Tarpon Season 2017 / Hurricane Irma Update

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Hurricane IRMA has come and gone and we are still standing strong!  Sorry for the lack of updates but I haven’t had internet at my house but hopefully I will soon.  Anyways to let everyone know the upper Florida Keys (Islamorada and Key Largo) are in pretty good shape overall.  Many businesses (including Bud n’ Mary’s Marina) are back up and running, perhaps with limited services somewhat, but they are doing business.  Some ocean side resorts and residences had some problems and won’t be back to normal for a while, but don’t think that you can’t come down here and go fishing.  There are plenty of hotels that are currently open, just drop me a line and I can let you know of options to stay.  Bud n’ Mary’s Marina has some rooms available if you are coming to go fishing.  Many restaurants are back to full service as well.  The streets will have a little debris piled up on the sides for a little while to come, but don’t be afraid to come on down.  I haven’t been fishing yet as of this update, but a few friends of mine have.  The fishing reports have been very good the last few days… the fish have been left alone and are very hungry!  I will be back to running fishing charters October 1 and that is when the Keys are officially open to tourists again.  Now further south it’s a different story, southern Marathon and Big Pine Key will definitely not be the same again and likely out of business for a while in those areas.  But yes Islamorada and Key Largo are more or less fine for the most part.

Last year we had some of the best tarpon fishing we had all year in October believe it or not, just check out my reports those months!  October can be some of the best tarpon fishing because we often have the fall bait run going on.  You also have the place to yourself which is nice for fishing.  If you are interested in tarpon fishing drop me a line, if I’m not available I’m more than happy to make recommendations.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing

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10/16/17 October Florida Keys Tarpon Fishing Report

Got out with Steve and Colin who were visiting from across the pond with their buddies who also fished with Capt. John Johansen.  We stuck together and mixed it up a bit.  Caught some pilchards early on and had some leftover mullet from the other day.  We found a good snook bite early on and also jumped a small tarpon while doing that.  We tried a few other spots and caught a handful more snook, saw some more tarpon but no response out of them on our light tackle.  After that we went and looked for tarpon offshore.  Didn’t see a whole lot but I found some with my electronics, or what I thought was tarpon anyways.  We set up and saw a few roll after about 10 minutes so I knew they were around.  We jumped a fish and then had a shark bite us off.  We made a move after that and had another one that ate a bait and swam back to us, unfortunately he got caught around the motor as we weren’t able to get around the boat quick enough!  Bad luck!  Capt. John had hooked and landed a tarpon at this point so we got some pictures of them.  We then made one more move and were rewarded Colin got a nice 50 lb tarpon!  After that it was Steve’s turn and he got a small 12 lb tarpon, actually I was impressed it was one of the smallest tarpon I’ve seen caught on my larger tackle setups.  After that we got a lemon shark and then the tide quit, shutting everything down for the most part.  It was then time to go so we did.  Great day for the boys, I had a feeling with it getting slick calm like it was that the fish would be chewing.  I have a half day tomorrow and then I’m available through the end of the week, and it looks like the conditions should remain pretty good through Friday.  Give me a shout if you want to catch some fish, tarpon should still be a possibility for a few more weeks as long as it remains fairly warm!  2 for 5

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing

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10/14/17 October Tarpon in the Everglades

Got out with Bob and Bobby for the day today.  Tarpon was on the list of fish but they didn’t want to devote the day solely to that if it wasn’t happening.  We caught some pilchards on the way out and a few mullet in the backcountry so we had ammo for everything.  Found some snook first thing where we had got them yesterday, good little bite we caught about half a dozen and a nice redfish.  Bobby also hooked a nice 20 lb tarpon we fought for a minute but unfortunately we threw the hook.  After that we moved around a bit, tried to get the tarpon going on our pilchards as we saw some rolling but no luck.  We got one more snook after moving a few times.  After that we tried some other spots with our light tackle, not much luck.  Tried for tarpon off shore a bit, didn’t see any free jumpers or signs of life, we marked a couple things on sonar that really seemed like tarpon.  But no bites for us there we gave it a good 40 minutes.  After that we found some more little tarpon in a creek, bobby hooked another one but he got us wrapped around some structure and went through the leader.  After that we made a run and tried another area.  Saw a handful of larger tarpon crashing baits, but not like you expect to see this time of year…  We lost one snook out there, and didn’t get any tarpon action though we had a couple sharks we pulled on.  Tried several spots, nothing much happening…  We ran back towards home and tried one more creek where there were some tarpon yesterday in the morning.  We saw a few but they didn’t want to play, but the guys each got one more snook a piece.  We then tried a channel on the way home for the last 30 minutes, got a nice big blacktip shark, and that was about all she wrote.  Glad we decided to mix it up a bit I think it would’ve been a long day trying for tarpon only.  Different year this year I’m sure the storm has something to do with that, but not seeing the crazy tarpon action we had last october, but it could still come.  That’s the thing about the fall run it’s not a consistent thing year to year.  0 for 2

