2019 Islamorada Tarpon Season is here!

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Well we’re almost to July and summer time tarpon season is definitely here.  As of now, the usual backcountry areas have had some fish in them.  It’s been a little inconsistent as to where they are…  They’ll be there one day and often gone the next, or maybe be there at a certain stage in the tide and then leave.  So that makes you have to run around and look a lot more.  Very similar to last year in the early summer.  However by July usually these fish get settled in and in a much more predictable pattern which leads to some great fishing.  I myself the last couple weeks have been fishing a different area, it’s a bit more of a run but the fish have been there every time I have been and it’s been consistent so I’ve been sticking to it.  I may continue this trend until that trend changes.  But July is a great time for tarpon fishing here, and August and September can be very good too (September was the best month last year!)

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
305-747-6903

Instagram: @richardstanczyk
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6/25/19 Tarpon Fishing in June in the Florida Keys

Got out with Dave and his father and son Jack for a family trip today!  We focused on tarpon but left the options open for a mixed bag day too.  I’ve had good fishing the last few days, however I will say the tarpon thing is still a little hit and miss – definitely not a guaranteed thing and there are no spots that are consistently producing on a timely basis.  So a lot of days you have to just grind it out and fish several spots/tides until you get in the right one and it can be good.  That’s what happened today, we blanked early on in the first couple spots we tarpon fished.  Sharks were horrendous.  We tried where we had done good yesterday, but today the tarpon were in a completely different mood.  We did bail for a bit and caught a good handful of snook and redfish to mix it up a bit.  Then we ran around a bit more and were on our way to do something else when we saw one tarpon show himself in a different area.  We pulled in and saw a handful of fish.  Had the tide change so we still had to sit and wait.  Finally after 30 or 40 minutes, the tide switched and it looked like it may happen.  We gave it a bit more time and finally Jack hooked up and landed a tarpon.  A bit later, Dave got one too a little bit larger 50 lb fish.  Then it was grandpas turn, he had another big fish on but this one broke through the leader!  He got another shot though and landed a 30 lb tarpon.  Then finally before it was time to go, Dave got another one about a 40 lber.  So we had a pretty terrific day when you tally up the scorecard, but again had we not seen that one fish or been in that spot at the right time, it could’ve been a totally different ball game.  Hopefully as we get more into July, the fish will settle into spots where you know they’ll be and it’s just a little more consistent like clockwork.  4 for 5

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
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6/24/19 Tarpon Fishing in the Everglades

Got out for Day 2 with Brandon, Kevin, Ron, and Charlie.  Bait was fairly easy and we caught a good amount with one throw of the net.  We tried tarpon early on where we had some luck yesterday, but today no dice.  Saw a few fish in the general area, but no bites we moved a couple times and just some sharks.  The boys wanted to mix it up with some action so we did that next.  Plenty of redfish and some snook, and we did get a little tarpon there too!  After that we came across a big school of tarpon in another area!  Not monsters, but our typical summer time fish in the 20 to 50 lb range.  We got them going on live baits, and hooked a couple double headers!  I’ll say we got 3 to the boat and jumped another off.  Was very exciting for sure on our light tackle too.  After that we caught a bunch more redfish and a few trout and a nice snook.  Wow just what a day these guys are lucky to have experienced the past two days like they did, we don’t see fishing like this all the time!  4 for 5

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing

(tarpon under 40 inches we are allowed to pick up for quick pictures, then release unharmed back into the water without dropping or stressing them out too much)

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6/23/19 June Backcountry Tarpon fishing in the Keys

