2016 Summer time Tarpon Fishing

We are getting into June and that signifies the start of ‘summer time’ tarpon fishing for myself.  Personally I love this time of year and it is my recommended time to come if you really want a shot at good tarpon fishing.  I’m really slowing down on my night trips at this point, and usually focusing on the everglades/backcountry tarpon action where we fish 3/4 day or full day trips, often leaving the dock early by 5:30 or 6:00 AM.  I’ve been doing that the last couple weeks and it has started to get fairly consistent which is a great sign.  We’ve had shots(bites) from fish every trip the last few weeks, and have caught multiple on most trips in that period as well.  A few misses but had multiple bites on those days just didn’t seal the deal.  Our early season/spring time tarpon fishing was overall tough this year.  Things were just not real consistent and the fish were very hard to get to respond on many occasions.  I came up with several more “zeroes” than I like to, though it wasn’t from a lack of effort that’s for sure.  Up to the end of May, I had fished 7 more trips than last year, however have caught 18 less tarpon.  People have been asking why and I have a few theories though obviously it’s hard to pin point it down…

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6/24/16 Late June Tarpon Fishing in the Everglades

Well today we went into the backcountry and just decided to fish and not focus on any particular thing.  We caught some nice pilchards at day break and then went back to the cape sable area.  First area we stopped there were lots of baby tarpon and busting small baitfish.  Of course when you aren’t looking for them, you are going to find a mess of them!  Anyways it was very good fishing for a while we hooked 5 tarpon and landed 2, both small guys of 5-10 lbs, but a lot of fun on light tackle.  We went on to catch about 20 snook or so in various spots back there it was very good fishing and I only had 1 anglers.  Anyways off to the Bahamas for a week or so now I’ll be back in early July!  2 for 5

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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6/23/16 Everglades June Tarpon Fishing

Had a 3/4 day today we left out at 6.  I had bought a little bait yesterday afternoon plus we caught some this morning, so we were loaded on bait.  Didn’t find any tarpon though at all this morning very strange I think we may have seen 1 roll all morning but not even sure about that.  We fished a half dozen spots in 3 different areas, just no life at all.  We did catch some sharks, and even ran around to a couple other spots in other areas to just look and see if we saw any fish rolling, busting, etc…  But it has definitely dried up perhaps after this moon the fish will return.  Anyways I am fishing tomorrow though I think we are going to do something other than tarpon, the snook fishing has been good so probably try that and if I see tarpon we may try for them, but otherwise just gotta bend the rod.  After that I am going to the Bahamas for a week or so, definitely need some time off it’s been hot and fishing hasn’t been easy!  I’ll be back in July and hopefully things will get more consistent by then but the way this year has gone so far I’m not gonna hold my breath!  Seems every time I get into a little groove, the deck gets shuffled and you have to go from plan A to B, C, D, E, etc….  0 for 0

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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6/22/16 Islamorada June Tarpon Fishing Report

Got out today, yesterday we got weathered in with lots of rain and lightning around all morning.  Fishing wasn’t easy we went to catch bait early and were able to get enough to fish with for a while, but not easy and took almost an hour and lots of throw with the net.  We got a tarpon bite in the first stop after 20 minutes or so, though nothing much after that.  Didn’t see much for life a couple of fish rolled.  We tried another channel and didn’t see much at all though some other boats there said there had been a few fish rolling.  Anyways we bailed on that after another hour or so and caught some pilchards to snook fish with.  Even that wasn’t super easy we got enough bait eventually and tried a half dozen spots, and caught a couple snook and small goliath grouper.  We  did see a few small tarpon rolling and busting in some areas while doing that, though we didn’t get any action out of them.  After that we tried tarpon again for the last hour of the day, caught several sharks, though no more tarpon bites.  Tough day hopefully tomorrow is better!  0 for 1

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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6/20/16 June Islamorada backcountry tarpon report

Somebody turned on the wind machine again today.  It was blowing 20-25 northeast!  Anyways I had some leftover bait from yesterday and we got out after tarpon early.  Saw only one in the channel where we had found a wad of them yesterday, though never had a bite after moving around a couple times aside from a barracuda that bit us off.  Tried another channel and we saw a tarpon roll right away nearby so we set up.  We hooked up a big nurse shark we landed, then had a strong hard zip which I think was a tarpon though never saw him jump.  Though 5 minutes later we did jump one.  Unfortunately neither of them stayed on the hook!  Anyways after that we fished a bit longer though things slowed down.  We finished up the day catching some big trout and mangrove snappers, and got a couple snook to finish!  0 for 2

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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6/19/16 Islamorada Tarpon Report Backcountry June

