ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys — Baker Bishop of Charleston, S.C., caught 117.25 inches of redfish and snook while fly-fishing to win the inaugural Backcountry Fly Championship that ended Feb. 28.
Tournament anglers competed to catch the most inches of snook and redfish on fly. Rules mandated that only two catches of each species over the two days of fishing could be counted toward an angler's total inches.
Bishop earned the title of grand champion angler fishing with Captain Drew Moret of Islamorada, Fla. Bishop's two redfish measured 29.75 and 25.375 inches, and his two snook measured 26.625 and 35.5 inches.
According to Moret, staying in one flats area for most of the day was a winning strategy.
"We didn't fish many spots, and of the 60 to 70 shots we had, it was all by sight fishing," he said. "We knew the fish would move through different zones at certain phases of the tides, so patience was really the key."
Robert Collins of Naples, Fla., was named runner-up angler for scoring 108 inches of fish and he secured the largest redfish at 31 inches. Collins was guided by Richard Black of Tavernier, Fla.
The largest snook, measuring 37.75 inches, was caught by Frank Juliano of Fort Lauderdale, who fished with Andy Thompson of Homestead, Fla.
Anglers on 28 boats caught 25 snook and 29 redfish over two days.