Tarpon Season 2017

June is almost half way over, time is just flying by!  Now and the next couple months is typically my favorite time of year for tarpon fishing, as the winds generally subside and we get a lot of our ‘summer time’ tarpon in the backcountry showing up.  Overall we’ve had nice weather for tarpon fishing in June, with overcast/rainy days keeping the heat down and the fish happy (and not getting us too wet).  Though we did have a short bout with some funky southwest wind, though now we are forecast for nice easterly wind for the coming week.  Fishing has been decent so far this June, though I will say it hasn’t been very predictable.  Just in the last week here now have some fish shown up and stayed put for several days in a row and we’ve had banner fishing.  I’m hoping it will last through July… some years that happens and you can go for weeks with fish being in the same general areas, which makes planning your day much easier as you know you’ve got an ace in your pocket.  Earlier in June the fishing was very much ‘hit and miss.’  We’d had some good days, but you’d catch fish one day well in an area and then go their the next day and they’d be gone!  This obviously makes it tougher and then you have to spend time grinding it out from spot to spot and hoping to get on them somewhere.  Most days we did, but a handful of days unfortunately we came up empty.  Though that is fishing and I always try to give it 100% by getting up and out early, catching plenty of bait, and not sticking around in any spot too long if I don’t think it’s gonna happen.  I’m hoping the fish that have shown up lately will stick around for a few weeks or maybe all summer.  If the weather stays consistent it could definitely happen.  There is plenty of bait around in the backcountry, and the water conditions seem much better than the last couple years with all the algae and we’ve had a good bit more rain.  But overall my June this year compared to last year is much better, last year we landed 24 fish in 17 trips, and this year we are at 55 fish in 24 trips.  Hopefully July is like that too!

I’m usually recommending from here on out fishing full day or 3/4 day trips.  Being that I’ve just had a child a couple months ago, I’m still not doing any evening trips, and the local half day fishing during the mornings gets a little more hit and miss as the mullet start to thin out locally around Islamorada.   On the evening half day trips you can rely more on your crab fishing, and that gets better as you get closer to dark especially on the falling tides.  However with the morning half day trips it’s the opposite, so if you don’t hit ’em first thing often your fishing gets tougher and tougher.  You can definitely still catch them locally on half day trips, but for me I am just dialed in on the early morning everglades thing, so that is what I prefer.  That again just requires at least a 3/4 day as it’s an hour run or more going back there.  Getting out there early gives you some very good opportunities, and bait is often much easier to catch.

I’m pretty much all booked up through the end of June, though may possibly have a day open here or there so don’t be afraid to ask.  July is filling in nicely and about half way filled up.  July, August, and even September/October can still be very good for tarpon fishing though it isn’t always the case.  July usually always is a very good month, August is a little more hit and miss but is usually pretty good at least for the first couple weeks.  Last year we had some of the best tarpon fishing we had all year in September and October believe it or not, just check out my reports those months!  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
@richardstanczyk

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7/20/17 July Tarpon Fishing in Flamingo

Got out with David and Brad for the last day today.  We had some leftover bait and we went to work straight away.  Last of the falling tide this morning and pretty calm with a light south breeze.  We didn’t see many tarpon where they had been the last few days..  A couple rollers, but didn’t have any bites aside from a shark and stingray.  We checked another neighboring channel, and there were a few fish in there.  We had to move around a couple times, but got in front of some and we hooked a nice 40 lber!  David landed him.  Great hookup ratio they caught every tarpon they hooked with me the last 3 days, 5 in total.  After that we caught a bunch of trout and a few pinfish to try for some snook.  Hit a few snook spots, the bugs were horrendous so we got pushed out on the shoreline.  We got 1 snook for Brad, and a few small nurse sharks, and then ended up cutting it short and coming home early at noon.  All in all another good day, and 3 great days of fishing for Brad and David.  1 for 1

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
@richardstanczyk

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7/19/17 July Islamorada Florida Keys Tarpon Fishing

