2019 Islamorada Tarpon Season is here!

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Just had a last minute cancellation for July 24th and July 25th, if anyone wants to go fishing let me know! (It is lobster mini season, however no lobster people to worry about in the Everglades where I fish!) 

July is here!  This is usually one of my best months for catching tarpon in numbers here in Islamorada…  Not always the big monsters, but many in the 20-60 lb range that are residents that live here all year long.  Spawning is done and these fish are moving back into the bays and ready to feed.  As of now I’ll say it’s been fair fishing the last couple weeks – we’ve had a few days that I’d call good (getting 5 or more bites), but many where we’ve been fishing for two or three bites a trip.  Still OK, but not quite the red hot fishing we had last year at this time (where we often were getting double digit bites).  It definitely could still be coming, I kind of feel like we’re overdue for a good window of ‘easy’ fishing where things are like clockwork for us with the bait and tarpon cooperating.  This really can happen anytime, we had stellar fishing in September last year.  August and October can be very good as well.  It’s fishing you never know unless you go – but just don’t think it’s too late to catch tarpon here in the Florida Keys.

New boat is in service now!  She’s running great and catching lots of fish.  Very fast, comfortable, and roomy for my clients.  I’ll update boat info when I get some time been so busy it’s tough to keep up.  Read/see more about the new Contender Bay Boat here!

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
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7/18/19 Fishing Report for Tarpon in July in Islamorada

Fun day 2 with Chris and company today. We went after the silver king again. Bait was a little easier this AM, back on an incoming tide cycle early which has been easier on bait catching early. We found tarpon in the same area, got in a good spot and we jumped a couple soon after then got one to stick for Tiffany. A few sharks after that and we moved. Got Chris one after that a nice 40lb tarpon. After that we picked up and checked an area where we found some tarpon yesterday. Got into a big school of them rolling 10 at a time! Sometimes though it isn’t always a good thing to see quite that many. Luckily we hooked up almost instantly and AJ got his tarpon! After that though the sharks are us alive and the poons seemed to settle down and quite showing, I think the bulk of them had moved on. We rain elsewhere, and found some big balls of bait and caught a bit more. Saw a few tripletail that we tried to mess with but as soon as we got set up we really didn’t see anymore and it was overcast. We tried a nearby spot and got a nice goliath grouper. Then the sun came out and we caught a few tripletails on the way home. Off for a couple days and back at it Sunday!  3 for 5

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
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7/17/19 July Backcountry Tarpon Fishing Report

Fun day with Peyton, Brian, and Lorrie. We were able to get bait yesterday afternoon, that’d been a little tough in the mornings lately. But tides are getting better for that early so hopefully it’ll change. Still a good bit of wind. We found tarpon early on. Not a whole ton of action out of them for us, but Peyton got his first one about a 50 lber. We caught a few sharks too. After that, we got a nice big 15 lb snook and dad Brian got a 50 lb Goliath grouper. Nice! We caught a few tripletails as well. Next stop we found a bunch more tarpon. They weren’t super happy though, but we did manage a couple bites but they just didn’t stay on the hook. But we had fun with a bunch of big blacktip sharks. Action packed day for sure! Back at it tomorrow then a couple days off.  1 for 3

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
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7/16/19 July Everglades Tarpon Fishing in Florida

Some days you just get lucky, or maybe it’s years of doing this? I had Ella, Delaney, lane, and dad Chris down for the day. We’ve had to work at fishing a bit the last week, been tough with the wind and hard on the bait too. I had a little bit of leftovers from last week for bait, we tried to catch some but struck out with that. So we went with what we had. We saw a few tarpon when we got in the area and set up. A few sharks to start. We saw a bit of activity way further out and we picked up and moved. Didn’t see much for signs of the silver king but between my eyes and the electronics we sat where I thought might be good. Sure enough within a few minutes a tarpon rolled right on top of our bait and Lane had a bite that we missed. A few more went by and the girls had the rods, they both hooked up soon after with a double header! They fought the fish well, maneuvering like pros around the boat. We got both fish up for nice pictures. After that we fished the rest of our bait hard, made one more move and dad got himself a tarpon! After that we were about out of bait. We decided to mix it up and tried fishing our artificials but didnt have a whole lot of luck with that. We did catch a few trout though. We found some more bait though and were able to load up for the next few days, as this crew had me again Thursday. Tried a couple spots for reds when the tide came in, but again not much luck with that either. But I’ll take 3 tarpon any day of the week!  3 for 4

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
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7/15/19 July Full Moon Tarpon Fishing in Islamorada

Went after some tarpon today on a 3/4 day trip.  Winds were honking a bit again for this time of year, and again looks like that trend will continue through the week.  Also coming up on the full moon tonight.  We found a good amount of tarpon right where we left them yesterday, however they were a little finicky today!  We did get bit to start off within 20 minutes or so, but the fish jumped at us and spit the bait right away.  After that we jumped around about 5 times, catching some sharks and such to keep us busy including some big lemons, blacktips and nurse sharks.  We were in tarpon every move, but they just didn’t want to play.  May have been the full moon, or the wind, or some combination of both.  But I always tell people booking ahead of time try and avoid right around the full moons as often it can make for tougher day time fishing as I think they feed more at night then.  However this was a more short notice trip so you have to work with what you got.  But we still were able to make it happen after a couple hours as the tide  quit and turned in, we jumped another tarpon and then a few minutes later the other rod went off and we hooked a nice 55 lber.  Got him in for pictures so that was great.  I thought they might feed more with the tide turning, but they kind of seemed to die out.  We had a few tarpon go by us again but no more bites and then didn’t see much.  Anyways at least there is a good group of them back there.  Hopefully they’ll be a little happier tomorrow we’ll see.  1 for 3

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
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7/14/19 July Fishing in the Florida Keys for Tarpon

Fantastic day with return customers Chris and his son Thiago. Winds were kicking a bit for this time of year, and looks like that’ll continue for a bit into next week. At least it was more southeasterly instead of the West wind we had last week. We found some tarpon early on where we first stopped which was nice. Had to move around to get lined up right, but soon Chris caught a nice 40 lber. Thiago got the next one about a 65 lber! A few blacktips and a nurse shark after that. As the tide quit, we jumped 1 more tarpon that came at us on the bite. Always harder to hook when they do that. We went for a ride after that since the tide was slacking. Checked a few other area but didn’t see a whole lot to get excited about. We went tripletailing after that. Saw a decent amount and caught a nice 10 lber to start! A couple other small ones, and the rest were very Leary about eating bait! They were looking at it but not committing. We saw a few more tarpon as we were looking so we gave that another whirl. Soon Thiago had another nice one on about a 70 lber that we landed. A bit later Chris got another good one about 60 lbs, we got the leader on and he got under the boat though. Quite a few more tripletails going by during that we had enough time to catch a couple more as they got happier. Did see about a 15 lber that didnt want to eat but got us very excited! After that called it a day. So great fishing hopefully the tarpon stick around a bit longer.  4 for 6

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
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