First two tagged redfish caught in CCA STAR Tournament

aacalebmWhen Houston resident, L. D. Whitehead and his long-time friend, Jerry Mills, decided to go fishing Saturday, May 25, they knew they had to get an extra early start, so L. D. arrived at Jerry’s house at 1 a.m.  

They planned to fish a very popular spot in Trinity Bay and wanted to get there before anyone else.  After getting three quarts of live shrimp in the live wells, they headed for the boat ramp.  As the old friends anxiously awaited sunrise, they reminisced about the wonderful memories when they were younger, fishing this same area with their dads.

“Wouldn’t it be great if we won the CCA Texas STAR Tournament fishing this spot with so many memories?” Mills said.

After several hours of catching and releasing a dozen or so undersized redfish, L. D. hooked a fish and said, “This might be a keeper… it sure is pulling a lot of drag!” 

Jerry was standing beside him watching him fight the fish. It finally came to the surface.

Jerry spotted what appeared to be a red tag and started yelling, “It’s tagged! It’s tagged! I saw a red tag.”

L. D.’s buddy couldn’t get to the net fast enough. L. D. was trying to be calm as he fought this redfish that could potentially be worth a $70,000 truck, boat, motor, trailer package. He finally brought it to the side of the boat and Jerry was ready with net. It was then that L. D. saw the red tag. After finding their reading glasses, the friends found out the tag was 2013 CCATX/STAR TA495. All they could do was jump up and down like they were kids again.

The friends rushed over to Marburger’s Sporting Goods to get it weighed in.

aaldwL. D. Whitehead is the first official winner of Texas Ford Dealers Redfish Division on the 2013 CCA Texas STAR Tournament.  He will receive a 2013 Ford F-150 Texas Edition XLT SuperCab truck, Haynie 23’ Big Foot boat, Mercury 150 L Pro XS OptiMax motor and Coastline trailer.

The second tag was reported one day later.

After putting off going fishing the first two days of the Memorial Day weekend, Danbury resident Greg Morales decided on Sunday, May 26, all the chores could wait and started getting the boat ready to go fishing.  

It was a pretty nice day with no sign of rain, so the plan was to fish the flats late evening. Greg’s youngest son, 10-year-old Caleb Morales, wanted to go too, so father and son loaded up in the truck and drove down to the boat ramp. The tide was up but the wind was blowing a bit, so Caleb’s dad decided to go to a protected place and fish awhile until the wind laid a bit more before heading out on the open bay. Caleb’s dad found the first spot he wanted to try and anchored up. 

After getting lines in the water, Caleb was sitting on the front of the boat relaxing next the rod holder. As Caleb’s dad was trying to tune in a radio station, he saw Caleb grab the rod and set the hook. The fish ran toward the back of the boat. His dad told him to get to the back of the boat, keep the line tight and reel.  Caleb did a great job landing the fish and when his dad saw the fish roll, he knew it was in the slot.  

When Caleb got the redfish to the boat, his dad netted the fish and that’s when he saw the tag.

“I was just stunned for a moment and thought to myself, no way, it can’t be.”

Then Greg asked his son, “Caleb, does that tag have 2013 written on it?”

Caleb replied, “Yes, it does Dad.”  

It was tag #TA471.

Then Greg replied, “Awesome job son … you just won the STAR tournament!”  

They brought the fish over to Surfside Marina to weigh it in.  

“I don’t really think he actually knew at the time how important the fish was for him until weighing it in, said Greg. “Awesome job son.”

Caleb Morales is the second official winner of the Texas Ford Dealers Redfish Division of the 2013 CCA Texas STAR Tournament. He will receive a $20,000 scholarship from the Texas Ford Dealers, in lieu of the Ford F-150 truck, plus a Haynie 23’ BigFoot boat, Mercury 150 L Pro XS OptiMax motor and Coastline trailer.

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.

 

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