LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Charlotte County promotes STAR competition, all anglers welcome to participate for prizes

July 3, 2020
By Olivia Cameron

To the Editor:
Charlotte County welcomes anglers and non-anglers participating in the statewide CCA Florida STAR competition, July 1- Oct. 4. Participants are competing for almost $500,000 in prizes, including boats, motors, scholarships, and more. STAR’s signature category, in which the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau is a sponsor, is the iHeart Radio Tagged Redfish Division. Because of the sponsorship, eight tagged redfish were released in Charlotte County waters, increasing a participant’s shot of landing a major prize.
During the 2019 competition, two anglers each caught tagged redfish in Charlotte County waters, and both won a boat, Yamaha motor and trailer. 
The Coastal Conservation Association of Florida is the state’s leading organization dedicated to marine fisheries conservation, education, and advocacy. After the close of the 2020 tournament, more than 400 CCA Florida STAR winners and enthusiasts from around the state will celebrate Oct. 17 at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds during the STAR Awards Ceremony presented by the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau.
CCA Florida STAR generates excitement and raises awareness about Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach, especially when prizewinning fish are caught in our waters. We are thrilled to be sponsoring this statewide tournament for the third year. We look forward to welcoming the CCA community throughout the event and during the annual STAR Awards Ceremony. Being out on the water fishing is a great way to social distance and during the competition, participating anglers and non-anglers will see firsthand how our best side is outside,” said Sean Doherty, interim director of the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau.  
CCA Florida STAR, which stands for Statewide Tournament Anglers Rodeo, launched in 2015 and focuses on conservation. The competition has a catch, photo, and release format, and unique garbage division. Through the event’s smartphone app, anglers learn the proper handling of species, upload competition photos, and learn the importance of protecting Florida’s marine resources. 
The family-friendly event is composed of 17 divisions targeting 12 species. Prizes in the iHeart Radio Tagged Redfish Division include a Contender Boats 22 Sport, Pathfinder Boats 2200 TRS, Hewes Redfisher 16 and 21’ Carolina Skiff all powered by Yamaha Outboards. For the first two youth anglers who win this division, prizes include two Salt Marsh Skiff 1656 tiller boats powered with Yamaha Outboards, trailers, Minn Kota trolling motors and Humminbird electronics.
Registration for CCA Florida STAR 2020 is open and ends Oct. 4. Learn more about the event by visiting ccaflstar.com or www.facebook.com/ccaflstar.
The Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) was founded in 1977 after drastic commercial overfishing along the Texas coast decimated redfish and speckled trout populations. One of 19 state chapters, CCA Florida became the fifth state chapter in 1985.  A 501(c)3 non-profit, the purpose of CCA is to advise and educate the public on conservation of marine resources. Through habitat restoration projects, water quality initiatives and fisheries advocacy, CCA Florida works with its over 18,000 members including recreational anglers and outdoor enthusiasts to conserve and enhance marine resources and coastal environments.  
Join the conversation on Facebook or learn more at ccaflorida.org.
Jennifer Huber
Tourism public relations manager
Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau
Sean Doherty
Interim director of the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach
Vistir & Convention Bureau