The Coastal Conservation Association STAR is the state's largest annual saltwater tournament, now in it's 24th year. It kicks off the Saturday before Memorial Day and continues through Labor Day. Last year, nearly 13,000 anglers participated, but that number could be considerably less this year. More on that later.
Entry fee is $35 and you must be a current member of CCA (also $35, only $15 for member spouses, $10 for youth members). As always, the top division is Tagged Redfish, with the biggest prizes for the first 10 caught. CCA has tagged 100 reds for the 2018 STAR, distributed throughout the coast both inland and nearshore. There are also numerous other divisions - ranging from Speckled Trout (four regional divisions), Sheepshead, Flounder, and other species.
Back once again are the Fly Division and a Kayak Division - both heaviest speckled trout. Within the Fly Division, there are two (2) regional divisions, East and West. The winner of each division gets a $1,500 gift card to Academy Sports, sponsored by Costa. The Kayak Division has four (4) regional divisions, East, Southeast, Southwest, West. The winner of each division gets a Hobie Compass mirage-drive kayak, sponsored by Hobie.
Excitement for this year's STAR is considerably less than years past, due to CCA's opposition to House Bill 391 this past Spring. The bill, which would've allowed public access on flowing tidal waters (with exceptions) was defeated on the House floor after passing in committee. Many inshore anglers - particularly kayak and fly anglers - were outraged and vowed to boycott CCA, the STAR tournament and the Ride the Bull kayak tournament (hosted by CCA). We'll see how this plays out.