More than $500,000 in prizes — including boats, motors, trailers, tackle packages and a brand new 2016 Chevy Silverado pickup truck — are up for grabs when the Louisiana Coastal Conservation Association’s STAR Tournament cranks up this Saturday morning at 12:01 a.m.
New for this year’s 101-day tournament is a $10,000 bonus prize from Louisiana Sportsman paid 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 magazine at least one day prior to catching any eligible tagged redfish to claim this bonus, so don't put off subscribing.That means if you catch a tagged redfish on opening day — Saturday, May 28 — you must have subscribed to the magazine by Friday, May 27.
“If the last few years repeat themselves, we almost always have a tagged redfish caught on opening weekend, so get registered now,” said Rad Trascher, tournament director. “You can register at any time during the summer, but there is no reason to wait.”
Fifty redfish and 50 speckled trout with bright red tags are swimming now across Louisiana’s coast. The first registered angler who catches a tagged redfish wins a brand new 2016 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck from the Super Chevy Dealers. The next nine tagged redfish caught win a 2110 Sport NauticStar with 150 hp Mercury 4-stroke engine.
The first four tagged speckled trout caught win a $2,500 tackle package, he said.
“We actually had two tagged trout caught last year by unregistered anglers, both in Cocodrie,” Trascher said.
A new division this year is Bank Fishing, with the angler catching the heaviest speckled trout winning a 16-foot Weldbilt with a 40 hp Mercury 4-stroke engine.
“The Bank Fishing Division is for fishermen that fish publicly accessible banks, piers and beaches,” Trascher said. “You have to get there by foot or by car — no airplanes and no kayaks and no boats.”
The heaviest red snapper wins a $5,000 offshore tackle package, and that division will be open all tournament long because of the ongoing snapper season in state waters, Trascher said.
“We will follow the state season throughout the tournament, but you have to be following Louisiana or federal law,” he said. “During the federal season (June 1-10) you can go out as far as you want, but if you give me that fish in July, it had better come from inside 9 miles.”
The heaviest speckled trout entered will win a 2110 Sport NauticStar with 150 hp Mercury 4-stroke engine, and the next three heaviest (one per division) will win an 1810RG NauticStar with 90 hp Mercury 4-stroke. Second place in each division for speckled trout wins $2,500, and third place wins $1,000.
Entry fee for the CCA STAR is $30, and youths 17 and under can enter for free. But you must also be a CCA member to enter — membership is $30 for adults, $15 for spouses, and $10 for youths.
The tournament ends at 5 p.m. on Labor Day, Sept. 5.