Photo by CCA Texas STAR
Story by CCA Texas STAR
Memorial Day weekend will be here before you know it! Don’t forget to mark your calendars! SPOOL UP AND GET READY for the 27th Annual CCA Texas State of Texas Anglers’ Rodeo (STAR) sponsored by the Texas Ford Dealers, Tilson Home Corporation and Capital Farm Credit.
The popular saltwater tournament drew over 48,000 participants to the Texas coast in 2015 and a total of 118 anglers were the lucky recipients of some very impressive prizes and scholarships, making it one of the world’s largest saltwater fishing tournaments. This year’s event begins at sunrise on Saturday, May 28 and ends on Labor Day, September 5 at 5p.m. Could this be your year to claim one of over $1,000,000 in prizes and scholarships?!
Don’t forget, by signing up now you could win one of the many fabulous prize offerings just for registering early! The CCA Texas STAR “Early Bird” Promotion will again offer another awesome “grand prize” boat package! The Dargel 210 Skout with a Mercury 150 Pro XS OptiMax motor and McClain trailer, a prize package valued at around $40,000! Everyone ages 21 and over that signs up now through April 29th will automatically be entered into for boat drawing, along with 20 other great prizes being offered. Everyone 20 years old and under that signs up now through April 29th will automatically be entered for 20 other great prizes, but not the boat drawing.
For those anglers who forget or procrastinate thinking “it will never happen to them or their kids”, here’s a story from the dad of the 2015 StarTeen Lower Coast Trout $20,000 Scholarship winner that might help convince you to get your 2016 CCA Texas STAR fishing insurance before wetting a line. Five years ago, fifteen year-old Collin Dziuk of Falls City went fishing with a relative during his summer vacation. The relative asked Collin’s dad to enter him into the STAR tournament prior to their trip because he felt he had a really good chance to win. Collin was super excited about his first saltwater fishing trip and sure enough, ended up catching a 9 pound, 2 ounce speckled trout! When Collin returned to the dock, his father broke the bad news. He didn’t entered Collin in the tournament because he never dreamed Collin would actually catch a fish big enough to win. Talk about a reality check, as Collin’s chances of winning the StarTeen Trout Division $20,000 Scholarship with his trout catch that year was pretty clear, if only his dad had entered him. After Collin’s first and very disappointing fishing trip, he was finally able to go fishing again last year, but the relative wouldn’t allow Collin on the boat unless he was entered in the 2015 CCA Texas STAR Tournament. Good thing, because Collin ended up winning a $20,000 college scholarship for the biggest trout caught in the lower coast!
Keeper-sized prizes can be claimed by STAR anglers who bring in the first 10 tagged redfish. The first five winners will drive home in a 2016 loaded 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 ten tagged redfish were caught, but only five anglers claimed prizes. The others, unfortunately, were not registered for the CCA Texas STAR.
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 Mowdy 22’ V boat with a Suzuki DF150 motor and Coastline trailer. STAR blue water 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 with a 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 were implemented twenty-one years ago in the hopes of luring more youth to the sport of fishing by offering a total of ten college scholarships in $20,000 and $50,000 increments. To date, a total of 175 recipients have been awarded a grand total of $5,525,000 in college scholarships. This year STAR participants, ages 6-10, who catch the largest flounder, sheepshead or gafftop will again each be awarded a $50,000 college scholarship. For participants 11-17 years of age, some very exciting news this year! The scholarships in these divisions have been increased from $20,000 to $25,000! The 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. In addition to these nine scholarship offerings, participants ages 6-17 years old in 2016, are eligible for a bonus drawing that has also been increased! This special drawing will now net one lucky youth a $25,000 college scholarship even if the participant never wets a line or enters a single fish during the entire tournament! And, keep in mind, anglers under 18 years are not limited to participate and win in just the scholarship divisions. They are eligible to participate in the other divisions and win the great prizes offered by CCA Texas STAR tournament, as well.
Major sponsors for the 27th Annual CCA Texas STAR Tournament include Texas Ford Dealers, Tilson Home Corporation, Capital Farm Credit, Mercury Marine, Academy Sports + Outdoors, Whataburger, Rio Ammunition, LP Building Products, KTRK-abc13, Houston Community Newspapers & Media Group, Fox Sports Southwest, Haynie Boats, Mowdy Boats, Shoalwater Boats, Hoffpauir Polaris, Dargel Boats, 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 today. Plus, you’ll make it in time the April 29th Early Bird Drawings deadline!
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.
CCA Texas is a nonprofit organization of sportfishing enthusiasts and conservationist working to save the natural resources of Texas coastal waters. CCA Texas’ Web page can be found at http://www.ccatexas.org.