Newman / Engelmann Take First Place in BFA January Tournament

First place team of Eric Newman and Rich Engelmann. Total weight of 7.45 pounds. Photo credit: Backcountry Fishing Association.

The Backcountry Fishing Association kicked off the first tournament of 2021 on Saturday, Jan. 2 with 35 boats. The tide was low. The weather was fair with wind increasing later in the day. Most anglers reported a slow bite. There was a total of 14 trout and 3 redfish brought to the scale. The biggest trout weighing 3.08 pounds and the biggest redfish 5.71 pounds

Eric Newman and Rich Engelmann took first place. The team caught a 2.03-pound trout and a 5.42-pound redfish, with a total weight of 7.45-pounds, earning $708.75. The team also won the redfish calcutta earning $260.00.

Newlyweds Lorae’ Simpson and Zach Foltz took second place with a 1.19-pound trout and a 5.71-pound redfish. A total weight of 6.90-pounds and total prize of $425.25.

George Lloyd and his alternate Kris Northrop took third place with a 3.64-pound redfish and earned a total prize of $283.50.

Tony Vercillo and TJ Kiefer landed in fourth place with a 3.08-pound trout earning points. The team won the trout calcutta and earned $250.

Brothers, Kyle and Tyler Englemann took fifth place with a 2.27-pound trout and earning points.

Lady Angler for January tournament went to Lorae’ Simpson for catching a 5.71-pound redfish. She earned herself $25, which was donated by Mark’s Mobile Marine.

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, Feb. 6, with a captain’s meeting on Friday, Feb. 5, at Little Jim Bait and Tackle, 601 North Causeway, Fort Pierce, FL. For more information, call (772) 342-0039, email or visit Backcountry Fishing Association on Facebook.