This year’s Eighth Annual Coastal Conservation Association’s S.T.A.R. tournament is once again ready to kick off. And like the last two years has paved the way for some lucky anglers to get a college education. For the three biggest Flounder, Gafftop, and Sheepshead, one in each category, caught by any registered fishermen who are 6 (at anytime in 1997) to 10 there is a special prize. “We’ve wanted to get and keep the young anglers more involved with fishing, the S.T.A.R. tournament, and C.C.A. since the event was first conceived,” says C.C.A. Tournament Director Bill Kinney, “and we believe we found a solution in 1995 when we came up with the S.T.A.R. Kids division of the event. For the biggest fish in the three new categories, each winner will receive a $50,000 scholarship to the college of their choice.” The S.T.A.R. Kids division covers the entire Texas Coast and and is a great way to not only get your child a free education, but get them interested in saltwater angling as well. “S.T.A.R. rewards our junior anglers,” said Bill Kinney, CCA tournament director. “We want these kids to grow up appreciating the Texas coastal waters while learning how to enjoy the sport of saltwater fishing.” Fishing and education, what two things could be better suited for each other. As for the adults entering the tournament there are some terrific prizes here as well. Returning to this years event is the popular Texas Ford Dealers Redfish Division. The first five S.T.A.R. anglers to reel in a specially tagged redfish walk away with a fully loaded 1997 Ford F-150 Supercab Lariat and, attached to the trailer hitch, a Red-Fin 230T with poling platform, custom trailer, and 135-horsepower Mercury outboard motor. The next five fishermen lucky enough to catch one of these tagged redfish receive the same Red-Fin, but must supply their own trucks to pull them with. Offshore winners receive a 23 foot Kenner 23V sitting on a McClain trailer, with a 150-hp Mercury motor. And the biggest trout in each of the three coastal zones, upper, middle, and lower will be getting, new for this year, a 21-foot Bay Champ by Champion Marine with a 115-hp Mercury motor and a McClain trailer. “The S.T.A.R. tournament is one of the most famous fishing events in the country,” says Bill Kinney. “We attribute the sustained success of the tournament to the fact that anyone and everyone has a chance to win. Fishing is one of the last non-discriminating sports. Short, tall, young, and old, anyone can win.” Other divisions include largeset flounder, gafftop, and sheepshead. The largest fish in each of these catagories will take home an 18-foot Caravelle 181 boat, with a 90-hp Mercury, and a McClain trailer. Not all prizes have to be the result of a big fish being caught. New members will be automatically entered into a “Rookie Bonus Drawing” for an 18-foot 1997 BayChamp by Champion, a 90-hp Mercury, and McClain trailer and current members will be entered into a “Member Bonus” drawing for a 21-foot BayPro by Skeeter, 200-hp Mercury, and McClain trailer. This years 1997 sponsors include Dr. Pepper, Chevron, the Texas Ford Dealers, Mercury Outboards, What-A-Burger, Marine Outboards, Texas Marine, Red-Fin, Kenner, BayPro by Skeeter, Berkley, Stren, Abu Garcia, Minnkota, Shimano, Oshman’s, Cabela’s, and West Marine. The S.T.A.R. tournament Begins Memorial Day and runs through Labor Day. Tickets will be available at the Fishing Resource Center and several other locations along the entire coast. For more information, including a list of ticket stations in your area, anglers should call the S.T.A.R. information hotline at 713-626-STAR. If you like fishing saltwater as I do then you really can’t afford not to fish this tournament.
– Texas Saltwater Fishing Guide