The end of ‘Tarpon Season’ and my tarpon totals for 2016

With tarpon season being over for a little while, please follow my other blog fishingislamorada.com for daily fishing reports through the next few months.

So it’s late November and I’m officially calling ‘tarpon season’ over for the most part.  The last couple weeks I have been mostly fishing for other things.  There had still been a few tarpon around but the water has been in the low 70 degree range which they aren’t really exactly happy in, though you could still have had a chance at catching them.  Though personally I think it’s kind of like spinning your wheels when there are so many other good fisheries that we have here.  We had our first real cold front a few days ago and the water dipped down into the 60s and now the tarpon seem more or less gone, aside from a handful of little guys and residents.  You can expect the next few months to not be a great time in general for tarpon.  We usually start catching a few sometime in February when things start to warm back up, but of course the weather dictates how that goes.  If we are still having severe cold fronts through February then it will be later, but if its calm & warm it can be game on.  That is also true of the next few months – if the winds lay out and the water jumps up to the high 70s, tarpon can show up overnight.  But I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.  March is usually when it really starts to get consistent again… Continue reading

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11/4/16 November Florida Keys Tarpon Fishing

Still plenty of tarpon in the backcountry but they aren’t biting super great.  We gave it a good try this morning, we did manage a couple bites out of them eventually after moving three times.  But they didn’t want to stay on the hook for us unfortunately.  We did see plenty of smaller tarpon further inland while snook fishing, but never had a response on our pilchards or shrimp.  Anyways tomorrow I have a half day and sunday i’m off, so maybe if it is still right I’ll try again some next week.  0 for 2

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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11/3/16 November Tarpon Fishing in Islamorada

Haven’t been tarpon fishing much this week we’ve had some extreme winds and such.  We have seen some fish in the canals while we were snook fishing.  Today the wind laid down a bit and we were able to get out on the beach to fish in the afternoon.  The tarpon were out there and we caught one fairly quickly in the last hour of our day.  We also got a small one while snook fishing on a live pilchard.  Anyways they may still be catch able for a while until we get a real hard cold front.  May give ’em a try again tomorrow!  2 for 2

 Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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10/30/16 Late October Tarpon Fishing in South Florida

Got out with Jon Patten today and his boys. We were mostly targeting snook and redfish and had a decent day with them getting into the double digits overall.  At the end of the day though we found some small tarpon busting in one of the creeks.  We drifted shrimp to them and were able to get a few strikes.  Ended up jumping 3 of them and getting 1 to the boat before he jumped and cut us off nearby.  Anyways still some tarpon around and it is definitely possible to catch one as long as it stays warm.  Out all this next week so maybe I’ll have some more to report!  1 for 4

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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10/22/16 October Tarpon Fishing in the Everglades

More tarpon action today.  The fish were not as visible as they’ve been several days before.  Though we saw a handful show themselves and were able to get in on them.  Had to move around a couple times.  Though we had three bites and caught two fish, smaller guys in the 25-40 lb range.  We jumped off a larger fish too.  A handful of sharks and also caught a big redfish which was a nice surprise.  Another great day.  Not fishing tomorrow and then I am open all next week if anybody wants to go fishing.  I think the next few nights it will be a little chillier, but not suppose to get very cold.  The tarpon may not mind at all, I’ll be able to talk to a few other guys who will be out there.  Drop me a line!  2 for 3

Note: We normally do not pick tarpon up out of the water as it is unhealthy for larger fish supporting their weight like that, flopping on the deck and wiping slime off, etc…  and is also now illegal in Florida.  However tarpon under 40 inches you are allowed to (which this one was) as they aren’t so massive as to injure themselves by holding them out of the water and you can keep them from flopping all over and wiping their slime off by supporting them properly like so.

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Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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10/21/16 October Tarpon Fishing in Islamorada

Fished back in the everglades today again.  The fall bait run is still in full swing and the tarpon are still very happy.  We caught some extra mullet on the way but still had some leftover bait from the previous days.  We caught three tarpon and a few sharks and then left to do some other stuff.  I must say it is still going strong but we are suppose to be getting some cold weather Saturday.  Not very cold but it may turn things off a bit.  But it’s been the best fishing we have had all year in September and October – go figure!  3 for 4

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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10/20/16 Florida Keys October Tarpon Fishing Report

