James Bryan was in search of speckled trout Saturday morning while fishing the Central Rig Facility Field in Breton Sound.
The trout weren’t exactly jumping in the boat — but the redfish that devoured the Metairie angler’s offering of live shrimp around 11:30 that morning more than made up for the slow bite.
Bryan had reeled in a Coastal Conservation Association STAR-tagged red, and pending a polygraph, will receive a 21-foot NauticStar bay boat complete with motor and trailer.
And if that isn’t enough, Bryan is the first subscriber to Louisiana Sportsman magazine who caught a tagged redfish this year — meaning he’ll claim a $10,000 bonus in addition to the brand new boat at this fall’s banquet in Baton Rouge.
Bryan, who registered his catch at Venice Marina Saturday afternoon, said he immediately saw the red tag when he landed the 28-inch, 7.4-pound red, but wasn’t sure if it was a 2017 tag or not.
“The biggest problem with the tags is you can never read them. And the tip of this one was broken off, so I couldn’t tell what year,” Bryan said. “I knew it was a CCA tag because I’ve caught one before, but I didn’t know what year. It has to be this year’s to be valid.”
Bryan is the fifth STAR-registered angler to catch a tagged redfish in the 2017 tournament. Up to five more NauticStar boats can still be given away before the tournament wraps up on Labor Day.
To check out the current STAR leaderboard, click here.