2019 Islamorada Tarpon Season is here!

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September is here and this is official off season for us here in the Keys.  We just had a big scare from Hurricane Dorian, though it looks like we won’t be getting much at all from that storm.  I had 4 trips cancel this coming week, so I have some openings.  If you are looking to escape the path of the storm, maybe think about coming down here and going fishing.  I’m offering my discounted September fishing rates, and you can get a discount on a room as well.  I haven’t been out a whole lot as of late, but overall fishing still has been pretty good.  Tarpon still seems to be a little hit and miss, but there is very good snook and redfish fishing, among other things.

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.

***25% of all September Charter fees will go towards Hurricane Dorian relief in the Bahamas.  This is on top of the already discounted rates I offer, so come on down, get a great deal on fishing, and know you are helping people in desperate need too! ***

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
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9/17/19 September Backcountry Fishing in the Keys

Got out yesterday for a full day with my dad and a couple friends of his, Steve and Dana.  We mixed it up a bit, found some snook and redfish early on with the last trickle of incoming tide.  We did find some baby tarpon and my dad caught a nice juvenile we got to the boat but he jumped off before I could get him in the net, but had him on the leader for a while.  After that we caught a big old snook for Steve about a 17 lber, and nice cobia for Dana.  Not a whole lot doing after that though the water was super muddy as we had a hard west wind the day before.

I haven’t been fishing a whole lot else this week aside from a short half day several days ago.  The Contender was in the shop but I just got it back today so she’s ready for action.  But there have been a good number of tarpon out in the backcountry it appears.  Most my anglers have preferred mixing it up a bit though so I just haven’t really been concentrating on them.  But I have a lot of trips coming up after the weekend, so will probably spend a little time after the silver kings.  October is right around the corner, and that is probably the last good tarpon month we may have.  The conditions look ripe for a good fall bait run, in fact it seems to be starting a little bit already.  My favorite time of year to fish!  1 for 1

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
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9/10/19 September Fall Fishing in the Florida Keys

Snooks, reds, juvenile Goliath grouper, and juvenile tarpon for the slam! Fun fishing with Jacoby and Kellie. Blustery with a 20 mph wind today, but the fish didn’t mind too much. A few areas that had been good were mudded out, but we worked around and picked fish just about everywhere we stopped. No great numbers but steady action, we ended up well into double digits on snook and a strong handful of reds. At least it wasn’t blistering hot! Definetly a little bit of a bait run going on so fishing should stay pretty good I think. Fall is here, my favorite time of year to fish.  1 for 1

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
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9/8/19 September Florida Keys Tarpon Fishing

Got out for some fun fishing with my dad and our friend/marina worker Vic.  We were after snook for the most part and had some epic fishing for them, landing a bunch including a couple jumbos in the 36-37 inch range.  But we had a lot of tarpon busting around us too and we managed to cast and get one on a pinfish.  Dad did the job on a nice little 25 lber.  There were definitely some larger fish in the mix too and I think if you were really targetting them a bit more you would’ve had some activity.  September and October can be very good fishing, it almost felt to me like we were getting a touch of fall today as the air was a hair cooler and seemed to be a good amount of bait around back there.  Next week looks like a lot of northeast wind and I think with the hurricane last week and this northeast breeze, that may get the fall bait run started early for a bit.  1 for 2

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
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9/6/19 September Tarpon Fishing Islamorada

Well got out after having cancelled several trips this last week due to hurricane dorian.  We were unaffected here, though we did have a few fairly windy days that probably wouldn’t of been ideal for fishing.  But the last couple days were definitely much nicer.  I had Spencer and Becky down as well as Brandon who works at Bud n Marys who is friends with this couple.  We mixed it up and caught our bait first thing which was nice and easy.  We fished for redfish and snook most of the day, it was very good.  I was not expecting it to be so great as we had hard west wind for several days, and it was still blowing west though had let up slightly.  But the water wasn’t too dirty and we caught fish everywhere we went.  We did try for tarpon for the last hour and found a good school in a channel.  Ended up getting a couple bites, and Becky landed a nice 40 lber for a backcountry SLAM.  Looks like a calm weekend and then winds are back to east next week, should be alright for fishing!  1 for 2

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
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8/29/19 August Fishing for Tarpon in islamorada

Well I’ve had a few days off this week and spent some time up in Miami, and the few trips I did before that we didn’t really focus on tarpon as there had been some excellent snook/redfish fishing, and my anglers were all about catching fish.  Tarpon have still been just kind of hit and miss, you can definitely catch them but often have to really dedicate time to get a bite or two…  Today though we just were really doing snook/redfish stuff, but we saw some little guys in an area and got a few shots on them.  A couple of small 5-10 lbers we hooked a double header and landed both fish, but just got one up for a picture.  It worked out great as we were doing an article for Florida Sportsman, and we also caught probably 30 snook (including 3 that were jumbo 15-20 lbers!), maybe 10 redfish, and a handful of snapper, ladyfish, jacks, and trout.  Just awesome fishing especially on a day when you can use it for something like that.  2 for 3

Also as far as this hurricane dorian goes – the keys should be fine.  East coast of florida… not so much.  We are on the ‘good’ side of the storm (southwestern side).  This means we’re not going to get the heavy wind/surge, so even if this thing ends up hitting closer in Miami/homestead, it really doesn’t look like it’ll do a whole lot here.  But right now all signs point to hitting closer to somewhere between palm beach and central florida area.  Probably be a couple of wet days with some 20-25 mph winds, so maybe not the greatest fishing conditions but nothing crazy.  In the long run it’ll probably be good for our fishing as it’ll help lower salinity in the bay with all the rain, and keep things a bit cooler with the wind/clouds/rain as we get into some of the hottest months of the year.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
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