CYPREMORT POINT — With redfish fishing in and around Vermilion Bay uncharacteristically bordering just above poor for late May, a local Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana official found himself scrambling to tag and release eight redfish before the Statewide Tournament and Angler’s Rodeo.

Corry Landry, CCA-Louisiana southwest region director, got ‘er done, though, with a day to spare before the STAR contest began May 23 across coastal Louisiana.

“We finished this past Thursday, the 21st. Right under the gun. It was tough. We fished for about five days straight to get the (red)fish needed to tag,” Landry said around midday Wednesday.

“I had a volunteer from our Lafayette chapter, Richard Kennedy, help. Richard and myself tagged and released all the (red)fish. I can tell you we tagged eight redfish. We definitely have eight fish swimming around Marsh Island and Vermilion Bay wearing their nice CCA Louisiana red STAR tournament tags,” he said.

Landry, a New Iberia outdoorsman who is in his fourth year as southwest region director, tried the previous week to catch redfish of legal size to no avail. At the time, he had five tags to insert just below the dorsal fin of five redfish.

Then he received three more tags to bring the total to eight for eight redfish. Talk about extra pressure to catch fish!

“It was spread out over the five days we fished because we fought weather and wind conditions. Water conditions were not favorable for those five days but we got it done,” Landry said.

Landry and Kennedy put in the time and effort to meet the challenge. Now it’s up to the anglers to reap the rewards of catching a tagged redfish, prizes such as Nautic Star and Mercury boat packages and Gatortail boat packages.

Landry said this area’s official STAR weigh station is Dago’s Mobil & Grocery in Lydia.

Across the state, 100 tagged redfish were released before Memorial Day Weekend. The first was released on May 6 by CCA Louisiana Executive Director David Cresson.

Rad Trascher, CCA Louisiana STAR tournament director, said in a Facebook post May 6 that while locations pinpointing the release of tagged redfish aren’t disclosed, there are “plenty of clues on our social media pages and other media outlets.”

The STAR is a fundraiser for the largest active nonprofit conservation organization in the state. The money generated here stays here, Landry pointed out.

“Every dollar raised in Louisiana stays in Louisiana for conservation efforts,” he said.

The Acadiana area can testify to that.

Two artificial reefs in near-offshore waters were built and completed over the past few years to give Teche Area anglers and others the opportunity to catch fish at the old South Marsh Island 233, christened the Ted Beaullieu Sr. Reef, and Vermilion 119 and 124 blocks in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Coordinates to those structures can be found at ccalouisiana.com.

Also over the past two years, “floating island marsh” mats to fight coastal erosion, have been built on the beach at Cypremort State Park and towed over to the eastern side of The Cove in Vermilion Bay. Phase II of the Floating Islands Restoration Project, spearheaded by five CCA-Louisiana chapters, including the local Sugar Chapter, was finished April 12, 2019.

Landry has seen the positive results in person on a recent visit.

“They looked good. And we got messages last week from people who said they were really impressed by the way the floating islands look and took,” he said.

With that in mind, Landry urges saltwater fishermen to enter the STAR contest that runs through Labor Day Monday.

“We would just like people to register,” he said.

STAR participants must be members of CCA-Louisiana, which has a membership fee of $35. The STAR entry fee is $35.

Landry said there are three ways to enter:

• Online at www.ccastar.com

• By calling the CCA-Louisiana office at (225) 952-9200.

• At Dago’s Mobil & Grocery.

STAR offers more than $500,000 in prizes. There are more than 25 divisions, with the most competitive being the Tagged Redfish Division and the Speckled Trout Division.

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