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Carolina Skiff-Sponsored CCA Florida STAR Announces Winners of Three-Month Fishing Contest

by Dana Koman | Sep 19, 2019

The Coastal Conservation Association of Florida [CCA] is excited to announce the winners of its 2019 Statewide Tournament Anglers Rodeo [STAR], which is proudly sponsored by Carolina Skiff, LLC.

The winners of the competition’s popular adult iHeart Radio Tagged Redfish Division are Clifford Herring from Hudson, Florida, Bill Goodson from Englewood, Florida and Andrew Montgomery from Port Charlotte, Florida. This is the first year three tagged Redfish have been caught in the competition’s history.

“We’ve never had more than two winners until this year,” remarked STAR Director Leiza Fitzgerald, who oversees the competition.

Additionally, several winners in STAR’s other saltwater divisions can be found here. In total, nearly 22,000 entries by more than 6,200 STAR-registered adult and youth anglers were submitted in this year’s competition.

Since 2016, Carolina Skiff, LLC. has sponsored the CCA Florida STAR Tournament. This year, Carolina Skiff LLC. donated three boats for STAR’s adult and youth Tagged Redfish Division. 

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A new Carolina Skiff 21 LS was donated for the adult Tagged Redfish Division this year.

“At Carolina Skiff, we are proud to build boats that the whole family can enjoy,” said a spokesperson for Carolina Skiff, LLC. “We are proud sponsors of CCA Florida STAR, the largest family fishing tournament in Florida. We sponsor both the adult and youth angler Tagged Redfish Divisions because we believe in the CCA’s vision – ensuring the health and conservation of our marine resources and anglers’ access to them. ”

For this year’s CCA Florida STAR, which began May 25, Fitzgerald said 168-tagged redfish were released throughout Florida’s 35 coastal counties. Additionally, 20-tagged mahi were also released in waters surrounding the Florida Keys.

Lasting 101 days to Sept. 2, registered STAR anglers fish for an opportunity to catch one of the tournament’s coveted tagged redfish or mahi. The first six adult anglers to catch a tagged redfish can choose from six incredible prizes, which this year included the possibility of winning the brand new Carolina Skiff 21 LS. The first two youth anglers to catch a tagged redfish win a brand new Carolina Skiff 16 JVX.

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Carolina Skiff, LLC. also donated two JVX boats for the youth Tagged Redfish Division this year.

STAR also includes a host of prizes for other non-tagged fish species, including but not limited to a Spotted Trout Division, Snook Division, Kingfish Division and a Youth Scholarship Division to win one of 12 college scholarships totaling $100,000.

Beyond preservation, Fitzgerald said CCA Florida STAR is about bringing families together. In fact, she recently received a letter from a single mother who said the STAR competition improved her relationship with her son. 

“She had just gotten a divorce and was like, ‘what am I going to do? I don’t know sports, I don’t know anything [about fishing],’” recalled Fitzgerald, who said she encouraged the mother to visit her local bait and tackle shop to get started. Together, the single mother and her son learned to fish and competed in STAR – something neither had done before.  

“She would come home from work and [her son] would be sitting by the door with his fishing rods waiting to go fishing,” Fitzgerald explained. “And he won a $5,000 college scholarship.”

If any of the adult or youth tagged redfish or mahi division prizes are not won, Fitzgerald said the items are sold to help fund the organization’s youth scholarship program.

“We have been able to give away $100,000 in college scholarships every year,” said Fitzgerald. “To date, we’ve given away $400,000 in college scholarships. This is our fifth year. That will mean this year we will be awarding another $100,000 in college scholarships for a [total of a] half a million dollars.”

Up next for CCA Florida STAR is the organization’s annual STAR Awards Ceremony & Banquet taking place Oct. 19 at The Melbourne Auditorium in Melbourne, Florida, which is open to the public and where all the competition winners are slated to receive their prizes. Representatives for Carolina Skiff, LLC. are slated to attend to help present youth scholarship checks. 

From all of us at Carolina Skiff, LLC., congratulations to the winners of this year’s CCA Florida STAR! We look forward to continuing our sponsorship of this amazing event, which helps bring families together while also introducing kids to the great sport of fishing.

To learn more about CCA Florida and CCA Florida STAR, click here. Stay up to date on all things Carolina Skiff by following us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.