Yamaha STAR Tournament Debuts in Florida
by Ted Lund
Florida anglers are finally going to get a taste of what has been a summertime staple for fishermen in Texas and Louisiana when the Coastal Conservation Association of Florida’s Statewide Tournament and Angler’s Rodeo (STAR) presented by Yamaha kicked off May 23.
Anglers catching one of 80 tagged redfish released earlier this month in those waters have the chance to win new boats from Hell’s Bay in Titusville, Pathfinder in Fort Pierce, or Contender Boats out of Miami. Yamaha Marine, the presenting sponsor, has provided outboard power for the boats. In order to participate, anglers must be current members of CCA Florida ($30 for adults, $10 for youths).
The not-for-profit STAR is focused on attracting people to Florida’s outstanding saltwater resources by getting families out on the water and educating anglers about the importance of conserving and protecting Florida’s coastal resources.
“Yamaha’s sponsorship of Florida STAR further underscores our commitment to the conservation of U.S. coastal waterways and also expands our saltwater tournament support efforts,” said Dale Barnes, Yamaha Marine Group Marketing Division Manager. “This tournament is unique as it really opens the field to all saltwater anglers while simultaneously working to collect scientific data that can help to rewrite the legislation currently governing our coastal waters.”
Last year, Texas—with less than 400 miles of coastline—had 45,000 people fish STAR. Florida, by comparison, features more than 1,300 miles of coastline and more than 1.2 million licensed saltwater anglers.
With numbers like that, CCA Florida hopes to reach thousands of new anglers every year through this 108-day-long event.The group that helped effect the 1994 constitutional ban on gill netting—credited with saving Florida’s nearshore fisheries—is excited about the prospect.
“This tournament represents the most exciting opportunity in our history to educate the public about Florida’s marine resources and how we can best preserve the future for our children,” says CCA Florida Chairman Bill Camp.
After those first two years, Florida expects to expand STAR tagged fish to the entire state and will potentially include more species. Until then, anglers throughout the rest of the state must travel to the Florida Gulf Coast for the opportunity to win some fantastic prizes, including Power Pole shallow water anchors, Shimano fishing tackle, Raymarine electronics, Costa Sunglasses, and gift cards totaling nearly $500,000 worth of prizes.
One of the most exciting categories is the Youth Division: anglers aged 6 to 17 are eligible to win a share of 12 college scholarships totaling $100,000. Eligible for the Youth Division are species such as speckled trout, snook, sheepshead, jack crevalle, and ladyfish.
For complete rules to join CCA, or to enter the Florida STAR presented by Yamaha, visit www.CCAFLSTAR.com. To learn more about Yamaha’s commitment to conservation or its innovative line of reliable two- and four-stroke outboard motor solutions, visit www.yamahaoutboards.com.
Original Source; Sportsmans Lifestyle.com