Got out with Brad and David again today.  We didn’t solely focus on tarpon and decided to mix things up a bit.  Early in the morning we tried to catch some pilchards, small live baits, for some snook and such.  Didn’t have much luck with that so we just went with some artificials.  We were able to catch a handful of snook and some nice trout fishing the beach shorelines.  Was hoping we’d see some tarpon off the beaches, but alas never even saw one!  We ran back and fished some of the channels where I’d been getting them the last few mornings.  Didn’t see a whole lot, but eventually a couple rolled and we got around them and Brad caught a nice 50 lb fish!  That was about all she wrote though, it was about 11:00 and we finished the day catching a few snappers for dinner.  Have these guys again tomorrow for the last day then I’m out of town through the weekend.  Tarpon will likely be on the menu at some point during the day!  1 for 1

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
@richardstanczyk

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7/18/17 July Tarpon Fishing Full Day Florida Keys

Got out with Brad and David today.  We hit the same area as yesterday, had the very start of the incoming tide.  The fish were there, not quite as happy as the last few days though.  We moved a few times and managed to catch a couple though, plus plenty of sharks.  Funny as the sharks were not there at all the last couple days.  Anyways after that we left though another boat told me they did bite a little more later on after the tide got going better.  We caught another tarpon out off the mainland areas where they had been mixed in with all the sharks.  Saw several big groups of fish, and got in front of them and hooked up pretty quick.  After that things settled down and the tide was quitting out there.  We ran out into the gulf to take a peek and found some cobia, one got eaten by a shark but we got one to the boat.  A few nice trout and a pompano as well.  Great day, back at it again with these guys the next two days.  We may try some other things but if we see some tarpon I’m sure we’ll give that a go for a little bit.  3 for 3

P.S. Again we normally don’t lift tarpon out of the water, however this one was under 40 inches so it is allowed.  Though we are careful to support the belly, and not let them flop around on the deck or wipe their slime off too much.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
@richardstanczyk

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7/17/17 July backcountry tarpon fishing in Islamorada Florida Keys

Got out with David and Stanley today for some tarpon fishing in islamorada.  We left out early and ran into the backcountry.  The winds had kicked up out of the southwest, not honking but a good 10-15 mph.  I was a little worried that might make the fish move around a bit they usually dont like south wind!  We were able to catch some bait on the way and hit the areas where I had found them yesterday.  Luckily they were still there… We had the tide just starting in, and had some action right away.  We jumped the first fish off, actually the hook broke on us oddly that doesn’t happen too often.  After that we proceeded to put on a clinic.  Stanley landed 3 fish, Dave got 1, and he also had another one we got to the leader but unfortunately got tip wrapped and broke off next to the boat… but had the leader so a technical release.  It was game on for a good little 2 hour window.  After that things slowed down a bit, we went and just did some light action fishing and caught some trout and then came home!  Days like today make it look easy but it’s not always like that… makes you appreciate it when it is!  Hopefully the fish will stay put, I heard the other batch of fish had disappeared today with that bad wind direction, so if it goes back east hopefully they’ll come back.  5 for 6

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
@richardstanczyk

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7/16/17 July Tarpon Fishing in the Everglades

Got out with Ken and his wife today for some tarpon fishing in islamorada.  We headed out early and stopped for bait, the bait was nice and easy for a change.  We also didn’t have any rain or storms to chase us around which was very nice too.  Was able to load up and even have some leftovers for the next day or two.  We tried our morning area where the fishing had been decent the most part the last couple weeks.  Saw a couple roll and we moved over to ’em but didn’t have a bite and didn’t see much after that.  We tried moving a bit but no luck.  We then went up inside on of the channels nearby, and saw some fish in there, but still no response.  We made a couple moves again trying to get in front of different fish, but just no love.  I checked one more area out that I hadn’t really been in yet this year, and we some some splashes.  I set up and then noticed some bigger busts on the other side of the channel.  We moved over there, and then start to see a few fish roll and marked them on my machine…  I knew it was game on.  We had a double header bite, but unfortunately Ken’s came off, though his wife caught the other one.  Ladies always seem to have that luck!  After that we jumped another one off in the rod holder, and had another mystery zip that I’m sure was likely a tarpon since we had no shark bites in there.  Ken then caught a couple tarpon, one nice one of about 75 lbs or so, and the other was about 50.  After that the tide quit, we tried to catch a few trout on the way home which was a little slow, but got one and a few ladyfish and a shark.  After that we were all worn out and hot and headed in a few minutes early.  But all in all a great day it took a little work to find ’em, but luckily we kept grinding and had a great day to show for it.  3 for 5

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
@richardstanczyk

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