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186 female anglers compete at CCA's 'Babes on Baffin' Tournament

Women from across the state of Texas gathered to share their love of fishing and competition.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Dozens of teams united for a fishing tournament that not only was filled with friendly competition but was full of women empowerment. 

Tournament Director for CCA 'Babes on Baffin', Kimberly Prowse spoke with 3NEWS and said, this year's tournament is catch photo release, which is a part of the Coastal Conservation Association's mission to protect and conserve resources.

Beatrice Cuevas is a member of the 'Silver Fin' team and has been fishing for years. "It's beautiful to have all these women involved," Cuevas said. 

Cuevas caught a 30-inch fish today, but the team couldn't submit it, due to the large size. She stated, "My friends here, they tried to pull it, get it in with the fishnet, and finally they got it in there and it was really big."

Prowse is happy to inspire female anglers to work together. She explained, "It's really exciting to get to share our coastal resource with women from all over the state."

Tiffany Currie is the CCA Corpus Christi chapter Treasurer as well as a small local business owner. She enjoys the local support she and others have received from the community.

"We have people that come from all over the place, San Antonio, St. Marcus, Dallas, come down here to fish the tournament, but they're also getting the opportunity to support our local vendors," Currie said.  

Everything in the market is handcrafted. "I'm happy to see it coming back after COVID," Currie added. "Last year, there wasn't a whole much whole lot of a market but this year I worked specifically towards getting vendors out here so we can have a nice market."

In recent reports in Ohio, there was a fishing team accused of stuffing fish with weights. Fortunately, in the sparkling city by the sea, Prowse told 3NEWS that is not happening here.

"It's just unfortunate that people were cheating in a fishing tournament, you know, since we're catch photo release, we obviously don't have to worry about egg weights going into fishes' bodies and coming into weigh ins." Prowse said.

The judging happens states away while anglers upload photos of the fish they catch and release to an app. 

"It's really important and very specific instructions on how to measure the fish, you know, we don't want to cover the eye, because that's important to make sure that it's a fresh caught fish, we don't want to cover the spot on a red fish that's important for species identification," Prowse said. "And once they take these photos, they upload them into Fishing Chaos app."

The judges are a third party of marine researchers that are looking at the photos, authenticating them.

Prowse explained, "Each one of those photos that the lady anglers are submitting is geotagged, because they have their location services turned on," "And that's important for us, because then we can download all this data, give it to Heart Research Institute here in Corpus Christi at A&M." She added.

The university uses the data for research. "It's all about conservation, the catch photo release, and we're really excited that our women are coming out and helping us with our conservation efforts," Prowse said.

Organizers are already pumped for next year’s tournament. In addition to the fishing tournament, they also have a costume contest. Attendees are asked to start gathering their teams now, for Columbus Day weekend next year.

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