SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas (KVEO) — More than a million dollars in prizes and scholarships are being offered in this year’s State of Texas Anglers Rodeo Tournament (STAR Tournament).

The annual tournament runs from May 29 through September 6. This year there are more prize-winning tagged redfish than ever before.

Statewide 180-tagged redfish have been released. Assistant Tournament Director, Dylan Sassman recently supervised the placement of a record number of reds in the Lower Laguna Madre.

“We are about tripling the number we are putting down here in the Lower Laguna Madre,” said Sassman.

The impact of the recent freeze took a serious toll on game fish. The trout, flounder, sheepshead, and gafftop divisions have been eliminated, and the redfish division is catch and release only.

Sassman said, “We don’t want any redfish brought in to the weigh stations. All you are going to do is when you catch a fish, take your fishing pliers, pocketknife whatever and just clip that tag about right there where you can still see the numbers. All you got to do is take that that piece of clipped tag to the weigh station, and you will win from there.”

The catch, clip and release tagged redfish categories offer outstanding prizes.

“That blue tag redfish that just swam off was a 22 foot Mowdy with Mercury motor and Coastline trailer or a $30,000 scholarship,” said Sassman.

The next tagged red released in the bay is even more valuable.

Sassman said, “That was a Ford F-150, 22 foot Haynie Bigfoot, Mercury motor and Coastline trailer.”

Registering for the tournament is easy to do.

“You can register at STAR call the office at (713) 626-4222, or at Harbor Bait and Tackle in Port Mansfield and South Shore Bait and Tackle,” added Sassman.