STAR’s West Division trout leader DQ’d for failing polygraph

Truck winner for tagged redfish declines to accept prize, tourney director says

The Louisiana Coastal Conservation Association’s STAR Tournament officially has a new first place speckled trout angler in the West Division — after the long-time leader was officially disqualified this week for failing a polygraph test.

STAR Tournament Director Rad Trascher said Heather Adams, who caught a 7.9-pounder and was the big speck leader almost all summer long, was DQ’d by the STAR Committee after a hearing Wednesday evening.

“The decision of the committee was to disqualify the participant under STAR Rule No. 34, which is, ‘Failure to submit or to pass a required polygraph examination results in disqualification,’” Trascher said.

He could not comment further on the situation, other than to say Adams submitted a full protest last week that was ultimately denied. The tournament officially ended earlier this month on Labor Day.

“I’m trying to do what’s best for the integrity of the tournament and the over 12,000 people that participated in it,” Trascher said. “After that, it is what it is.”

Jared Adams, Heather’s husband, was fishing a tournament Friday and was not available to comment about the committee’s ruling on his wife’s fish.

Michael Summers, who caught a 7.84-pounder that was in 2nd place, is the new West winner, pending his polygraph exam, Trascher said.

If he’s eventually certified, Summois will win a 21-foot Nautic Star with a 150 HP Mercury 4-stroke engine for having the heaviest trout out of all four divisions, Trascher said.

In related news, the angler who caught the tournament’s first tagged redfish and was eligible to receive a 2016 Chevy Silverado pickup — Raymond Champagne, of Baton Rouge — did not accept the truck.

“We had six tagged redfish caught this year, but only one by a registered angler, and he declined the prize,” Trascher said.

Boats and all other prizes will be awarded at the CCA banquet scheduled for Oct. 20 at Live Oak Arabians on Jefferson Highway in Baton Rouge.

For a complete look at the current STAR leaderboard, click here.

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Patrick Bonin is the former editor of Louisiana Sportsman magazine and