CCA Florida STAR 2019 Finale
Coastal Conservation Association Florida STAR presented by Yamaha, officially had “lines out” on Monday, September 2 after receiving more than 20,000 catch entries from nearly 6,000 anglers during the 101-day, family-friendly fishing competition. For the fifth year, STAR was the largest fishing competition in the state, making sponsors and recreational anglers truly STAR struck! In October, the STAR competition celebrated winners by distributing nearly $400,000 prizes and scholarships.
As the state’s leading organization dedicated to marine fisheries conservation, education and advocacy, CCA Florida designed STAR as a catch-and-release competition to educate the general public about the importance of conservation. And participating in CCA STAR was made easy with the state-of-the-art smartphone app, as it eliminated the need for a catch to be weighed or harvested. STAR participants uploaded his or her entry photo with the 2019 West Marine official STAR measuring device. Anglers of every skill level throughout Florida had the opportunity to win, as it was not based on the biggest fish or the most entries, but determined by a drawing from the verified entries per division (excluding the iHeart Radio tagged redfish, tagged Mahi Mahi, guides, conservation and the Lionfish divisions).
During the competition, 12 of 162 iHeart Radio STAR tagged redfish were recaptured. Three of those 12 fish were caught by CCA Florida STAR registered anglers. The three tagged-redfish winners could choose a GMC Sierra 1500 crew cab pickup truck offered by Conley Buick GMC Bradenton or select one of the donated boats: Contender 22 Sport, Pathfinder 2200 TRS, Hewes 16 Redfisher, Carolina Skiff 21 or Relentless Aluminium Flats/Bay boat, all powered by Yamaha with a custom trailer included.
To celebrate winners and participants, the CCA Florida STAR Awards Banquet and Ceremony presented Visit Space Coast was the competition’s grand finale. It was a wonderful night with CCA staff and sponsors awarding more than 100 anglers nearly $400,000, of the $500,000 available, in prizes including $100,000 in college scholarships.
A competition designed for the whole family gave nearly 1,200 youth anglers the opportunity to participate in STAR. One of the $5,000 scholarship winners was 9-year-old Presley Armstrong, who spent the summer fishing with her grandfather. While being recognized during the Awards ceremony, Presley and her grandfather came to the stage, not to accept her scholarship but to announce that she would like her prize to be donated to the Bahamas relief efforts – a true STAR moment.
In addition to the Awards ceremony, the STAR banquet featured a performance by Nashville artist Kevin MaC, silent and live auctions, Kids Fun Zone, dinner from Texas Cattle Company, open bar provided by Carroll Distributing, Devils River Whiskey, Papa’s Pilar and Tito’s along with Realtree Tervis Tumblers from Boaters Exchange and STAR t-shirts for all 500 guests.
From “lines in” to finish, 2019 STAR continued the competition’s success and CCA Florida is eager to kick off STAR 2020 on July 1!
Since the inception of CCA Florida STAR in 2015, CCA Florida has awarded more than $1 million in prizes and $500,000 in college scholarships to youth anglers.
STAR 2020 begins July 1 and concludes on October 4. There will be nearly 100 days of fishing and more than $500,000 in winnings. Register today!