2018 Summer tarpon season is around the corner!

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Well we are into May and the tarpon fishing has been a little more up and down as of late.  I think we are in that spawning time where the fish can just get funny…  They start packing up and doing the ‘daisy chain’ thing, and can really get lock jaw!  Other times they seem to up and vanish out of some areas too.  But things should stabilize here again soon and as we get into the end of May it really starts to be my favorite time of year for tarpon fishing through early August.  The spawning stuff is over with and many of the resident fish settle into their haunts.  The weather is typically very stable, warm and calm, and no more late cold fronts.  You can really get dialed in on the bite where it’s a no brainer sometimes for weeks at a time.  Also most of the crowds are gone along with many of the out of town guides, so you aren’t dealing with a high level of competition or knuckle heads out there.

I’m pretty much all booked up through the end of May but have some availability still in June and of course July.  Both are great months traditionally 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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5/20/18 Fishing for Tarpon in May in Islamorada Florida

Got out with Jay, Dale, and Zack today for a full day trip.  Forecast looked a little gloomy another rainy day.  But our window to get over there it looked OK, we got some rain about half way back but it wasn’t too bad going with the wind.  We made the run into the ‘glades and found a good wad of tarpon again.  It was great fishing even better than the last couple days.  And the tarpon were there the entire time they didn’t disappear at all.  Actually got better as the day went on.  We ended up catching seven and jumped a couple others.  Hooked two double headers and landed both fish on the last one to finish the day!  Just epic fishing, plus several sharks too including some big lemons and blacktips.  Coming home we got drenched, but after having a day like that it didn’t put a damper on our mood at all.  Have the day off tomorrow but will be back at it Tuesday, hopefully can stock up on some bait.  Looks like more rain throughout the week but if the fish keep biting like this, doesn’t bother me at all!  7 for 9

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
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5/19/18 May Backcountry Fishing for tarpon in the Everglades

Got out with Ben and his dad Joe again for Day 2.  Lots of weather around in the AM but nothing in the bay or near where we were going.  But I figured we might get drenched at some point so we were prepared.  Got a good early start and got back there early.  Tons of fish.  They didn’t bite quite as well as you would’ve thought but overall still pretty good.  After 30 minutes or so we hooked one for Ben, then while fighting it Joe hooked one – double header!  We landed both fish and it was exciting!  After that we got a shark and then moved around a bit as we didn’t get much other tarpon action but still plenty of fish around.  We jumped one off at the next stop, and then moved again one other time and Joe got another one.  We also got a hammerhead shark and a big blacktip.  After that it looked like some rain was coming, we got a little drizzle but nothing too bad the major cell missed us.  But the tarpon seemed to dissappear.  We moved around and found a few closer into shore, but nothing like what we saw earlier.  Eventually we moved back out as we saw some more fish outside of us after an hour or so, and then eventually the whole slug of fish was back!   We worked at it and got one more tarpon as well as a big lemon shark.  After that we were running low on bait but we had some time left we had plenty of fish around but no more bites.  But overall great day again!  4 for 5

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
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5/18/18 May Backcountry Fishing Trip for Tarpon Florida

Got out with Ben and his dad Joe today for a full day tarpon fishing charter in Islamorada.  We headed deep into the ‘glades as I had a load of bait ready to roll.  It was nice and calm with a light southeasterly breeze.  We found a big load of tarpon where they were the last time I was there, but this time we got their a good 45 minutes earlier.  This move paid off as the bite often is done with by 9:30/10:00.  We got on them early and Ben caught a nice 40 lber to start the day.  Then it was dads turn he got two fish in the 30-45 lb range, and then capped it off with a nice 90 lber!  Ben also jumped one more fish that we missed.  After that it was about 9:45 and the tarpon just dissappeared!  It’s funny how quickly they can leave but they did.  After that we checked a few spots on the way home, saw tarpon in a couple of them but no love for us.  We tried around some channels as well but didn’t see any signs of tarpon.  So we tried to catch a few trout to end the day, caught one but then the catfish tore us up!  Anyways great day we got four tarpon, hopefully tomorrow is similar as I have these boys again.  4 for 5

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
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5/16/18 May Florida Keys Fishing for Tarpon

Got out with Peter and Jack today for a full day of fishing.  We ran deep into the everglades in search of tarpon.  Found a pile of them but it was a short lived thing.  We got there and had a bite right away that we missed.  After another move we hooked another that stayed on there and Jack landed a nice 30 lb tarpon!  Things seemed to die out after that, it’s funny when we pulled up it was like being in tarpon valhalla and within 30 minutes it was crickets.  Some of those areas they can come and go in a hurry.  Anyways after that we switched gears and caught some trout in one of the nearby creeks.  Then found some more trout, snapper, and spanish mackerel in the bay for the last hour on the way home.  1 for 2

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
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5/15/18 May Florida Keys Tarpon Fishing Charter

Got out for a 3/4 day today after the tarpon fishing in Islamorada, Florida Keys.  I had yesterday off and of course I heard the word that fishing was actually good for several guys around town yesterday.  We’d been picking away but it’d been a struggle to get a bite or two as of late.  I caught some fresh mullet early and put a good effort into getting ample bait to start the day, and we got out around 7 AM.  We hit the bridges where I’d been fishing as of late and where I heard there was good action yesterday.  But today it was not the case (of course).  Didn’t see much activity up top sighting fish, marked a few fish around the bridge itself laying on the bottom.  We gave it a good 45 minutes but no action at all, then tried out on the bayside where we had seen a fish roll but no love.  We did catch a few jack crevelle though.  The other two boats in the area left at that point as well.  I decided to bail and run out into the backcountry since we still had good time left being a 3/4 day trip.  We ran into a channel about 50 minutes away and checked it out, set up and within 5 minutes we had a nice tarpon on!  Not a huge one but a good 40 lber that fought well and we got boatside for some pictures.  After that we caught a small shark and then looked elsewhere as I hadn’t really seen any other signs of tarpon.  Next stop we caught a couple sharks, saw one tarpon roll on the tide change but no bite.  We then ran even further to catch the good start of the incoming tide off some of the mainland areas.  But no bites out there at all and didn’t see much, possibly marked a few swim under us but not really sure.  Continued with the run and gun and tried two more spots and fished them hard for about 20-30 minutes each, but no activity aside from another blacktip shark.  Got a couple phone calls from guys who stuck it out around the bridges and they said nothing was going on there, so at least I feel like we made the right move!  Glad to have gotten one, hopefully things will get easier here soon and a little more consistent.  Full day tomorrow I may make a run into the deeper ‘glades to see what’s going on way back there, I don’t think they have a specific target in mind so if it doesn’t happen may try some other things too.  1 for 1

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
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