STAR Tournament headquarters reports two tagged redfish caught so far, one pending polygraph and other is not valid as the angler hadn’t entered the Tournament. So far, Mike Eckhardt’s trout, 9 lbs 4 ozs, is the biggest speckled trout for all the divisions along the coast. Middle coast leader, an 8 lbs even, was caught by Gary Atkins. On the lower coast, Jerry Vordenbaum’s 9 lbs 2 ozs fish leads the leader board. The STAR continues through Labor Day.
Guide Mike Williams believes the trout that wins the STAR Tournament will either come out of the surf or from one of the jetties…”They always do.”
If you fish the upper coast, Williams recommends the surf around one of the areas where there is water movement from beachfront to one of the bays. San Luis Pass, Rollover Pass are good starting points. For the jetties, try the Quintana Jetties at Freeport or the Galveston Jetties. “A person walking the Quintana Jetties has a good chance of catching a big trout.”
Fishing from a boat or wading the surf? “If you catch green (water) all the way to the beachfront, wade. A wader in the water is the most lethal way to fish at any time.” In other water conditions, the angler in the boat has the edge.
Why the boat? “Most of the big trout from the surf areas are caught around structure, like the end of a pier, jetty, rock groins. People are more apt to catch those fish out of a boat.”
“In Galveston a lot of the redfish caught come from around Sea Wolf Park, many of them from around the jetties,” counsels Williams. CCA released 60 tagged redfish all along the Texas coast.
Gina Rice, CCA Director of Operations for the Texas STAR, says an average of 10 tagged fish are caught each tournament.
“Last year 11 fish were caught and only six were winners,” said Rice. The other five unhappy anglers hadn’t entered the tournament. One of the winners was 10 year old Caleb Morales. He received a $20,000 college scholarship and a Haynie 23’ BigFoot boat, Mercury 150 Pro XS OptiMax motor, and Coastline trailer.