Catching tagged redfish can score you a truck, boat, motor or more prizes.

CCA official Leiza Fitzgerald releasing a STAR tagged redfish earlier this spring.

The tagged redfish are out there in Florida waters. Will you catch one?
You can’t lose. By joining CCA and the STAR tournament which opens this Saturday and lasts for most of the summer, you’ll be fishing, possibly winning, maybe winning big—and you’ll be contributing to an important conservation organization that helps protect the state’s natural resources and habitat. How can you lose?

STAR is the largest family-friendly saltwater fishing competition in Florida and it’s unlike traditional fishing tournaments because you compete just by fishing—on your own time. With over $500,000 in prizes and scholarships, the organization is using the social media-based, 101-day event to educate the public on the importance of protecting Florida’s marine resources.

In STAR’s Signature Division, officials have released an average of four tagged redfish per coastal county throughout Florida. Registered adult anglers catching the first six tagged redfish, and using the STAR app to record their catch, are eligible for their choice of prizes including a new GMC Sierra Pickup or one of several Yamaha-powered boat packages including a Contender 22 Sport, Pathfinder 2200TRS, Maverick HPX-S, Sea Hunt 225 Ultra or the Carolina Skiff 21 Sport & Fish. Youth anglers will be eligible to participate in the tagged redfish division with the first two winners taking home a Carolina Skiff 16 JVX CC powered by a 40hp Yamaha and a Road King trailer.

You definitely don’t want to catch one of those prized fish and not be registered. That’s actually happened to quite a few anglers the last few years. Last year, young Zackary from Arkansas caught the STAR tagged fish while fishing with his father and a guide in Panhandle. The guide had guided a 2015 angler to a tagged redfish as well. Neither the guide nor the father and son were registered for 2016 STAR. After taking pictures, they released the fish at Ships Chandler’s dock. They registered for the tournament and rented kayaks and spent the last four days of their vacation fishing the docks trying to re-capture the fish. The father said how crazy is it to be a Florida angler and not be registered for STAR. “We are coming back next year and we will be registered and a CCA member,” he said.

Young Zackary with the tagged redfish that might have won him a boat, had he been registered for STAR.

What’s more, it’s easy to log your catches for a chance to win. It’s a catch-photo-release event, and STAR’s smart phone app eliminates the requirement for anglers to harvest or capture and transport fish. Registered anglers submit a photo of their catch on a free official measuring device via the app, directly from the boat, dock, or ramp. Once photographed, catches may be immediately released back into their natural habitat.

“Our state’s natural resources and fisheries are here for our enjoyment, but we understand that smart fishing will preserve these resources for the future,” said Brian Gorski, CCA Florida Executive Director. “The STAR event is a fantastic way to provide a fun competition with amazing prizes, protect our fish populations and generate critical data in the process.”

“Yamaha’s sponsorship of Florida STAR further underscores our commitment to the conservation of U.S. coastal waterways and also expands our saltwater tournament support efforts,” said Dale Barnes, Yamaha Marine Group Marketing Division Manager. “This tournament is unique as it opens the field to all saltwater anglers while simultaneously working to collect scientific data that can help to rewrite the legislation currently governing our coastal waters.”

Other divisions include Conservation, Open, Ladies, Fly, Kayak, Lionfish and Professional Guides. Eligible species are spotted seatrout, snook, sheepshead, non-tagged redfish, cobia, dolphin (mahi mahi) and kingfish. The STAR Youth Scholarship Division offers the opportunity to win one of twelve scholarships totaling $100,000. The event officially runs from May 27 (Memorial Day) to September 4 (Labor Day) at 5 p.m.

A new division to the 2017 STAR event, the Costa Kick Plastic Trash Division rewards participants who gather trash and debris from waterways and submit a photo entry with the 2017 free official measuring device. As with other divisions, participants will be eligible for a random drawing at the end of the 101-days of STAR for a $500 cash prize.

In 2016, over 5,000 anglers registered for STAR. More than 150 tagged redfish were released throughout the state’s coastal waters, with more than 20 caught and submitted via the app. For more information on STAR, or to register, visit our Facebook page or
The Fine Details

• Membership revenue will be used to support habitat restoration projects and other habitat related projects.

• STAR revenue will be used for implementation of competition, scholarships, prizes and advertising.

• Kick-off is sunrise on Saturday, May 27, 2017, Memorial Day weekend and ends at 5 p.m., September 4, 2017 , Labor Day, offering participants a total of 101 fishing days.

• $35.00 STAR entry fee if CCA member. $65.00 if non-member with $30.00 for CCA membership. New Tide Members are FREE. New Tide membership is $10.00. New Tide members are ages 6 to 17.