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing

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10/13/17 October Tarpon Fishing Islamorada Florida

Got out with Rich and Keith today for some fun fishing.  Tarpon wasn’t really the primary target but we were just after general rod bending and hopefully a few things for dinner.  We caught some pilchards which have been showing up around many of the local islands in Islamorada which is a standard fall bait we use.  We were really after some snook but we found quite a few baby tarpon in one of the backcountry canals.  We had a couple bites early on but couldn’t get them to stay buttoned.  Later on we tried another area and got into a bunch of snook.  While doing that we saw some tarpon a bit further out so we drifted over that way with the rolling motor.  Rich got a nice one a good 30 lber on the light rod which gave a great battle.  We got him and didn’t have any more tarpon action after that, but caught quite a few more snook and a couple nice redfish.  Got a few snappers to finish the day for dinner and that was that.  Great day on the water I have the next 3 days booked, woohoo!  If you are wanting to come down and go fishing, gimme a shout.  We’ve finally gotten some good northeasterly breezes and I think we may have at least a couple more weeks of good tarpon fishing and maybe some into November who knows, otherwise the fall bite for snook, redfish, mackerel and such should be very good too.  1 for 3

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing

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10/8/17 October Islamorada Tarpon Fishing Report

Got out yesterday for my first paid charter since IRMA and was thankful to have it.  Steve really wanted to catch a tarpon and we gave it a go!  Bait was fairly easy and we got enough right out of the marina basin.  We headed to the backcountry and tried some channels.  Found some tarpon in the first area busting bait pretty good, but they were acting a little funny.  The tide was absolutely ripping due to the near full moon and king tides we are having now.  It was fishable though but the fish definitely didn’t seem happy.  We fished hard and moved a few times, had a few sharks and a big ray but that was it.  The tarpon were busting every so often, not rolling too much.  Anyways after an hour or so we moved spots.  Tried off the mainland and the water was super muddy and weedy out there.  With the ripping current it was difficult keeping baits out there.  We did see some tarpon free jump so there were a few around, but never had a bite of anything.  We ran through the canal to check some areas in there, found some little tarpon but no luck with them.  We tried some live baits in case some snook were there too, but no love at all.  After that we tried flamingo and didn’t see a whole lot of activity but we did see a busy near a channel marker. We set up and soon after we did get a tarpon bite, but one of those funny bites where they grabbed the bait, jumped and spit it before even coming tight on the line.  I saw another bust and thought we may get another shot, but  no such luck.  We then ran back towards Islamorada to try some local channels.  I gave it some extra time since I was able to work that out and it was nice to be on the water again.  But the tarpon just didn’t want to happen.  We tried 3 more channels, think I had seen a couple fish roll in one spot but no more bites.  We had another shark bite us off and that was it.  I had talked to a friend who tarpon fished around the bridges most of the day, and they hadn’t had any luck either and never saw a tarpon so I feel we made the right more going where we did there were definitely some fish around back there.  Anyways a tough day but it was nice to be on the water and we definitely gave it a good hard effort.  I think fishing will get better once we move away from this full moon hopefully in a few more days.  The winds are going to be more northeasterly through the end of the week (hopefully) and that will be great too.  We had a lot of hard south wind the last week which just doesn’t help our backcountry fishing at all, northeast things will cool down, clean up, and should help push more bait down the coast which means fall mullet run tarpon fishing usually.  We are 100% back in business so give me a call if you are looking to get out there!  0 for 1

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing

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9/4/17 September Tarpon Fishing Everglades

Got out with return clients Zeb and Suzy today for a full day of everglades tarpon fishing.  We caught a bit of bait early and went right where we found them yesterday.  Today though was a different day, we didn’t see much early on but after a little driving around we started to see a handful roll.  We didn’t get any bites early on and probably moved half a dozen times where we had seen fish come up but they just didn’t want to play.  We eventually had one bite but unfortunately the fish jumped at us and didn’t stay buttoned and it was over before we knew it.  I talked to a friend who was out in another channel and he said it was similar for him they saw a decent amount of fish but never had a bite.  But at least the sharks kept us busy we had some big blacktips and big lemon sharks.  We ended up running out of mullet since fishing was tough we were using them up trying to make it happen, we went and caught some trout and ladyfish.  We then tried again the last hour with the fresh ladyfish and the tide coming in, but didn’t see any tarpon after that but got a couple more sharks.  Oh well as I say it is ‘hit and miss’ this time of year, I thought after yesterday morning being so good that today would be too we definitely had good conditions but the fish just weren’t happy.  I’m off tomorrow and then suppose to go out of town Wednesday but now we have to be in hurricane preparation mode for Irma which is possibly heading this way.  We will likely know for sure in the next 48 hours.  Anyhow we will be safe and hopefully back to tarpon fishing maybe sometime next week.  0 for 1

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing

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