The way some redfish fight, you might think you’ve got a pickup truck hooked on the end of your line.
Turns out, Michelle Jewel actually did Sunday afternoon on Grand Isle.
On just the second official day of the tournament, she landed the first tagged redfish in the 2015 CCA Louisiana STAR, which would have earned her a brand spanking new $40,000 Chevrolet Silverado pickup.
Except for one small, nagging detail.
The New Roads angler hadn’t yet registered for the 2015 tournament when she landed the fish on the rocks along the north side of the island, so unfortunately, she left empty-handed.
“She was a really good sport about it,” Rad Trascher, STAR director, said. “She had been to some events we hosted in the past but didn’t really think about it before they went fishing this weekend, so when she saw the tag she released it.”
So 50 tagged redfish are still swimming along the Louisiana coast, and the first registered angler who catches one will win the truck that almost had Jewel’s name inked on the registration.
Trascher, who happened to be on Grand Isle for the long Memorial Day holiday weekend, was only a block from Bridge Side Marina when he got a call Sunday afternoon saying someone was there with pictures of a tagged redfish.
“I’ve interviewed many winners, but I’ve never been in the same place at the same time as one of the losers,” he said. “It tugs at my heart a little bit, it really does.”
To avoid this exact scenario, Trascher recommended taking the time to register for the tournament now while you’re thinking about it.
“The message is, ‘Don’t let this happen to you,’” he said. “Go register.”
The tournament, which runs through 5 p.m. on Sept. 7, features more than $500,000 in prizes, including the pickup truck for the first tagged redfish, NauticStar boats, tackle packages and more.
You must be registered before catching and entering a fish.