Anglers from across the state will be in pursuit of those coveted, orange tags when 2020 CCA Florida STAR competition presented by Yamaha kicks off on Wednesday, July 1! Anglers of all ages and skill levels will not only be chasing tagged fish but also catching and logging non-tagged species, for a chance to win their share of $500,000 in prizes and scholarships.
Winning anglers in the signature iHeart Radio Tagged Redfish Division will have their choice of prizes including a Contender Boats 22 Sport, Pathfinder Boats 2200TRS, Hewes Redfisher 16, Carolina Skiffs 21 LS or Abaco Skiff, and each comes equipped with Yamaha-powered boat packages “The last five years of competition is proof that tagged fish can be caught and prizes can be won, you just need to be a CCA Florida member and STAR registrant when you go fishing,” STAR Director Leiza Fitzgerald said. “To date, there has been over $1 million in prizes awarded with $500,000 of that being college scholarships.”
On average, four STAR iHeart Radio tagged redfish are released per Florida’s coastal counties; however, eight, tagged fish are released in STAR destination counties: Brevard, Charlotte, and Citrus.
Tagged or not, STAR anglers have dozens of opportunities to win other terrific prizes just by catching any non-tagged redfish, snook, trout, tarpon, grouper, Kingfish, dolphin (mahi-mahi), or grouper. Just submit a photo of your legal catch in the Open, Ladies, Kayak, Fly or even better ANY fish you catch can be entered in the Power-Pole Conservation Division for your shot at some really cool Power Pole equipment.
If fishing is not your thing, the Costa Kick Plastic Trash Division presented by Papa’s Pilar encourages anglers to collect plastic and trash from the coastal waters and shoreline and submit a photo for each full five-gallon bucket he or she collects. The only requirement is to include the 2020 Official West Marine STAR Measuring Device in the photo and earn a shot at a three-day trip to Key West to visit the Hemingway Rum Distillery or $500 cash from Thrash Can Bucket toppers, Costa sunglasses or gift certificates from AFTCO or West Marine.
Make each fishing trip a fun family day of fishing because kids can also enter their catches. Youth anglers (ages 6-17) can register for free with their current ($10) CCA Florida New Tide membership and are eligible for prizes in the tagged fish divisions as well as the Youth Scholarship Division, Conservation Division and the Trash Division. Prizes for the first two youth anglers in the STAR tagged redfish division include a Salt Marsh Skiff, sporting Humminbird electronics, Minn Kota trolling motor and powered with a Yamaha motor sitting on a trailer and the registered youth angler who catches the first STAR tagged dolphin (mahi mahi) is eligible to win a $10,000 scholarship. The Youth Scholarship Division presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors offers $100,000 in scholarships, two $25,000 scholarships from Realtree Fishing and Academy Sports + Outdoors and ten $5,000 scholarships from Bealls Department Stores, Southeast Environmental Solutions, Talk of the Town Restaurant Group, Florida’s Sports Coast, Flagler Sportfishing Club, Plantation Inn Crystal River, Tailin Toads and Carolina Skiff. Other scholarship donors are Barnes & Thornburg, LLP, Jacksonville Offshore Sportfishing Club and Ryals Offshore Productions.
Unlike traditional fishing tournaments, STAR is a competition that focuses on conservation. Recognized as a “catch, photo and release” competition, STAR’s smartphone app promotes the proper handling of all species and eliminates the requirement to harvest or capture and transport fish. “Our state’s fisheries are here for everyone’s enjoyment, and CCA Florida is constantly trying to improve them while promoting conservation,” CCA Florida Executive Director Brian Gorski said. “We understand that smart fishing will preserve these resources for the future.”
There are 17 divisions and 12 species included in the event, and most winners are determined by a random drawing of catch entries made.
Registration is $40 for CCA Florida members and $75 for nonmembers, which includes STAR entry fee and CCA Florida membership.
Register now to start winning today, with special prizes for early registrants can win special prizes from Engel Coolers and more. To sign up, visit to ccaflstar.com or call 844-387-7827.