Tarpon Season 2017

So March is almost over and we’ve been fortunate enough to have a fairly good ‘early season’ run of tarpon.  With the extremely mild winter, we’ve had a handful of fish in some spots since early February.  It wasn’t red hot fishing but if you put a little time in, you could get a bite or two on the right days.  Those days being when the water was in the mid to high 70 degree range, and hopefully not blowing too hard.  March has gotten a little better, though mid-march we had a very hard cold front hit us that cooled water temps back down into the low 60s and had them stay low for close to a week or so.  It was perfect timing for me as I was taking a week off to celebrate the birth of my son, Felix!  Anyways right when I got back, things had started to warm back up and the last couple weeks of March we’ve had even better fishing.  As I write this I’d say we are just about in ‘full swing’ of tarpon season, with many fish having showed up in the backcountry in the last week, as well as plenty of fish in many of the local channels and around the bridges in the last few days too.

I imagine April should be a very good month… last year our early spring fishing was very up and down.  We had very unpredictable wind that would change direction every few days, a lack of bait that normally shows up (I’m talking the humongous balls of silver mullet we normally see), and nasty water to contend with (red weed, algae).  Fish were around last year, but many days they were very uncooperative… not responding to our usual tactics, or teasing us with ‘cheap shots’ or flashing on baits and not eating them.  But this year the bait so far seems to be showing up very well, the winds have been steadier out of the east (aside from a few late fronts), and the algae water has really cleared out and red weed hasn’t been near as much a problem as in years past.  I can say through the month of March, I’ve caught as many fish as I did last year in the same month, but in half the amount of days fishing.  And we’ve 4 more days to go still.  I’ve had years when it’s better early on, but after last year I’m very pleased with the start so far.

As far as bookings go, I’m already all booked up through about the third week of June.  July has a few more openings, and August is fairly wide open.  The summer months can still be very good fishing (often June and July are some of my overall best months, numbers wise).  Normally I’d have more trips available the next couple months, but I’m not doing any night trips this year due to having a child.  I may do a few short notice when my schedule allows and conditions look good, so don’t be afraid to ask.  If I can’t take you, I’m happy to give referrals.  Drop me a line if you are interested in going tarpon fishing in Islamorada!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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4/22/17 April Tarpon Fishing in Islamorada Full Day Trip

Got out with Darrel again today we had similar conditions as yesterday with a hard east breeze and a bit of rain around.  We managed to stay away from the nasty weather for the most part though.  We ran out into the backcountry, had to look around but found some tarpon.  They weren’t in the same area as the last few times, but we managed a couple bites early on and caught one.  Funny because yesterday they didn’t bite early and did later on.  After that we never had another tarpon bite, but caught lots of sharks.  We moved a few times and did see a few fish later in the day but no action.  That was all she wrote we caught some bait on the way home and are suppose to fish a half day tomorrow morning, but looks like nasty weather so not sure if we will get out or not.  1 for 2

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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4/21/17 Everglades full day tarpon fishing in April

Got out with return customer Darrel Brock today, the first of his 3 days fishing with me.  We caught bait yesterday afternoon good so I had that going for us.  We left early and got out into the backcountry, the ride wasn’t too bad though it was windy with a hard east breeze.  Once we got back there it was nice the first couple hours, then got a little rough but not really too bad for a larger boat like mine.  We found the tarpon right off the bat though they didn’t really bite at first.  We moved several times and tried a few different tactics, then after a couple hours we finally jumped one.  After that we ended up getting 3 more bites, catching a 30 lber, a 60 lber, and 100 lber, along with about 25 blacktip sharks!  It was good action and nice to see the fish biting a little bit.  Funny as soon as it got a little nastier the fish started biting!  The ride home was a little rougher, but really only bad for a little bit.  I think tomorrow we may try the same plan of attack, sunday we have a half day so will definitely be fishing local then.  Hopefully they cooperate!  3 for 4

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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4/20/17 April Tarpon Fishing Half Day Islamorada

Got out with Anton and his son and father today down from Boston.  Fishing was tough we had high winds blowing 25 out of the east.  The hard winds have the tides kind of messed up… You try to go somewhere based on the tide table and the tide/current is not doing what it is suppose to.  The hard winds have it backed up.  We tried some of the local channels early and found some fish but they were unresponsive.  The tide was coming in early on for the first 30 minutes or so then quit, but never really started falling it just stayed kind of slack the next couple hours everywhere we went it seemed.  We tried by the bridges and I had heard a couple fish were caught there first thing this morning, but by 8:45 when we got down there, the bite was done with.  We tried back up near home, and still had slack water in the channels and never had a bite but did catch a few sharks.  The tide was then coming in again under the bridge when we came home, very weird as I said it never seemed to fall at all!  Anyways looks like it’ll still be a little windy over the weekend, and MAYBE sunday it’ll lay down.  One can only hope!  0 for 0

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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4/19/17 April Tarpon Fishing in Islamorada

Got out with Frank and Julie today.  Tarpon weren’t the big target so we did some light tackle stuff early on.  Found some trout but only one big enough to keep, and then got into a few nice snappers around the islands for dinner.  We went out and tried for tarpon/shark the last hour of the day.  Found some way out in the backcountry though it was very rough!  We fished for a bit and had only shark bites, then saw one bust out another quarter mile so moved out there.  Julie ended up getting a small guy of about 40 lbs, though we got the leader to the rod tip and he popped off for a technical release though no good pictures.  Anyways was glad to end if with some good action.  Have a half day tarpon trip tomorrow so will be fishing around town.  1 for 1

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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4/16/17 April Tarpon Fishing Full Day Charter

Got out with Aaron and Britney today they also had another couple fishing alongside with Capt. Jim Willcox.  We ran into the backcountry but it wasn’t an easy day.  We got out where we had good tarpon fishing a couple days ago, and should of had the start of a nice falling tide.  However with the extreme winds and weird tide cycle, we had almost no current for the first couple hours, and that always makes for tough fishing!  We moved around and eventually caught a couple sharks, but didn’t see much for tarpon life except a couple random jumpers.  We tried the channels later in the day, Capt. Jim ended up having 1 bite though they lost him, and all we had was a few more shark bites.  Tough day after the day we had on Friday I thought today would’ve been a home run, but with the tough conditions things got cold quick.  Hopefully it’ll get better, not booked tomorrow still but have had a couple people ask so might get out there.  0 for 0

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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