The hungriest, unluckiest CCA-Louisiana STAR-tagged redfish on the coast got caught once again Saturday on the rocks north of Grand Isle — but this time the angler who landed the fish was registered for the tournament and will claim the 2015 Chevy Silverado pickup truck.
Pending a polygraph examination, Jonathan Craft, 33, of Baton Rouge, will be awarded the $40,000 truck at the CCA STAR banquet this October for catching what is likely the very same redfish caught and released just last Sunday by Michelle Jewel, of New Roads, who was not registered for the tournament.
“He caught it right behind the Wildlife and Fisheries lab on the rocks in a Hobie Outback,” CCA STAR Tournament Director Rad Trascher said. “I think it’s the exact same fish.
“If you look at the picture of her, she told me the rocks behind the island and you can see the bridge about five miles away. It’s got to be the same fish.”
Trascher said if it is the same red, it didn’t move far from where he personally tagged and released it for the tournament.
“He told me it was the second or third set of rocks, and I tried to picture it in my head and I don’t even think it moved a rock pile,” Trascher said. “If it did, it might have moved over one. It was in virtually the same exact spot I put it.”
Craft, who has won previous STAR Fly Fishing Divisions in the east and west, caught the redfish with a live shrimp under a popping cork Saturday morning, Trascher said.
“He actually signed up for the STAR at the Sportsman Show in Gonzales,” Trascher said.
Bridge Side Marina on Grand Isle was packed, so Trascher said Craft decided to bring the fish to Moran’s Marina in Port Fourchon for verification.
Saturday’s winner wraps up a very busy first week for the STAR, including Jewel’s catch and an unregistered Mississippi angler who also caught a tagged redfish.
“Having three caught in the first week is pretty incredible,” Trascher said. “Two on Grand Isle and one in Mississippi. I don’t know if that’s a record, but it’s got to be pretty close.”
Once Craft is verified as the winner of the pickup truck, which is provided by the Super Chevy Dealers of Acadiana, Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Trascher said anglers who catch up to nine additional tagged redfish roaming the coast can win 21-foot Nautic Star boats equipped with Mercury 150 4-stroke motors and a Mike Gerald trailer package.
The tournament, which runs through 5 p.m. on Sept. 7, features more than $500,000 in prizes.
You must be registered before catching and entering a fish.