The first tagged redfish caught in the Mississippi Division of the Coastal Conservation Association’s STAR Tournament was worth, well, only the excitement of the catch and dinner at the table.

According to CCA executive director Johnny Marquez, a lady angler from Texas caught the fish over the past weekend near Bay St. Louis, found the tag and traced it back to the CCA event.

Lynn Terry, whose family owns a home in the Pass Christian area caught one of the 25 redfish tagged and released specifically for this event.

“Sadly, because she hadn’t registered, she was not eligible for one of the two Polaris 570 ATVs we’re offering for the first two tagged redfish caught by registered fishermen in the STAR event in Mississippi,” Marquez said. “The good news is that there are still 24 tagged redfish swimming out there and this one being caught so quickly proves that they can be caught.

“Don’t let what happened to Lynn happen to you. Be registered before you go fishing and you might win one of the ATVs. We’ve got nearly the whole summer to go.”

The STAR Tournament, which is jointly held in both Mississippi and Louisiana, began May 23 and ends Sept. 7. Participants must be registered as CCA members and register for the tournament. Anglers can fish in the inshore waters of both Mississippi and Louisiana as well as offshore.

All fish can be weighed in Mississippi and the location where the fish is caught will determine the prize for which it is eligible.  

Louisiana’s first tagged redfish also was caught by an unregistered woman angler, Marquez said. Michelle Jewell of New Roads, La., caught the fish on Memorial Day weekend but was not signed up.

Jonathan Craft of Baton Rouge is the owner of a new Chevy Silverado after registering and then catching a redfish Sunday from a Kayak near Grand Isle.

The second one was caught by a registered CCA member and he earned a new Ford truck.

Signing up for STAR is easy, and you can begin fishing for the over $500,000 in prizes offered between the two state competitions for one price. Call 1-877-4CCASTAR (1-877-422-2782) or visit ccastar.com, anytime from anywhere before you hit the water.