June 19, 2018 – CCA Florida, the state’s leading organization dedicated to marine fisheries conservation, education and advocacy, today shared details on the first winner in the nonprofit’s signature event – CCA Florida STAR, presented by Yamaha. The registered angler, Alex Hensley from Fort Walton Beach, will walk away with a $65,000+ prize package from Maverick Boat Group and Yamaha Outboards. Hensley is the fifth angler to catch a STAR Tagged Redfish, and first to be registered and eligible to win.
Hensley caught a 22″ Duke Energy reared STAR Tagged Redfish (tag FL 484) on June 12th near Rocky Creek in Okaloosa County. A CCA Florida member since May 2017, Alex immediately notified the organization, per event regulations. “I knew the rules and followed them, then the excitement set in,” stated Hensley. “I’m still in shock and incredibly blessed to be the first registered angler.” Of the event’s major prizes, Hensley chose the Pathfinder 2200TRS with 150 HP Yamaha motor, Humminbird Solix electronics and Minn Kota Terova trolling motor.
CCA Florida STAR, presented by Yamaha, is the largest family-friendly saltwater fishing competition in Florida and kicked-off on Saturday, May 26th. Unlike traditional fishing tournaments, STAR focuses on conservation and offers up to $500,000 in prizes and scholarships. Recognized as a ‘catch, photo and release’ competition, STAR’s smart phone app eliminates the requirement for anglers to harvest or capture and transport fish. “Our state’s natural resources and fisheries are here for our enjoyment, and we understand that smart fishing will preserve these resources for the future,” said Brian Gorski, CCA Florida Executive Director.
Remaining prizes in the event’s signature division include a new GMC Sierra Pickup from Conley Buick GMC or one of several Yamaha-powered boat packages including a Contender 22 Sport, a Hewes Redfisher 16, a Carolina Skiff21 Ultra Elite and a Cottonmouth Aluminum Bay/Flats boat. “It really can happen, you just need to be registered for STAR when you go fishing,” said Leiza Fitzgerald, STAR Director.
The Youth Scholarship Division presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors offers over $100,000 in scholarships and winners are chosen at random, not determined by the largest fish. Youth anglers (ages 6-17) can register for free with their current ($10) CCA Florida youth membership and are eligible for prizes in both tagged divisions. Prizes for the first two youth anglers in the Tagged Redfish Division include a Carolina Skiff 16JVX CC boat, powered with a Yamaha 40 HP motor and trailer, and the first registered angler who catches one of 20 tagged dolphin (mahi mahi) is eligible to win a $10,000 scholarship.
With 17 divisions and 11 species included in the event, and most winners determined by random drawing, anglers of all ages and skill levels have opportunities to win. Registration is $40 for current CCA Florida members, or $75 for non-members, which includes CCA Florida membership.