In 2017, the third year of competition, CCA Florida STAR presented by Yamaha implemented the family friendly fishing competition throughout the coastal waters of Florida. The 157 tagged redfish released in the states coastal waters and the 14 additional divisions caught the attention of nearly 6,000 registered anglers and thousands of additional anglers on social media. STAR offered participants an opportunity to win their share of over $500,000 in prizes & scholarships and once again was the largest family friendly saltwater fishing competition in Florida. All registered anglers had to do was catch one of the first eight tagged redfish for the opportunity to win a new GMC Pick-up truck or boat, motor and trailer package powered by Yamaha. If they caught and entered a picture of one of the other eligible species in the additional divisions, they also had the opportunity to win other amazing prizes.
How could CCA Florida STAR “Top That” for the 2018 competition? By offering over $500,000 in prizes and scholarships with a new offshore and inshore division and eight tagged redfish prizes of either a new GMC Truck or boat, motor and trailer package. But that’s not all to make it even more exciting, adult winners in the tagged redfish division get to choose what they win from the list of prizes available at the time of their win. That is correct, once again, the first tagged redfish winner can choose from the GMC Sierra Pickup or one of these Yamaha powered boat packages; Contender 22 Sport, Pathfinder 2200TRS, Hewes Redfisher or the Carolina Skiff 21 Ultra. The next winning anglers will get to pick from the remaining prizes. Youth anglers again will be eligible to participate in the tagged redfish division with the first two winners taking home a Carolina Skiff 16 JVX CC powered by a 40hp Yamaha sitting on a Road King trailer.
In STAR’s signature division, CCA Florida officials with the support of Duke Energy and FWC will be releasing on average of 4 tagged redfish per coastal county throughout Florida’s coastal waters and bays, from Pensacola to the Everglades National Park and along the east coast from the Georgia border to Homestead and the Keys with Citrus and Brevard counties being a STAR destination with more tagged redfish than any other counties.
The competition will feature new Open Divisions of Non-tagged redfish and Grouper as well as additional Open, Ladies, Fly, Kayak, Lionfish and Professional Guides division. Eligible species are Spotted Seatrout, Snook, Non-tagged redfish, Grouper, Dolphin (Mahi Mahi) & Kingfish. The STAR Youth Scholarship Division presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors offers New Tide member’s free entry into STAR and the opportunity to win one of twelve scholarships totalling $100,000.
Another fun division for STAR anglers, unique to Florida is the Conservation Division. This division is designed to reward anglers for providing catch data on all fish caught and released while fishing the tournament, no matter what species or size. In fact, all STAR entries provide a significant amount of catch data information that can be used by the conservation community to make science based decisions on habitat management, stock assessment and other relevant issues.
A popular division to Florida STAR is the Trash Division. Participants who gather trash while on the water and submit a photo entry of at least a 5 gallon bucket full of trash with the 2017 official measuring device in their entry will be eligible for a random drawing at the end of the 101 days of STAR for 1st thru 3rd place.
This Catch & Photo competition is designed to educate the general public about the importance of conservation of Florida’s marine resources. STAR’s state-of-the-art smart phone app eliminates the need for anglers to bring their entry to a weigh-in. To enter a catch, anglers submit a photo of their fish on the official measuring device via the app right from the boat, dock, or boat ramp. It is not the biggest fish that wins as most division winners are determined by a random drawing. This format encourages sportsmen and sportswomen of all ages to protect and conserve Florida’s fishery for future generations. The kick-off for STAR is Saturday, May 26th, Memorial Day weekend, and ends Labor Day, Monday, September 3rd at sunset.
Take your friends and family fishing this summer and make it more fun by registering for STAR and joining Coastal Conservation Association. You just may win a new truck, boat, motor and trailer package, a valuable scholarship or one of the many other great prizes.