2019 Islamorada Tarpon Season is here!

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March is half way over and up until now we’ve had a stellar early season for tarpon fishing in Islamorada.  Lots of fish in the backcountry and plenty of warm, calm weather has had them pretty happy.  Unfortunately we have an incoming cold front today and it’s suppose to drop into the mid 60s for several nights – not freezing cold but it is likely going to be enough to mess up the backcountry tarpon fishing a little bit.  Those fish are already showing signs of all the fishing pressure and I think a weather change will probably really turn them off even more.  Though in the long run it may be a good thing as they’ve been getting hammered the last month or so.  I’ll likely be bridge fishing for any tarpon trips I have here in the next few days, and we’ll see what happens after the weekend if things get warm and sunny and right, hopefully those fish will get happy again.

Also I’m offering discounted trip rates for the 2019 off season (September through November).  I’ve normally not really offered discounts on my trips for a variety of reasons, however next year as mentioned I’m taking more days off in the busy season so I really would like to fill my off season in a little more.  If you are interested in coming down at that time you can get some good deals on fishing and room rates.  Once I start to fill in those days though I may no longer off these great rates, so start planning early if you can!  September and October can still be good months for tarpon, November is not as much but we have really good fishing for other species.  Check out my discounted trip rates here.

IMPORTANT: All anglers starting Jan 10th, 2019 will be required to have an Everglades Visitors Pass when fishing in the park.  You can obtain one via internet/phone at http://www.yourpassnow.com and select Everglades National Park.  Most of my fishing is inside the park, so check with me but more than likely you will need one.  You can also buy an annual/lifetime pass at store.usgs.gov. However if we are tarpon fishing locally around bridges it will not be necessary – though I am not doing this so much these days.  Just check with me beforehand.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
305-747-6903

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3/18/19 March Everglades Tarpon Fishing Report

Got out with Jack, Jake, and Chris for day 2.  Little windier today, northeasterly breeze it was kinda chilly back there and overcast.  We hit some areas first while we had the last trickle of falling tide for snook and such.  Nothing in the first stop, but the second stop we caught two nice snook, one redfish, and a handful of trout.  Good action and a little something different!  After that we saw some tarpon blowing up and decided to move in on them.  First area we saw some fish, but just didn’t seem to be a good concentration of them, so we moved around more.  Eventually we found a few more and could see a boat that had just hooked up.  We got in the area, and after 20 minutes or so Jake had a nice 65 lber on that we chased down and landed.  We moved again after that, and found a hungry pack of smaller fish.  We had a couple bites that picked up the bait and dropped it that I’m fairly certain were tarpon but didn’t see them.  But soon we hooked another and Jake had another 40 lb fish.  After that, Chris got one about a 30 lber.  We caught a few sharks in there too.  We tried another area where we had found fish later in the tide several times in the last couple weeks, but not much there today.  We did tango with some big giant sea mosnter sharks, but never got a look at any of them.  After that it was about time to head home.  Looks like we have a major weather change Tuesday, with a cold front and a lot of rain coming.  Not going to get super cold, but likely cold enough to slow down the backcountry tarpon fishing.  Unfortunately the water back there gets much colder as it’s so far from the atlantic gulf stream, and the air gets colder over the nearby mainland by 5 to 10 degrees often.  So I might be having to stick bridge fishing this week for those that want tarpon.  Hopefully by the weekend though things will have a chance to warm up.  3 for 3

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
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3/17/19 March Keys Tarpon Fishing Report

Great day with Jack, Jake, and Chris! We were focused on tarpon and had some bait left from the other day. Stopped in the backcountry first thing and caught a nice snook while waiting on the tide change. Then we went searching for tarpon. Found a good school and there were a decent amount of fish. We set up and Jake got one right off the bat to start about a 100 lb fish. After that we had to move around a little. But a little later Chris got one, about a 60 lber. Landed that one and then it was Jack’s turn. Unfortunately the tarpon seemed like they didn’t want to respond. We caught a few sharks and kept with it. Finally after several moves it seemed like it may not happen. But we had a few baits left and made one last move. We for lucky and soon Jack had a big 100 lber on! Finished the day with that one, got all three fish to the hand too which was nice. We headed on home and caught some bait on the way which wasn’t easy but we got in the right spot at the right time. Back at it tomorrow with the same crew.  3 for 3

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
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3/14/19 March Fishing The Florida Keys for Tarpon

Got out with the Cable family today.  We planned on a mixed bag but we did end up doing a little bit of tarpon fishing.  We managed to hook one nice fish, but after a few minutes of chasing him we pulled the hook unfortunately.  Ran deep into the everglades to look, as we had the harsh east wind again.  Did not see a ton today, but looks like it is suppose to start calming down tomorrow.  I’m not fishing the next couple days, but sunday/monday I’ll be back and looks like those days will be nicer too before it starts blowing on Tuesday.  Anyways we still had a great day today with plenty of redfish and trout, and a few snook as well as some sharks, mackerel, jacks, ladyfish, and other critters.  0 for 1

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
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3/13/19 March Fishing for Tarpon in Islamorada Florida

Got out with return customers Robert and his son Mark today.  They follow me online and knew the tarpon fishing had been decent.  So we decided to focus on that for the beginning of the day.  Conditions had deteriorated however, with a strong 20-25mph wind out of the east – more typical March type weather as we’ve been spoiled by the calm days the last couple weeks.  Anyways that was also coupled with a very weak tidal cycle, so we had nearly 2 hours of no moving water which is never a good thing for trying to catch tarpon.  Anyways we stuck it out, sharks kept us somewhat busy.  Tarpon were around too, so we had hope.  Just hard to get lined up on them, as soon as we stopped it kind of felt like they were going away from us.  We moved 5 or 6 times, and eventually Mark hooked up a nice 85 lber that we landed, so it was all smiles.  The boys wanted some dinner after that, so we hit a nice trout spot.  Very good trout fishing with some nice 25 inch fish mixed in too… great to see.  We decided to try for a snook the last hour of the day, found a handful catching about a half dozen, and a redfish and big snapper to add to the cooler.  All in all not a bad day, just not quite as good as it has been but that good stretch of weather as I said had us spoiled.  Looks like tomorrow will be more of the same… very windy.  But Friday through the weekend it looks like it will be nice again.  I won’t be fishing, but I’ll be back at it sunday after that.  Unfortunately next week as of now, looks like a crazy hard blow out of the north on Tuesday, probably a cold front, and then strong northerly winds after that for a few days.  Back at it tomorrow.  1 for 1

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

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3/12/19 Middle of March Tarpon Fishing Charter Florida Keys

Great day with Jim and his daughter Alex. If was a gorgeous morning nice and calm. Tarpon were around still looked like it’d be a good day with the conditions. We has good fishing though had to work at it a bit, or maybe we’ve just been spoiled by how good it has been. They landed 3 tarpon, all big fish 100+ lbs that took a while. We also jumped off a few others, plus several sharks including some big spinners. We finished up the day with a bunch of trout and a handful of redfish. Looks like winds will pick up tomorrow for a couple days, but hopefully won’t slow the fishing down too much. Back at it manana!  3 for 6

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
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