|Calcasieu Lake produces two more tagged reds, seals a deal, but still no STAR winner|
|Friday, 20 July 2012 13:41|
Lake Charles, LA – Area anglers, Scott Sonnier, Coy Waggoner, and his son Baylor (10), spent the final hours of Sunday afternoon chasing reds and trout on Big Lake’s south end, aboard the Waggoner’s boat. Armed with a solid report, the three made a quick trip to stock the freezer. Within minutes of arriving at their first spot, young Baylor boated a nice size red, and immediately the anglers noticed the yellow tag protruding from its back.
With much regret, the Waggoner’s instantly realized they had forgotten to register for the 2012 CCA Louisiana STAR tournament. Confirming the yellow tag was a National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) research tag provided some relief, and they had not just made a $30,000 mistake.
The trio resumed catching redfish in short order, and Sonnier landed a nearly identical fish with the coveted red CCA STAR tag! A current CCA member, and LA STAR entrant, Sonnier began to celebrate the catch, and the thought of his new Chevy Silverado…until he noticed the tag dated 2011 from CCA TEXAS!
Apparently over the last 14 months, the redfish sporting CCA TEXAS 2011 STAR tag # TA307 had made its way from its original release point in Sabine Lake over 20+ miles to Calcasieu by way of the Intercoastal, Gulf of Mexico, or the vast marshes and bayous separating the two large bays. Receiving a call with the news, Lake Charles Chapter and STAR Committee member, Bryan Williams, stopped by Sonnier’s house to get a first-hand account from his friends’ trip and verify the tags. Unfortunately for Mr. Sonnier, all checked out as described, but then Williams heard what was announced as, “the crazy part of story”.
On their way to launch at Hebert’s Landing south of town, Coy made a casual phone call to a friend, and in conversation, per Scott’s request, encouraged the friend to come participate in the A.C.T.S. program with the two men at their church. The friend respectfully declined saying, “You have a better chance of catching a tagged redfish, than me signing up for your program.”
After Baylor landed the first tagged red, a picture of the prized catch was texted to the friend, and Coy’s phone was quickly stuck in a cup holder to get back to the task at hand. Once the celebrating and reality of the expired STAR tag from Texas had run its course, Coy grabbed his phone to send a picture of the second tagged fish to his friend, only the find the following message on his screen: “If yall catch 2 I’ll go”.
Both of the fish were harvested, and information of their catches was reported to the appropriate organizations. The fish yielding the yellow NMFS tag was previously released near Hackberry, LA, by a volunteer of the Louisiana Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Program, through CCA Louisiana. Baylor Waggoner will be awarded for reporting the recaptured tag. Sonnier said he was just excited about his friend, and having the story to tell.