• $500,000 in prizes offered

• STAR is a Catch Photo competition, all fish entries, except for Lionfish or fish that have special FWC handling requirements must be photographed on the 2016 STAR official measuring device with either a digital camera and uploaded via the STAR website or by using the STAR Smart phone app which can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.

• 2017 STAR is statewide and includes both the east & west coast and the upper Keys.

•more than 150 specially tagged redfish (on average 4 fish per coastal county) make up the signature division, STAR Tagged Redfish.

• New for 2017 Youth anglers may participate in the Tagged Redfish Division for two Carolina Skiff 16 JVXCC with a 40hp Yamaha and Road King trailer.

•First Eight (6 adults & 2 youth) tagged redfish winners will claim either a brand new GMC truck from Conley Buick GMC or boat, motor and trailer package of either a Contender 22 Sport, Pathfinder 2200 TRS, Maverick 17 HPX-S or Sea Hunt 225 Ultra or Carolina Skiff 21 Sport & Fish and for Youth anglers a Carolina Skiff 16 JVX CC all powered by Yamaha.

• NEW FOR 2017: Qualified winning tagged Redfish angler will have their choice of tagged redfish prizes at the time of their win. Example: first qualified adult winner will have their choice of all six prizes.

• Harvest of tagged redfish is not required. Fish with tag must be photographed on 2017 official measuring device, tag is to be clipped close to the skin and clipped portion is to be kept for verification. All other requirements must be followed.

•Open inshore & offshore divisions with the eligible species being spotted trout, Snook, Sheepshead, Cobia, Dolphin (Mahi, Mahi) and Kingfish. Fish only need to be of legal minimum length to qualify for entry in STAR.

• First place in the OPEN division species category of spotted trout, Snook, Sheepshead, Cobia, Dolphin and Kingfish will each take home a boat, motor and trailer, an All-terrain vehicle or prize of equal value.

•2nd thru 6th place winner in each species category of the Open division.

• Ladies, Fly and Kayak division with first thru sixth place winners with eligible species of spotted trout, Snook, Sheepshead, Cobia, Dolphin and Kingfish and non-tagged redfish.

• The Youth Scholarship Division will provide up to $100,000 in college scholarships to a Florida college or vocational school with two $25,000 scholarships and ten $5,000 scholarships.

• The Youth Scholarship Division: spotted trout, Snook, Sheepshead, Cobia, Dolphin, Kingfish, Ladyfish or Jack Crevalle and non-tagged redfish are the eligible species for the drawing of the winners.

•FREE entry to participant’s ages 6 – 17 who are current New Tide CCA members.

•The Conservation Division will have each registered angler entering all fish caught no matter what species or size. This effort will provide a significant amount of catch data information that will be used by the conservation community to make science based decisions on habitat management, stock assessment and other relevant issues. Winner will be determined by the most data collected by an angler. There will be a first, second and third place winner.

• Special Lionfish Division will award the top 3 participants who harvest the greatest number of Lionfish during the 101 day tournament. This division can have unlimited daily entries and harvested fish may be photographed all together in one photo which must include the 2017 official measuring device. Lionfish Division winners may win in one other division.

• The Yamaha Professional Guides division will award the first captain who is a CCA member & registered for STAR who guides his client (must be CCA member & registered for STAR) to a tagged redfish a Yamaha 150hp motor. In addition, licensed charter captains have the ability to win first, second and third place prizes based on the greatest number of clients they have register for the tournament.

• NEW The Trash Division will award 1st, 2nd, 3rd. Photo entry must consist of at least a 5 gallon bucket of garbage gathered while on the water and include the 2017 STAR official measuring device. Winner will be determined by a drawing.

• Over 3,255 participants in 2015 and in 2016 there were 5,149, each had an opportunity to win their share of $500,000 in prizes making STAR Florida’s largest saltwater fishing competition. We anticipate over 7,500 in 2017.

•Tagged Redfish: Angler must be a CCA member and registered for STAR BEFORE catching the STAR tagged redfish. Angler needs to take photo of tagged redfish with tag visible and submit according to rules. Anglers who have caught a STAR tagged redfish will be required to call catch to tournament director within 2 hours of landing the fish. The angler will be required to clip the tag, keeping tag to present to Tournament Director or committee member at the nearest Distribution location within 24 hours of call notification. Angler is NOT required to keep the tagged redfish as long as they have taken the photo of the fish on the official measuring device. After verification of STAR tag, angler must take and pass a polygraph test within the next 72 hours to confirm winning status. Angler may harvest the fish if they wish but harvest of STAR tagged redfish is NOT required. Any harvest of a STAR tagged redfish must meet the slot requirements as required by current state law. If a tagged redfish is harvested that does not meet the state requirements the fish will be disqualified.

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