It’s CCA STAR tournament time along the Texas coast

It’s CCA STAR tournament time along the Texas coast

Sixty specially tagged redfish will be the STAR attraction in the 23rd annual 2012 CCA Texas State of Texas Anglers’ Rodeo, according to Gina Rice, director of operations.

Over the past several days, 60 redfish ranging from 20.5 to 25.5 inches in length have been released along the Texas coast from Sabine Lake to South Padre Island.

The STAR fishing tournament draws more than 40,000 participants, making it one of the world’s largest saltwater fishing tournaments. This year’s event begins at sunrise on Saturday, May 26, and ends on Labor Day, Sept. 3 at 5 p.m.

On Sabine Lake, the only STAR weigh-in station is at the SGS Bait and Tackle shop at the base of the causeway bridge. The phone number there is (409) 985-4811. For more information on the STAR tourney, including a list of weigh-in stations, instant-entry registration locations in your area and weekly leader board updates, go to www.startournament.org.

“Since redfish can grow up to 1 inch per month, we are releasing fish that meet all the state regulations,” said Bill Kinney, tournament director.

Rice says that prizes can be claimed by STAR anglers who bring in the first 10 tagged redfish.

“The first five winners will drive home in a 2012 loaded Ford F-150 XLT SuperCab pulling a brand new 23-foot Haynie BigFoot boat rigged with a Mercury 150L OptiMax motor and Coastline trailer. The next five tagged redfish winners will each claim a 23-foot Haynie BigFoot boat with a Mercury 150L OptiMax motor and Coastline trailer.”

Either way that’s one heck of a deal for a very low entry fee.

Rice says that last year 12 tagged redfish were caught, but only three anglers claimed prizes. The others, unfortunately, were not registered for the CCA Texas/STAR.

Other fish can net big rewards in the tournament. STAR contestants who catch the largest speckled trout in the north, central and southern regions of the Texas Coast will each take home the Shoalwater 22-foot Legend powered with a Mercury 150L OptiMax, and a McClain trailer. STAR blue water anglers who land the heaviest kingfish, dorado and ling in the Offshore Division will each win a Dargel 216 Blue Water Series boat prize along with a Mercury 200XL OptiMax outboard and McClain trailer. In the Inshore Division, the Blue Wave 180 V Bay boat rigged with a Mercury 115L OptiMax outboard and McClain trailer will also be given to the anglers for netting the biggest flounder, gafftop and sheepshead.

“In hopes of luring more youth to the sport of fishing, the STAR Scholarship Divisions offer a total of 10 college scholarships in $20,000 and $50,000 increments,” said Kinney. “STAR participants ages 6-10 who catch the largest flounder, sheepshead or gafftop will each be awarded a $50,000 college scholarship. Participants 11-17 years of age who catch the largest flounder, sheepshead or gafftop, as well as the largest speckled trout in each of the three Texas Coast regions (north, central and south) will each be awarded a $20,000 college scholarship. In addition to these nine scholarship offerings, participants ages 6-17 years old in 2012 are eligible for a bonus drawing that will net one lucky youth a $20,000 college scholarship even if the participant never wets a line or enters a single fish during the entire tournament.”

As a reminder, anglers under 18 years are eligible to win the scholarships and all other prizes (truck/boat packages and boat packages) offered by CCA Texas/STAR tournament.

Hunter education instructors needed

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will be conducting a free Hunter Education New Instructor Training Workshop June 2 in Tyler. The workshop will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s East Texas Ecological Center at 11942 FM 848.

“We will be training new applicants and currently certified instructors in skills trail, live firing exercises and home study procedures,” said Robert Ramirez, hunter education specialist with TPWD. “The training puts fun and exciting activities into the learning experience. Students will benefit by going through actual hunting simulations and by making their own decisions regarding responsible actions using ‘shoot-don’t-shoot’ scenarios.”

Before you attend this workshop, you must go to the following Web site and prepare yourself by going over the introduction and the first four chapters of the instructor training manual. You will sign an acknowledgement and release that you have done this pre-workshop assignment as part of your training. The site is as follows: www.tpwd.state.tx.us/learning/hunter_education/instruct.phtml.

Every Texas hunter born on or after Sept. 2, 1971, must successfully complete a hunter education course. The hunter education program’s goals are to reduce hunting-related accidents and violations; promote safe, responsible and knowledgeable hunting; and enhance hunting traditions and values.

Hunter education provides instruction in Texas hunting regulations, wildlife management and identification, conservation, ethics, firearm and hunting safety and responsibility and outdoor skills.

“By understanding hunting through education, hunters and non-hunters alike will help make a bright future for the sport. Now is the time to become involved, so let us know if you are interested in becoming an instructor,” Ramirez said.

To register, contact Phil Brakebill, TPWD hunter education area chief, at (903) 569-5882.

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