2016 Summer time Tarpon Fishing

We’re into August and getting near the end of our busy season here in the Florida Keys.  Many guides start slowing down in July a lot, which I myself do as well.  Though I am usually still getting out 5 days a week and keep as busy as I want (you can’t go every day all year long!).  By the end of August though things start to really slow down and September is our slowest month of the year for sure, where you are happy to get out a couple days a week.  That being said fishing can still be good through the ‘off season’ as many of our fish can be caught all year round given the right conditions, including tarpon.  Some of the pluses of fishing in the off season are that you have the place to yourself, there isn’t a lot of pressure on the fishery, and its usually good conditions for the most part (light winds, warm weather) for many of our species.  Though some of the minuses are many of the migratory fish (tarpon what I’m thinking of mostly) are well gone so you are fishing for the residents and there just won’t be as many numbers around, guides also aren’t out fishing every day so you often don’t have that knowledge of where they were biting yesterday. Continue reading

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8/23/16 August Islamorada Tarpon Fishing Report

Got out today for some tarpon at first we were going to try for snook, but the bait wasn’t very cooperative so we bailed on that plan.  We were able to still catch some mullet a little later in the morning after that.  Fished the last of the incoming tide around flamingo and had a few fish around but they didn’t bite.  When the tide quit we ran to some other channels and the fish were in their pretty good.  We saw several roll and bust as we stopped and set up.  Eventually we hooked a nice 75 lber that we landed.  After that the fish seemed to have moved on we caught a couple little sharks.  Moved the the channel and saw a few more rolling but no bites just a few more little sharks.  Kept moving down and caught a few more sharks and eventually saw some more fish rolling.  We moved a couple more times and eventually got another bite catching a nice 90 lb fish.  After that we went off the beaches and caught some big lemon sharks and a couple other things.  Good to see a decent amount of fish though they weren’t super happy as I would’ve guessed we would of had at least a couple more bites, but glad we made both count!  2 for 2

 Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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8/20/16 Late august islamorada tarpon fishing report

Well I went from hero to zero today things were very tough.  Had the same crew from yesterday.  We caught bait early not super easy but was able to put enough together.  We ran out to the beaches where the fish were yesterday though this morning they were not to be seen… We searched all up and down and didn’t see much.  Did finally see one roll as we were leaving the area and another free jump, so we set up.  Though after 40 minutes we never had a sniff of anything and didn’t see much else.  It stinks when you go all that way and then don’t find ’em, kind of like the kiss of death as you have to backtrack to other spots to fish.  Anyways we then were going to try to snook fish but the bait wasn’t really catchable for what we needed plus that had been tough too and the water didn’t look nice in the creeks, so we kept on after tarpon.  Tried the channels we did see a few in the first spot, but only for a minute and no bite just a few sharks.  Worked our way towards flamingo and hit a few other channels, though not much of anything except a sting ray.  Then ran back to some other areas to catch the start of the incoming tide and caught a few more sharks, and finally saw a couple tarpon roll on a spot but alas no bite out of them.  Not sure where they all went but it looked like a nice calm day that they should’ve loved…  Anyways glad we had such a good day on the previous trip.  Seems to be the story of this year though as I can think of several times where we had a banner day and thought we were dialed in and then had very tough fishing the next day. Hopefully tomorrow will be better!  0 for 0

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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8/19/16 August Tarpon Fishing in Islamorada

Got out today for some tarpon we caught the last trickle of incoming tide this morning and were able to load up on mullet.  We looked around hard for fish and didn’t find any in the first 3 stops… was looking like it might be one of those days!  But eventually we stumbled into a pack deep in one of the channels in the everglades.  We jumped around several times and finally got one to eat that we caught.  We also caught several sharks.  After that we ran off the beaches to take a look as it was nice and calm until that point, though the wind did start blowing once we got there.  We found some tarpon free jumping and busting and were able to get in on them with the tide already starting back in.  However they didn’t make it easy we moved around again several times and caught some big blacktip sharks, then finally we saw a couple roll and got in front of them and caught 1 soon after a nice 75 lb fish.  After that it was almost the end of the day but we managed to get one more fish of 50 lbs or so to the boat before he jumped off for a technical release.  Anyways like I said we had to work for it but had a great day!  Back at it tomorrow.  3 for 3

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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8/17/16 Islamorada Half Day Tarpon Report

Well got out today I’ve had quite a few days off and a few days of just random rod bending.  Fishing had been a little tough overall the last couple weeks with the water getting very hot, still hard south breezes, and a few algae blooms in the backcountry to worry about.  Today we were suppose to fish all day but we cut it to a half due to weather, had to wait until 7:30 or so until we could get out.  I went under the bridge and found quite a few mullet getting blown up so I grabbed the net and we caught 15 or so.  Then we saw some tarpon rolling close by in a local channel so we gave it a shot.  Ended up getting a couple bites and getting one fish to the boat for a technical release before he threw the hook.  Anyways a nice easy ‘give me’ on a nasty weather day.  We finished the morning on the patches catching a few snapper, porgy, and a nice hogfish.  I’m fishing the next several days and a couple more before going out of town around the 26th for a week or so.  1 for 2

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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8/8/16 Florida Keys Tarpon Fishing Report in August