Great day with Charlie, Ron, Brandon, and Kevin. Charlie and Ron fished with me last year and experienced some great tarpon fishing. We started off with that today. Caught a bit of bait on the way and fished some areas that looked good. Saw a few fish and didn’t take long and both Kevin and Brandon landed a tarpon! One big one too almost 100 lber! The tide quit and we looked elsewhere. Found some fish where I was last week and the tide was starting to fall. However they weren’t so happy we moved a couple times and finally hooked up but we got wrapped up in some hard bottom and broke the tarpon off. A few sharks kept us busy though. After that things seemed to quiet down, so we decided to take a look for something else. We got lucky and found the motherboard of permit! It was action as fast as you could cast for a bit. We caught several doubles and even hooked a triple header! Even threw some artificials as we ran out of crabs and had luck with that! Just a banner way to go ish our day and something special to see. After that we headed home. Back at it tomorrow with this crew again, hope were twice as lucky tomorrow but I’ll be happy if we’re half as lucky!  2 for 3

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
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6/19/19 June Florida Keys tarpon fishing report

6/18/19 – Had Ed and Rochelle out today!  We ran out early into the backcountry.  Found tarpon where I’d been fishing the last week or more again.  We got one straight away and Rochelle landed a nice 80 lber!  After that we had a couple more bites but just couldn’t keep ’em hooked!  Caught a couple nurse sharks and then we decided to switch gears.  Snook/redfish fishing was tough for us we caught one redfish and catfish every where we went.  Southwest wind and hard tides with the full moon made it not so great in all the areas where i’d been doing well recently.   Anyways at least the tarpon fishing was good for us!  1 for 3

6/19/19 – Wow what a day with Max and his girlfriend Ella! Max was after tarpon and hopefully a permit. He’d hooked some tarpon before but never got one to the hand so we hoped to change that. We ran out into the Backcountry and found some happy fish. Didn’t take long and Max was hooked up! He was a great angler and took instruction well, bowing to the king, not pulling too hard when the fish was going berserk, and applying pressure when the fish wasnt running hard. He ended up catching three! His girlfriend Ella also caught one which was awesome. After that we decided to see if we could find Max a permit. It was a bit rough but not too bad at all for the Contender Bay Boat. We found the water looking nice despite the southerly wind. As soon as we drifted in we saw a huge school of permit! We hooked one and Max landed his first Permit! After that they got a little tougher… Just staying deep and running, harder to see with the swells. We had a few more shots and did hook one more but a shark got it. After that we headed back towards home! What a day, it’s always great when you can fulfill somebodies fish wish, especially two of them!  4 for 4

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
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6/17/19 June Tarpon Fishing Everglades Florida Keys

Well another wet and rainy one today.  The morning was nice though.  Little bit of a southerly breeze but nothing too crazy.  I had Mark and his son Casey.  We were after tarpon and had just enough bait leftover that I figured we’d make the long run where I was going last week and just go for it.  Left early to catch the last of the falling tide.  One thing about this area, the tide change is very slow, so if you catch the slack tide you are going to be sitting and twiddling your thumbs for an hour or more.  We had a good 2 hours of tide thankfully with the early departure, that is one reason I’m big on being on time!  We saw more fish than I saw the few previous times I went last week, but they weren’t responding.  We had to move a few times, then finally got in the spot that felt right.  Soon Casey hooked a nice 75 lb tarpon that we fought for a bit and got boatside for some pictures!  Luckily we still had a little current, and dad hooked one but unfortunately he came off instantly.  Then the tide slowly quit.  We decided to look around for a bit while we waited for the current to change as we were limited on our bait supply.  Didn’t see much, and eventually the tide turned so we tried again.  Saw a handful of fish but nothing like before, but we gave it a good 30-40 minutes and didn’t get another bite.  We went to plan B but when we left I could tell things were getting nasty towards home.  The winds had kicked up a bit.  We caught a few redfish but the fish seemed shut down, I could hear snook popping but we never got a bite out of one.  Soon squalls got closer and it started blowing 35 mph and raining.  We called it a day and boogied toward home.  Made for an adventurous ride but thankfully the Contender boat could handle it, just got a little wet.  But all in all we made our day with a nice tarpon and a few redfish.  Back at it tomorrow… now the big question is where to get bait as it’s not easy to catch right now and it’s not quite consistently catchable in the summer time backcountry areas yet.  We’ll see what happens!  1 for 2

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
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