June 29, 2021
By Florida Sportsman Editor
CCA Florida STAR Verifies its First Youth Signature Division Winner in Competition's History
Today, CCA Florida, the state's leading organization dedicated to marine fisheries conservation, education and advocacy, named and verified the first youth winner in the CCA Florida STAR West Marine Tagged Redfish Division, Dalton Williams from Spring Hill, who will receive a prize package from Salt Marsh Skiffs, Humminbird electronics, Minn Kota trolling motor and Yamaha Outboards valued at more than $15,000.
The 15-year-old CCA Florida STAR registrant and CCA Florida member, Williams caught a 22” West Marine STAR Tagged Redfish (Tag No. FL1152) while fishing with his dad in Chassahowitzka last Friday. A first-time STAR participant and new CCA Florida member, Williams notified the organization, per Division rules, to begin the verification process.
“Baseball is my first love, fishing is my second, but catching that tagged redfish was like hitting a homerun and winning the game,” Dalton Williams said. “I can't believe I'm the first kid to ever catch a tagged redfish. I'm just excited to take my new Skiff out on the water and fish with dad, brothers and buddies.”
This year, nearly 160 West Marine Tagged Redfish were released across Florida's coastal waters giving participants of all ages more opportunities to win. Remaining prizes in the West Marine Tagged Redfish Division include an additional Salt Marsh Skiff 1656 tiler for a second youth winner, and adult Division winners have his or her choice of Pathfinder 2200 TRS with Minn Kota trolling motor, Humminbird electronics or a Spyder Vapor 19FX all powered by Yamaha. Additionally, STAR's other tagged division, the Tigress Outriggers & Gear Tagged Dolphin Division, will award $10,000 cash or scholarship to the first adult or youth registrant, respectively, to catch a tagged dolphin.
Unlike traditional fishing competitions, CCA Florida STAR presented by Yamaha focuses on conservation and offers $500,000 in prizes and scholarships during the 101-day event. Recognized as a “catch, photo and release” competition, STAR's smart phone app eliminates the requirement for anglers to harvest or capture and transport fish.
“Our state's fisheries are here for our enjoyment, and CCA Florida understands that smart fishing can help restore, preserve and improve marine habitats and water quality for today and tomorrow,” CCA Florida STAR Director Leiza Fitzgerald said. “Implementing a catch-photo-release competition is just one way to continue fulfilling our organization's mission and protect our coastal waterways.”
STAR encourages youth participation across the competition, but also has the dedicated Youth Scholarship Division presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors for participants between 6 and 17 years old. The Youth Scholarship Division offers $100,000 in scholarships, including two $25,000 scholarships and 10 $5,000 scholarships. Winners are randomly drawn at the end of the competition.
The STAR competition includes 17 divisions and 12 species and most winners determined by random drawing, giving anglers of all ages and skill levels the opportunity to win. Registration is $40 for current CCA Florida members or $75 for non-members, and youth anglers (ages 6-17) can register for free with a current CCA Florida youth membership ($10).
For more information or to register for STAR, visit our Facebook page or ccaflstar.com.