The fifth installment of the Backcountry Fishing Association series hosted out of Little Jim Bait and Tackle, North Causeway in Fort Pierce on May 1 was fished by 38 boats, which brought in 11 trout, 4 redfish and 1 snook. Weather was great, but fishing was tough.
Husband and wife team, Mike and Shelly Bartus, took the first place slot with a 4.69-pound trout and a 3.14-pound redfish, for a combined weight of 7.83 pounds, earning the couple $770.
Tony Vercillo and TJ Keifer took second place with a 3.27-pound trout and a 4.47-pound redfish, for a combined total weight of 7.74 total pounds, earning the duo $462.
Sean Tillett and his alternate Bryan Patrick took third place with a 7.40-pound snook, which earned them $307. They also earned $270 by taking the snook calcutta.
Audrey Kuipers took Lady Angler for May, which earned her a pair of Danco pliers and knife with a 6.03-pound redfish. This placed Audrey and her husband Scott Kuipers in fourth place, which earned them points for the series. The pair also took the redfish calcutta and earned $280.
Husband and wife, Zach Foltz and Lorae’ Simpson took fifth place, earnubg points with a 1.68-pound trout and a 3.76-pound redfish, for a combined weight of 5.44 pounds.
Brothers, Joe and Matt Canestrari won the trout Calcutta, taking home $280 with a 4.91-pound trout.
The Backcountry Fishing Association tournament is a nine-month circuit which runs from January thru September, with a two-day Classic held in October. The artificial lure only tournament gives two-person teams and solo anglers the opportunity to win cash and gain points.
Redfish, trout and snook (seasonal) are the qualified species. Anglers attempt to bring one legal fish of each species to the scales for weigh in and live release.
Teams must participate in at least five tournaments to be eligible to fish the Classic which is a two-day event. The top five eligible teams with the highest accumulated points from the season are given a bye from day one. The remaining eligible teams compete on an elimination basis the first day, where only the top five teams of day one progress to day two to compete against the season point leaders for the grand prize and cash for the top four teams.
Membership fees are $25 for the year. To enter the tournament each month, the fee is $60 per team.
The next tournament is Saturday, June 5, with a captain’s meeting on Friday, June 4, at Little Jim Bait and Tackle, 601 North Causeway, Fort Pierce, Fla.