Media Group, Mercury Marine, Haynie Boats, Mowdy Boats, Dargel Boats, Shoalwater Boats, Hoffpauir Polaris, Texas Fish & Game Magazine, Texas Oilman’s Charity Fishing Tournament, Coastline Trailers, McClain Trailers, Chris’s Marine and Mt. Houston Marine.
Visit www.ccamembership.org to get signed up. For more information, including a list of weigh-in stations, instant-entry registration locations in your area and weekly leader board updates, go to http://www.startournament.org.