Got out with Ross and his dad Frank today and we went after the tarpon in the backcountry.  They were still there and happy.  We ended up catching a couple and then had another on that we fought for a bit but he threw the hook on a jump a ways from the boat.  We also caught plenty of sharks and finished the day with some mangrove snappers.  The fishing is still great.  Hopefully it’ll last through the cold front that is hitting us Saturday, not suppose to get very cold but could be enough to shuffle the deck on us.  2 for 3

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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10/19/16 Florida Keys Tarpon Fishing in October

Got out today with long time client Jeff Godlewski.  Jeff normally brings a big corporate group down in the spring, but was here by himself for a quick work trip so he came to see me.  We got out early and luckily still had some good bait from the other day.  We found the tarpon in the same general area and set up.  We soon hooked a nice 70 lb fish that Jeff landed, he put on quite a show!  We moved around a bit and then we hooked another one close to the same size maybe 60 lbs though.  He came in much quicker though.  After that we tried for a bit longer but no more luck, so we tried some other things and caught a handful of snook and some nice mangrove snappers for dinner.  Another fabulous day fishing here in Islamorada in October.  Looks like we may get a cold front this weekend, not gonna get super cold but may be enough to turn the tarpon off for a little while…  Anyways will probably try it again the next couple days and then not booked for a little bit so look me up if you wanna go fishing next week.  2 for 2

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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10/17/16 + 10/18/16 Everglades Tarpon Fishing October

Got out with Paul and Josh down from british columbia for a couple days.  Winds were cranking north/northeast both days, the first day was blowing 25 for a while, today it wasn’t quite as bad but picked up in the afternoon but still a solid 15-20 mph.  Anyways we ended up giving tarpon a good try both days.  The first day they each hooked one in the morning, the fish weren’t biting great but we moved several times and fooled a couple.  One fish we got to the boat very quick and he darted off again and pulled the hook, the other we jumped off straight away.  Anyways good enough for a technical release but still felt like we left empty handed.  We did catch a few sharks though.  We finished that day bending the little rods with various critters.  We crushed the big black mullets on the way home which was a nice find.  The next day we caught pilchards in the morning and also had the mullets from the afternoon before.  We tried some snook way in the backcountry, not much luck with them and no tarpon in that area surprisingly.  So we ran back down the beach and found some tarpon busting where they were the day before.  The guys wanted to try that again so we gave it a good effort.  Josh was rewards with a big blacktip shark, and a big 12 lb snook which was a nice surprise.  We moved around a bit and then soon after he hooked and landed a big 120lb tarpon!  He fought very hard and we got him to the leader multiple times but before we could get him to roll over he cut us off on the boat with one quick kick of the tail, but we got some good jump shots at least.  Then it was Pauls turn he got a nice 70 lber after the next move, which we got up for good boatside pictures finally.  After that we called it a day as the rain moved in and wind was kicking up.  Fun couple days for the boys they will be back soon!  1 for 2 and 2 for 2

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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10/16/16 October Tarpon Fishing in the Everglades

Got out with Andy and his son Aiden today.  We had some mullet leftover from a week or so ago, though kept on good ice and not too saturated with water.  They did the trick for us we landed 2 out of 4 tarpon in the morning back off cape sable with the falling tide.  One nice fish of close to 90 lbs too.  When the tide switched we moved and then Andy landed a nice one about the same size!  It was great fishing and nice to be able to do it with just a handful of baits.  We finished the day with a variety of other fish including snook and redfish.  Fall tarpon fishing can stay good for a bit longer as long as it doesnt get too cold.  3 for 5

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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10/8/16 October Tarpon Fishing in the Everglades

Got out today after a few days off due to the hurricane, Matthew.  We were very lucky and had nothing but a little wind and rain from the storm.  It did blow for a couple days though and the wind swung from northeast to southwest and dirtied things up and shifted them around.  The tarpon were not as thick as they were last week so we had to do a little looking around.  We caught some bait early though that also took a bit of time.  We eventually found a few tarpon around in one of the channels, as soon as we set up we hooked a slob within 5 minutes!  It was almost an hour battle but we landed a nice 100 lb fish.  After that the tide had quit so we ran out to check the beach area where they were last week.  Though all we caught were sharks out there, eventually did see a couple tarpon jump off in the distance but didn’t seem like a whole lot.  After that we decided to bend the light rods and did some trout fishing which was good.  Anyways I think it’ll get better again once the wind kicks back east, probably have maybe another month maybe to have a decent shot at catching a tarpon, once November gets rolling and it gets cold it’ll likely be over until the spring unless we have a few random very warm days.  1 for 1

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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