CRYSTAL RIVER, FLORIDA, 10/17/2015 – The Coastal Conservation Association Florida (CCA) STAR Tournament Presented by Yamaha held their Awards Banquet this past Saturday night at the Rock Crusher Canyon Pavilion in beautiful Crystal River, FL. Citrus County was chosen for the banquet location based on the wonderful fishing & boating opportunities, plentiful family friendly activities and its central location on the west coast.
The STAR Awards Banquet presented by The Citrus County Visitors Bureau was a night to remember as 400 guests were surprised with a guest appearance and performance by Columbia Nashville recording artist and avid outdoorsman, Tyler Farr. Tyler even played the role of “auctioneer” to help raise money during the live auction. (See Photo Below)
The evening featured dinner, cocktails, raffles, silent & live auctions and over $200,000 in awarded tournament prizes. Other special guests included Flats Class TV Host Captain C.A. Richardson and Reel Animals Fishing show host Captain Mike Anderson. The ceremony awarded nearly $220,000.00 in prizes with the highlight of the night being $100,000 in New Tide Youth College Scholarships being presented by Bright House Networks. Cameron Fink and Daniel Schalles each won scholarships valued at $25,000. Ten other youth anglers were awarded college scholarships valued at $5,000 each. These young anglers all have a passion for fishing and are terrific ambassadors for the conservation of our marine resources.
On this momentous night, STAR and Conley Buick GMC awarded a brand a new GMC Sierra 1500 pick-up truck to the only winner in the Tagged redfish division, Jerry Bergeron of Land O’ Lakes, FL. Each first place winner from the Open, Ladies, Fly, Kayak, Guides and Marathon Conservation Division were also awarded their prizes during the Awards banquet. Open Snook 1st place winner, Jason Laroque took home a Bad Boy Buggie Recoil 4×4, Open Cobia 1st place winner, David Lacey took home a 14ft Stumpnocker boat with a 25hpYamaha & Continental trailer, Open Trout 1st place winner, Michael Carter, took home a River Hawk boat with a 20hp Yamaha & trailer, Open Sheepshead 1st place winner, Corrine North-Fuller took home a River Hawk boat with 20hp Yamaha & trailer, Ladies 1st Place winner, Monica Kolacia won a $750 shopping spree, Kayak 1st Place winner, Chris Mason took home a L2 LIVE Watersports paddle board, Fly 1st Place winner, Jeremy Fritchy took home a $750 Simms gift card, Marathon Conservation Division winner, Michael Calyore, took home a Marathon fuel discount card & $500 Bass Pro gift card and Guide Division 1st Place winner Capt Glen Touchton, took home a 150hp Yamaha.
STAR ran from Memorial Day weekend thru Labor Day, for 108 days of fishing this summer. STAR anglers had the opportunity to re-capture one of the first 6 prize winning tagged fish out of 120 tagged redfish that were released from Pensacola to Everglades National park. Anglers caught a total of 24 STAR tagged redfish during the tournament but only one was a CCA member and registered for the tournament. The others missed out on awesome prizes that included a Contender 22 Sport, Pathfinder 2200TRS and Hell’s Bay Waterman all powered by the reliability of Yamaha Outboards.
With 3,255 registered anglers, each having an opportunity to win their share of nearly $500,000 in prizes STAR became Florida’s largest saltwater fishing tournament.
STAR is a non-profit organization focused on attracting people to Florida’s outstanding saltwater resources and raising awareness for Coastal Conservation Association Florida. By getting families and friends on the water fishing STAR has helped educate thousands of anglers, new and seasoned alike, about the importance of conserving and protecting their coastal resources.
The combination of conservation, data collection, participation, education, prizes and scholarships made the CCA Florida STAR presented by Yamaha the largest and most exciting saltwater tournament in the state of Florida. Recreational anglers, industry manufactures and non-anglers alike are still talking about STAR at the docks, boat ramps, tackle shops, restaurants, marina’s and via Social media. Stay tuned for exciting news about STAR 2016! Visit www.ccaflstar.com for further details.