2018 Summer tarpon season is around the corner!

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So June is half way over at this point.  I’ve got on to a pretty stellar tarpon bite here in the last week luckily.  We’ve been having to make a good run and usually get up a little earlier than usual, but it’s been paying off.  With the light, calm, southeasterly winds the conditions have been good for it and at this point look to remain that way for another week or so.  So I’ll be continuing to recommend that to my clients.  Other than that it’s still been slim pickings.  The local ‘around town’ fishing has not been very good, there have been a few fish but they are picking feeders – you usually must be there very early or near sunset, and also the sargasm and other sea weeds has been horrendous making it just down right tough to fish.  I’m usually not fishing much around town at this time of year anyhow.  Many of the other backcountry areas haven’t been very consistent either.  Funny because many of them look gorgeous with nice pretty water and it has that ‘summer time’ feel with a lot of bait around.  Usually I am getting on them like clockwork and you know right where you are going to go in the morning and catch a few, but most of these other spots it has just not been the case.  Hopefully that will change here soon and we will get a good later push in July.  I will say a few years ago we had a little tougher fishing in June and July, and we had a pretty epic October/early november with the fall bait run of tarpon.  Anyhow time will tell.

I have days available in July still which can be a very good month for tarpon in the everglades.  June often is too for tarpon, June is often my biggest month with numbers, and July can be right up there too.  At those times we are often fishing for our resident ‘summer time’ fish which on average aren’t quite as big (in the 30 to 80 lb range, rather than the 60 to 120 lbs spring time fish).  However you can usually catch them in a much shorter amount of time, and this means the chances of catching multiple fish is much greater as you aren’t spending a lot of time fighting one fish when the others are hungry!  Also there is much less pressure on the fish as its a bit less busy, and many guides are starting to focus on other things.  August can still be good too especially the early part of it.  Of course every year is different, but I will say summer time is my favorite time of year for tarpon fishing.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
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6/17/18 Fathers Day Fishing Trip in Islamorada

Took the old man out today and our friend Ron Modra for some fun fishing.  We ran deep into the ‘glades early on.  Caught some bait on the way.  Found the tarpon back there.  They didn’t really bite yesterday but today they did… strange.  Winds were a little more easterly instead of south maybe that helped.  Anyways lots of small guys.  Ron caught a small 15 lber, we got to the boat but then he jumped off but had the leader for a release.  Then we jumped a couple more.  My dad hooked a nice 25 lber himself on light tackle which was lots of fun that we got up for a picture since he was small enough.  We then jumped one more fish and then that was about all she wrote.  The tarpon seemed to disappear by 8:30 or so, so not too long of a bite.  We caught some other bait and found a good pack of snook on the way home along with some trout and jacks.  We then found a few triple tail where we had seen some yesterday and there were a few tarpon there too but not as many as yesterday.  Though I had some better reports from other areas too so I think a lot of the summer time fish are showing up in the usual haunts which is a good thing.  Those areas had been pretty dry as of late which is why I’ve been making this longer run but will be nice to have some fish closer.  Back at it tomorrow with Sarah and Barry for Day 2.  2 for 5

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
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Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing

P.S. Again small tarpon under 40 inches we are allowed to lift out of the water for a picture, but we make sure to lift them carefully and not wipe off slime, don’t drop them on the deck, get a quick picture, and release them healthily swimming to battle another day.

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6/16/18 June Tarpon Fishing Islamorada

Got out with my regulars Sarah and Barry who are over from Scotland.  We did the early morning deep everglades run as I told him it’d been very good the last several days.  Unfortunately today though it was a different ball game!  There were a few fish back there – nothing like what we saw yesterday though.  We moved a few times and I thought we’d of gotten a bite, but they did not want to play.  We hooked several sharks and sting rays and that was it.  After a couple hours I figured it wasn’t gonna happen.  We back tracked and caught a few trout and jacks on our light gear.  Then we found a few tarpon in one of the channels that I normally fish in the summer time.  This was good to see we caught a nice 60 lber for Sarah and some triple tails as well and a few more sharks.  I had seen one roll in the channel yesterday so I figured it might be worth it to take a look.  This is good news and hopefully it means some summer time fish will get in their usual haunts.  Funny how quickly things can change back there though.  1 for 1

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
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6/15/18 June Full Day Tarpon Fishing Islamorada

