It’s difficult to believe that it’s been more than two decades since Mike D’Antoni called to talk about a new venture for CCA Louisiana.
Coastal Conservation Association-Texas experimented with a statewide coastal fishing event, and the folks at CCA Louisiana knew they could make it work, and did.
Yes, Louisiana’s Statewide Tournament and Anglers’ Rodeo, the S.T.A.R., has been around that long. The next year the folks on Grand Isle believed another dream could come true, too.
So, this week, tens of thousands of our state’s saltwater fishermen have a chance to compete in two extraordinarily competitive events, the Friday-Sunday 20th annual Grand Isle Speckled Trout Rodeo from Bridge Side Marina, then, Saturday the 21st S.T.A.R, that runs through the summer all the way to Labor Day.
The big deal with the G.I. Rodeo is that the fishermen who bring in the heaviest three-day speck total (it’s one trout per day) will be crowned the Louisiana State Speckled Trout Master Angler. Yes, there are more categories and you can check out Sunday’s calendar for the details. There are legendary anglers among the names of past winners.
The S.T.A.R. is as much about good fishing fortune as it is about being a top-flight fisherman.
That’s because the biggest prizes go to the S.T.A.R.-registered fishermen catching specially tagged redfish.
This year there are prizes for specially tagged speckled trout.
There’s lots of water to cover here, but tournament director Ras Trascher assured that the little more than 50 tagged redfish are spread out across coastal waters, and prizes range from a 2015 Chevy Silverado along with nine Mercury outboard rigged 2110 Nautic Star bay boats on a special Mike Gerald trailer.
New this year is tagged trout and the four Super Chevy Dealers-sponsored $2,500 tackle packages. Trascher said a drawing from all S.T.A.R. entries will be held for any of all of the packages that go unclaimed.
New, too, are tagged redfish for the tournament’s Mississippi Division for the 25 redfish released in Magnolia State waters. The first two claimed will take home Polaris 570 Rangers.
Big trout catchers in Louisiana’s East, Southeast, Southwest and West divisions will win Nautic Star boats, and added are prizes for second and third places in each division. Mississippi has a heaviest speckled trout category, too.
There are more categories and prizes for offshore species. You must be a CCA member and kick up the $25 S.T.A.R. fee for adults. Youngsters 17 and younger fish free for divisional boat packages for catching trout and flounder.
There are 29 weighstations spread out along the Louisiana coast from Venice, New Orleans and Slidell west to the Grand Isle area, Cocodrie and Lake Charles. There are four stations in Mississippi. You can enter by calling (877) 422-2782).