Anglers participating in the 2017 Coastal Conservation Association’s Louisiana STAR Tournament will have double the chances of reeling in a tagged redfish this year.
That’s because CCA is tagging 100 reds — instead of 50 like years past — ahead of the 2017 STAR that starts May 27 and runs through Sept. 4.
“For the first time in over 20 years, we are doubling the amount of tagged redfish we’re putting out. We are going from 50 redfish to 100 tagged redfish across the coast,” said tournament director Rad Trascher. “The first prize will be, as always, a Chevy Silverado pickup, but the second prize this year will be a Chevy Colorado — and the next eight will be NauticStar boats, so Chevy doubled down and so did CCA.
“We want to increase the number of winners and increase the odds for participants.”
Trascher said the tagged speckled trout division will remain the same, with 50 fish being tagged and released along the coast. The first four registered anglers who catch a tagged speck will win a $2,500 tackle package.
“Hopefully we’ll have a registered angler catch one that wins the prize, but as we have done in the past, if we don’t have a registered angler win we’ll draw at random from all participants,” Trascher said.
Once again this year, Louisiana Sportsman is sweetening the pot in the Tagged Redfish Division, offering a $10,000 bonus prize to the first STAR-registered angler who catches a tagged redfish and is also a current subscriber to the magazine.
Anglers must have subscribed to Louisiana Sportsman at least one day prior to catching any eligible tagged redfish to claim the bonus, so don't put off subscribing.
Updated STAR rules new for 2017 exclude immediate family members of professional fishing guides, as well as people who have refused polygraph tests in the past and their immediate family members, and those people and their family members who have failed polygraph exams in the past. However, registered anglers are still permitted to fish with a professional guide.
“We’re giving a lot of people a lot more chances to win,” Trascher said. “The rules restricitons were something the board decided to do, but the masses will benefit.”
For complete updated tournament rules, click here.
The cost to enter the tournament this year will be the same.
“You have to be a current member of CCA, which cost $30, and it’s $30 to enter the tournament,” Trascher said, noting that more than 13,000 anglers participated in 2016. “For your spouse, it costs $30 to enter the tournament, but their CCA membership is $15. Youth memberships for those 17 and under cost $10, but they can fish the tournament for free.”
For all the tournament details, go to the STAR's official website here.