Got out with Ross, Mike, and Jordan today for a full day of tarpon fishing.  They were part of a large group down from Massachusetts who have fished here before.  My guys wanted tarpon and were good to go a little early so we did that.  We headed out and caught some bait on the way plus had a few live ones we brought.  Fishing was pretty epic about as good as it gets.  Tarpon everywhere and the boys each caught one in the first 20 minutes it was kinda crazy.   I honestly lost count of bites but it was up there, I think we landed about 8 or so that we got on the leader anyways and probably lost another 8 or so.  We also had some big sharks and even had a shot at a permit floating by.  Made a cast with a crab but he was uninterested.  Permit can show up in the gulf waters where we find tarpon often in the summer.  Anyways it was a fantastic morning and we wrapped things up around 9:30 AM as we had caught enough.  Don’t know how much longer this will last but it’s been really good.  I hope that some of the other areas get a little better soon, I think in July they will.  But will keep sticking with this for the time being!  8 for 16

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

P.S. Again this are small tarpon under 40 inches so we are allowed to lift them up for a quick picture.  We don’t let them hit the deck or wipe their slime off, and drop them back in the water revived quickly for a healthy release afterwards.

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6/14/18 June Tarpon Fishing Full Day Florida Keys

Got out for the last day with Ron and Charlie.  We opted for the deep ‘glades run again because it’s been the best thing going for me lately.  Today we were lucky it got even better than yesterday, seems like each day has been better and better!  We had a few boats ahead of us there, I think it was the last day of a fly tournament.  But we stopped in on some fish away from everybody.  Put our lines out for a bit but didn’t get a bite at first stop.  We looked inside where one of the fly guys had left, and didn’t see anything really.  We went back out where we were, and then we were surrounded by fish!  It got pretty fast and furious and we kind of lost track of things.  But we ended up getting three tarpon to the hand, and a couple more to the leader that jumped off or pulled the hooks but got technical releases on.  We also got a big 12 lb snook which was awesome.  Had a double header tarpon as well as the snook and tarpon at the same time.  Unfortunately one of the tarpon on the double came off boatside so we couldn’t get the pic.  Anyways just crazy good action, so much fun!  When the tide turned I think we jumped one more tarpon off and then the sharks moved in.  Big lemon sharks.  The tarpon were pretty much gone then, we looked around for a lap but didn’t see much.  We finished the day catching a bunch of trout on our artificials.  Tomorrow I have a group trip so it’ll be standard departure time and I don’t think I’ll be doing this, will be good to give them a break for a day I think.  But likely back at it Saturday with my regular customers Sarah and Barry who are down from across the pond in Scotland.  Great way to end three days with Ron and Charlie, I think they might be spoiled now though!  5 for 11

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

P.S. Again all tarpon pictured are under 40 inches so we are allowed to pick them up for photographs.  Though of course we are very careful to not wipe off slime, drop them on boat, and release them healthily to fight again another day.

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6/13/18 June Everglades Tarpon Fishing in the Florida Keys

Got out for Day 2 with Ron and Charlie today.  We opted to do the early morning deep run again.  The forecast was a little nastier, but it was a pleasant ride back and we didn’t get any weather while we were back there thankfully.  Not quite as many tarpon as yesterday but we did find an area with some there.  Mostly smaller guys.  We did not get a bite at our first stop, we did have some fish rolling around our baits.  I did get a little nervous as it’s usually been easy to get bit right away.  Anyways after some time we moved around, and gave it a bit longer.  We finally did jump a fish that just didn’t stay on the hooks.  After that we moved again and then Ron caught one so that was good.  We moved again after that and then the tide changed for us.  Then we had a good little rally where we had 4 bites in about a 40 minute window.  Charlie had one on for a few minutes that jumped and threw the hook.  We likely could’ve chased him down for a ‘technical’ release but it wasn’t a big guy so I was hoping we’d get another one while we waited.  Luckily we did get a few more bites and he landed one and we missed a couple more on the hookup.  After that then they seemed to kind of disappear.  We reloaded on our bait fish and tried a bit more before we headed out.  We hooked a monster bull shark that was about 300 lbs, we got a decent glimpse of him before he broke off.  So anyways great fishing again and funny how it changes.  We started off sweating it a little bit, but ended up getting more bites then I’ve had in the last three weeks or so.  I think we will be back there again tomorrow unless we have a weather issue, most other reports locally and in the backcountry haven’t been great.  2 for 6

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

P.S. We normally do not pick tarpon up out of the water, however smaller fish like these that are under 40 inches you are allowed to remove for a picture.  We always try to make sure that we don’t drop them, wipe off any slime or drag them on the deck, and revive them somewhat so they kick off healthily.

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