West Marine sponsors new fishing tourney in Florida

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West Marine is sponsoring the third annual Coastal Conservation Association Statewide Tournament and Angler’s Rodeo in Florida.

The retailer said the tournament has been available to anglers in Louisiana and Texas for years and now fishing enthusiasts in Florida also will have the opportunity to compete.

The STAR contest starts on Saturday and will run until Sept. 4, featuring 101 days of competition. With Florida’s 1,300 miles of coastline and 1.2 million licensed saltwater fishermen, CCA Florida hopes to reach new anglers through the tournament.

“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,” CCA Florida chairman Bill Camp said in a statement.

Throughout the coastal waters of Florida 160 STAR-tagged redfish have been released. Catching one of the first eight prize-winning fish means a participant can earn his or her choice of a GMC pickup truck or a boat from the following list: a Contender 22 Sport; a Carolina Skiff Sport & Fish; a Pathfinder 200TRS; a Sea Hunt Ultra; or a Maverick 17 HPX-S.

There are 15 other divisions in the CCA Florida STAR competition with prizes that include college scholarships, fishing tackle, Power Poles and Costa del Mar sunglasses.

West Marine stores in Florida will be the preferred distribution locations for the tournament’s official measuring devices. All Florida West Marine stores will have the devices.

Per tournament rules, each photo entry must include the entire fish on the official measuring device for length, but the biggest fish is not the automatic winner, except in the Lionfish Division.

“West Marine is thrilled to be a part of this competition designed to engage seasoned and first-time anglers in conservation while rewarding them for their efforts,” senior manager for West Marine regional marketing and West Marine Pro Laura Barry said. “It’s a great opportunity to support the CCA, as well as devoted anglers in the region. Our store teams are excited to play a role in the event.”

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