$500,000 in prizes, 5,149 anglers, 15,815 catch entries and 157 tagged redfish released throughout the coastal waters of Florida made Coastal Conservation Association Florida STAR presented by Yamaha the largest and most exciting family friendly fishing competition in the state for the summer of 2016. The numbers speak for themselves, recreational anglers and sponsors loved STAR.
STAR Florida, a Catch & Photo tournament, is designed to educate the general public about the importance of conservation of Florida’s marine resources and to engage more families and youth in the sport of fishing. Many of the STAR anglers and their families shared that their 2016 summer plans revolved around fishing and making entries in STAR. CCA’s state-of-the-art smart phone app eliminated the need for anglers to bring their entry to a weigh-in. To enter their catch, anglers simply entered a photo of their fish on the 2016 official measuring device via the app or website. It was not be the biggest fish that won. All division winners were determined by a drawing from the verified entries in each division except for tagged redfish, guides, conservation and the Lionfish division. STAR provided anglers of every skill level the opportunity to win.
STAR ended Labor Day, September 5 without a tagged redfish winner. During the 101 days of the competition, 20 of the 157 tagged redfish released in STAR were recaptured by anglers that were not properly registered for the tournament or did not follow the rules. In order to create more excitement and because there was no STAR tagged redfish winner STAR chose to offer a special winner’s Choice drawing; any registered adult angler who submitted an eligible species (spotted seatrout, sheepshead, snook, cobia, kingfish, dolphin or lionfish), in any division excluding the conservation and guide divisions would be placed into a winner’s CHOICE drawing for one of the remaining STAR Tagged Redfish prizes. The randomly chosen winner would have their choice of the GMC Sierra 1500 crew cab pickup truck donated by Conley Buick GMC of Bradenton or one of the donated boat, motor & trailer packages either the Contender 22 Sport, Pathfinder 2200 TRS, Hells Bay Waterman or the Sea Hunt 235 Escape all powered by Yamaha. The tackle shops, docks, boat ramps, marinas and social media all were a buzz regarding the amazing prizes in the tagged redfish division, the 13 other division prizes and the special Winner’s Choice drawing.
The climax for CCA Florida STAR, was The Awards Banquet and Ceremony presented by The City of Haines City which took place on October 15, 2016 from 5pm to 10pm at the Lake Eva Event Center in Haines City. It was a spectacular night with CCA staff, sponsors and fishing celebrities awarding 72 anglers nearly $275,000 in prizes.