We got out today but only got to fish for a little bit the weather got us unfortunately.  We made the run back into the backcountry this morning and caught some bait on the way.  It looked nice when we left on the radar.  Though by the time we got back there there was weather brewing close to home and blew up into a huge frontal line that took a while to go over the bay, with more coming behind it.  Anyways we got to fish for an hour or so, where we found tarpon yesterday and they were there.  But today they were not happy we could not entice a strike.  Hopped around several times but no dice.  We tried to go out and around the weather towards the gulf side but it kept building, so we had to hide in Flamingo for a while until it passed.  After it did there was more weather coming so we just bolted home and turned it into a half day trip.  Stinks when you have to do that it is pretty uncommon but today was just one of those days.  0 for 0

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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8/7/16 August Tarpon fishing Florida Keys

Got out in the backcountry august tarpon fishing in islamorada with Steve, Steve, and Michael down from Texas.  They fished with me last year we had stellar fishing for both days then.  Today I told them things weren’t quite what they were last year which has been true.  Luckily we got on bait early, had to make a few throws but loaded up nice on mullets.  The flamingo tarpon fishing was pretty good we found fish in the first channel we stopped.  Caught one right away and then caught another one after that, big bruiser at 100 lb or so.  The latter one took about a 45 minute fight!  Afterwards the tide had switched and started to fall we had a couple more shark bites and landed a nice lemon shark.  We ran out to check off the beaches though not much for tarpon life out there we caught several sharks and that was it.  Finished the day trying to catch a few trout for dinner but didn’t have much luck, we found a handful of trout and ladyfish and that was it.  Anyways great day always very glad to get a couple poons!  Back at it tomorrow.  2 for 2

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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8/5/16 Everglades Tarpon Fishing in August

Got out today for some tarpon fishing in the everglades.  We left early at 6 AM and caught our bait on the way.  The mullet were swarming which is a good sign, lots of bait around throughout the day.  We fished some areas where I had seen some tarpon the previous days.  The tide was just starting to fall and it was very muddy from the heavy south winds plus the torrential rain a couple days ago that stirred things up.  Some tarpon started to roll but weren’t very happy.  After 45 minutes or so we finally got a bite but he didn’t stay buttoned.  We moved around later and saw tarpon at the next stop but no bites there.  We did catch a monster 350 lb goliath grouper which was very cool and a lemon shark.  Not much after that so we ran up inside the channel further.  A few tarpon were showing on the edge of the flat and eventually we got one on the line.  This time he stayed on there and we landed a nice 50 lber.  We also got a few blacktip sharks and bonnet head sharks.  After the tide quit we moved back out to the channel mouths, but no more luck with tarpon just a couple more sharks and it was time to go home.  Not easy fishing but we got what we were after so that is always good.  Tarpon fishing in August in the Florida Keys will hopefully get better the winds started to subside this afternoon, and the next few days look very calm!  1 for 2

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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8/3/16 August tarpon fishing in the Florida Keys

Tough fishing today we had torrential downpours for hours early in the morning, though it did dry up by the time we left the dock.  Anyways the water temperatures dipped down to the low 80s, which sounds plenty warm but when it goes from being 88 degrees to that, the fish can act funny.  Plus the salinity of the water changes and can often get ‘mudded out’ in certain areas.  Anyways we didn’t see much for tarpon early I fished several different areas and scouted several others just hoping to see some rolling.  Eventually around 10:00 we finally saw one but no bite, we caught a few sharks.  Finally we caught the tide change and a handful of fish did start showing though they were doing the ‘high tail slap’ where they slap the water and just look like they are not happy.  Which they were we couldn’t get them to respond at all, though we did start catching plenty of blacktip sharks.  Anyways tough day hopefully now that the rain/weather is gone things will get a little better.  Hopefully the wind will lay down and another strong push of fish will show up before September!  0 for 0

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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7/30/16 + 8/1/16 August tarpon fishing in Islamorada

7/30/16 We got out early for some tarpon fishing.  I had some leftover bait so we were in good shape on that front.  The bait hasn’t been easy to get first thing in the morning, later on the incoming tide though there has been tons around.  So we often need to spend a little time later in the trip to resupply.  Anyways we caught 1 nice tarpon early around flamingo, had to move around a little but found a small group of fish in one of the channels.  Also caught some lemon sharks, rays, and blacktips.  After the tide turned we fished some other channels and found a good load of tarpon.  We caught another one a nice big 80 lb fish ( the other being 60ish).  Plus plenty more blacktips sharks.  And that was about the day we caught a little more bait before heading home for the following day.  2 for 2

8/1/16 – Today was very similar to yesterday though the winds started howling, blowing a solid 25 mph by late morning.  We found the tarpon in the same area as yesterday morning.  We ended up catching a couple and losing one more, plus plenty of sharks again including blacktips, lemon, and bonnetheads.  After the tide quit we tried to catch a few trout for dinner but with the ripping winds the bay was very muddy and not much activity doing that so we called it a day.  Anyways another great day landing a couple tarpon!  2 for 3

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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7/29/16 Late July Florida Keys Tarpon Fishing

Went way into the backcountry since it was slick calm this morning and fished off the beaches.  Mullet were thick we must’ve caught close to 100 in a couple throws!  We didn’t see much for tarpon way out off the beaches.  Very strange this year it hasn’t gotten very good like it was for almost all of June and July last year.  A few days here and there but not much consistently though it was very windy for several weeks which is likely a big factor.  Today we looked hard and eventually saw a fish bust and ran close by and a few were rolling in the area.  Once we got positioned right we had bites pretty quick, unfortunately they didn’t stay buttoned.  We jumped one off, had one steal a bait, and had the line break on another.  Just one of those days!  The sharks ate us up and we caught plenty of them.  Eventually after jumping around a couple times we got one tarpon to stick that we landed though he pulled off with the leader in hand.  Anyways after that it dried up we tried another area and more shark activity.  1 for 4

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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