Yesterday we did some meat fishing so left the tarpon alone.  Today we got after ’em again it was slick calm and the bait was easy and fishing was good.  Just how we like it!  Found a nice ball of bait in the backcountry and made a throw and had plenty of mullets.  We found some tarpon in the first place we stopped.  Caught a couple in the first hour, two bites so we did well.  After that they kinda quit showing and tide was slowing down.  Eventually we did other stuff the rest of the day which was productive as well, some nice trout and finished with plenty of snook!  Looks like the winds suppose to crank up tomorrow for a couple days, at least it’s suppose to be more easterly and not west again!  2 for 2

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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6/17/16 Backcountry Islamorada Tarpon Report

Very tough fishing today we had originally scheduled a 3/4 day but ended up cutting to a half.  No bait around in the morning I brought some frozen stuff and I had a handful of fresh baits from a couple days ago that were still on good ice.  Stiff west breeze and falling tide, ugly water, didn’t see a fish in the morning.  We fished pretty hard a couple of the channels where the tarpon were a few days ago, and didn’t get much of anything.  Not a sniff the first hour, then the 2nd spot later we did catch a teeny blacktip and a sting ray.  After an hour of that, we decided to catch a few small things to bend the rod.  A few ladyfish and I saw some trout chasing the baits but we didn’t entice a bite.  After 20 minutes of that the guys decided to call it a half day and we went in.  Just when things had started getting better, we get crappy wind again.  Really I’m about over this hard, tough year!  No tarpon fishing today we are just bending the rod, will probably be forgoing it on Sunday as well.  0 for 0

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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6/14/16 + 6/15/16 Islamorada Tarpon Fishing Report

Had Sarah and Barry out for a couple more days.  We jumped 1 small tarpon on the 14th while snook fishing though no other bites when we tried later on for tarpon specifically.  On the 15th we did end up catching one out of 2 in the last part of our day.  Though we enjoyed great snook fishing both days as well as catching some sharks and other sea monsters!  0 for 1 and 1 for 2

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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6/10/16 + 6/11/16 Islamorada Tarpon Report

6/10/16 – Today I had Mike and his son Mike out again.  We caught bait in the morning and gave the tarpon a shot early.  Very weak tide so we didn’t stay for long but they wanted to give snook a shot.  We had good snook action and caught a baby tarpon while doing that too which was very cool.  We tried the tarpon again later on the falling tide in the afternoon, and in the last hour caught a couple nice fish of 50 lbs or so.  Great day of fishing!  3 for 3

6/11/16 – Today I had Sarah and Barry who fished with me last year coming all the way from across the pond.  Bait was easy first thing we caught plenty of fresh mullet.  Fishing was difficult we found a decent group of tarpon in the first stop but they didn’t bite for us unfortunately.  Next stop there were tons of tarpon in the channel however very finicky again.  We had them tail slapping right behind the boat but never touched the baits.  We put live ones out too but not a sniff, though a shark did try to eat it.  We did catch a few small sharks and a big ray.  Anyways tried the snook again and the bait was easy but snook fishing was slow we caught 1 and lost 1.  Then tried the tarpon again the last hour on the falling tide, but no dice we caught a few more sharks to finish the day.  Hopefully they’ll bite better tomorrow!  0 for 0

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6/9/16 Islamorada Tarpon Report

Got out today for a full day and went back into the everglades.  We caught plenty of mullet on the way it was nice the bait was very cooperative.  We jumped a tarpon off right away in the first spot, then not much else.  Caught a few big sharks after that in another spot, then some smaller sharks in the next.  Had a tarpon jump right by the boat we swore was hooked, but the lines never moved.  Then we finally caught a tarpon a small 40 lber though happy to get one!  After that a few more sharks, and then the last spot the same thing happened we had two tarpon jump next to the boat.  But again they never touched the bait or anything, very weird that doesn’t happen often and for it to happen three times???  Anyways we finished up with a few more sharks, good action throughout the day and happy to have landed a tarpon!  1 for 2

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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6/8/16 Half day Islamorada tarpon fishing report

Had another half day again today it was pretty nasty blowing 25mph out of the southwest.  We tried to do what we’ve done the last few days and fish the local channels.  Not much luck today though we caught a few nurse sharks and had a barracuda eat us off, no tarpon bites.  We saw some fish in both areas we fished but just no luck.  A couple boats did catch some that we saw, though most did not.  Anyways the wind is laying down this afternoon and by tomorrow it’s suppose to die to 5-10 mph, which is how it should be this time of year.  I’ll likely be going into the backcountry tomorrow hopefully things will have had time to settle down by then and clean up.  0 for 0

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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