The 21st annual Coastal Conservation Association State of Texas Anglers Rodeo Tournament ended Sept. 6 with a big winner from Lake Jackson.
With prizes ranging from youth scholarships to Ford F-150s to Haynie 23 Big Foot boats, the tournament attracted more than 40,000 anglers.
One of those was Lake Jackson resident Cody Mueck, who finished first in the Middle Coast trout division with an 8-pound, 9-ounce catch. Mueck wouldn't divulge the location of his catch.
"I caught it on July 3, but I will be unable to tell you where it is," Mueck said Monday afternoon. "My dad (Darryl Mueck) and I have been fishing there since I was born and I am 23 now."
Mueck has been fishing the STAR Tournament for the past six years, but this is the first time he has actually won something.
"We've weighed fish before, but never won anything," Mueck said. "We are actually not big trout fishermen because we are more redfish fishermen."
"But I did win the trout division at the Fishin' Fiesta this summer," he said. "I thought when we caught it, that it was kind of average, but I was hoping it was a winner. We had a messy season with hurricane weather, high tides and it was just nasty."
"The biggest surprise about catching this winner was that my dad and I use about seven or eight poles that we throw out, and all of them had redfish accept one, which was the trout that won," he said.
A 2006 Brazoswood High School graduate and a crew leader for the city of Lake Jackson, Mueck won a 22-foot Shoalwater Legend boat along with a Mercury 150 Optimax motor and McClain trailer.
"It is pretty exciting, but I am actually going to sell it because of all the taxes that we have to pay on it," Mueck said. "My dad and I go fishing every weekend, so we both won this."
Pearland's Mark McCafferty won the Upper Coast division with an 8-pound, 8-ounce catch and Israel Lara from Falfurrias won the Lower Coast at 9-pounds, 1-ounce. Both will receive the same prize package as Mueck.
Winners will receive their prizes Thursday at the CCA State of Texas Barbecue and STAR Tournament award ceremony at the Houston Farm and Ranch Club on Abercombie.
"We had over 40,000 fishermen this past season and we are pretty happy about that," said Gina S. Rice, director of operations of the CCA Texas STAR Tournament. "All things considered, we were pretty happy with the turnout. We also had over 8,500 new members sign-up with us, and really this is the whole idea of this tournament - to get more members involved with the CCA."
Out of the 120 total prizes offered by the tournament this year, 112 were claimed - including the grandprize Ford F-150 Texas Edition truck with a Haynie 23 BigFoot boat, a Mercury 150 Optimax motor and Coastline trailer package.
Scholarships awarded ranged from $20,000 to $50,000.
Joel Luna is the sports editor for The Facts. Contact him at 979-237-0160.