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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The end of ‘Tarpon Season’ and my tarpon totals for 2016

2/18/17 More February Tarpon Fishing in the Florida Keys

Well after the small cold blast we had the last couple days, today was flat calm and things warmed up again nicely.  A mini front dropped the water temperatures from the high 70s back down to 70ish, and the tarpon definitely dont like that.  I didn’t even bother fishing for them, but we did some other things for the last couple days to keep us busy.  Today my anglers Brandon and Eric had mentioned tarpon and I told them we’d have a shot since it looked to be on the warming trend, even though water temps are still on the lower end of what I like to see for catching tarpon in Islamorada.  We caught plenty of mackerels early on for the first hour, then went and checked the channels.  We found a ton of tarpon where we first stopped, didn’t see many rolling but a tail splash here or there, but I could see them on my bottom machine!  We first hooked a big blacktip that Eric battled, and as soon as we landed that, Brandon hooked a monster 150 lb tarpon.  He jumped several times but never made any blistering runs, but luckily he stayed on the hook.  We eventually landed him after 20 minutes or so – a pretty quick battle for a fish that size.  We got sucked into looking for tarpon the rest of the day, and fished a few more areas, though that was to be the only bite we had.  We did catch some more sharks, and a big old sawfish which was cool.  Marked a few other tarpon and maybe saw a couple roll in some of the other areas, but no big packs like where we first stopped.  Anyhow tomorrow looks like conditions should be good for the silver king in the florida keys, then looks like it’ll get a little chilly a couple nights later in the week, but maybe not enough to really bother the tarpon – we will have to see!  That’s the only problem this time of year is you still have a good possibility of cold weather, and sometimes even though it may not feel like it changes much, a few degrees in the water temperatures can make the tarpon go from happy and chewing, to not doing much at all.  1 for 1

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2/18/17 More February Tarpon Fishing in the Florida Keys

2/15/17 February Tarpon Fishing in the Everglades

Got out with Jim and Gwen today, two of my longest running customers and some of my favorites.  Winds were kicking out of the southwest pretty good as we have another front coming in.  We had some bait left over from a few days ago and we hit the channels looking for some tarpon.  We found them in the first place we stopped, had nice falling tide that would last most of the day.  We caught a few sharks early then Jim jumped a nice tarpon over 100 lbs!  Too bad he didn’t stay on the hook though…  After that we moved around a bit and caught a couple more sharks, then Gwen hooked a nice 70 lb tarpon that we landed.  A good fight we had to chase it for a while but got some nice pictures by the boat.  After that the tarpon seemed to slow down, so we tried another part of the channel.  Saw a few on the bottom machine but no more bites, but we did catch some more sharks and a ‘mud marlin’ sawfish.  After that it got rougher and we hid around the islands to catch some snappers for dinner and came home.  With the front coming in tonight and tomorrow, I imagine the tarpon will slow down for a few days again… suppose to get down around 60 and they definitely don’t like that!  But not going to get cold until tomorrow night so maybe there will be a shot tomorrow morning.  1 for 2

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2/15/17 February Tarpon Fishing in the Everglades

2/9/17 Islamorada Tarpon Fishing in February

Got after the tarpon again today.  We had a light southwesterly breeze that picked up a little in the afternoon but overall not too bad.  It is a prefrontal condition though and suppose to get down in the 60s tonight so may turn the tarpon off for a few days at least.  We caught plenty of mackerels early and then hit the tarpon areas.  Fish were where they had been, we caught sharks and some ‘mud marlin’ sawfish early on, and after a couple moves we hooked a big 150 lb tarpon!  He was jumping like crazy coming at us and every which direction, but he stayed on there.  We got him to the boat with leader in hand, but he didn’t want to pose for a boatside picture.  Luckily we caught another and this one wasn’t quite as big but still probably 120-130 or so.  He didn’t fight as hard but still ended up taking us a ways with the current and wind, but we got him next to the boat for some good photo ops.  After that we caught a few more sharks and tried for a few snook again to finish the day, but with the wind direction the shoreline area was fairly muddy and didn’t have much luck.  Though a great day with 2 big tarpon and some other critters too!  2 for 2

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2/9/17 Islamorada Tarpon Fishing in February

2/8/17 February Tarpon fishing in Islamorada

Had a glass calm day today and it looked very tarpony out there!  February is usually still pretty early for our tarpon season, but when its hot and calm like this, they can definitely show up.  I had heard the last couple days a few were around again though didn’t have clients that were interested in them… Today though it sounded like a good option.  We caught a bunch of mackerels much of which we used for bait early on.  Then we hit the channels out west of flamingo and found the tarpon there.  They weren’t chewing like crazy, but after a little work we soon had a nice 80 lber hooked up.  We got him boatside but he threw the hook before we could get good victory pictures as they often do, but still landed none the less.  After that we ended up with more sharks, and a few big mud marlin, and finished the day with some nice snook.  1 for 1

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2/8/17 February Tarpon fishing in Islamorada

1/27/17 January Islamorada Tarpon Fishing Report

Got out with Rod and Mark today and we decided to mix things up a bit.  It’d been flat calm the last couple days after it blew very hard sunday/monday, like 45 mph it was crazy!  Anyways things had warmed up a bit and I heard yesterday there were some tarpon around that the fly guys were chasing.  Anyways we decided to give it a shot we caught plenty of spanish mackerel in the morning and used them for bait.  We found some sharks in the channel as well, lemons and blacktips, as well as a couple big ‘mud marlin’ saw fish!  We only had 1 tarpon bite, but it counted and we landed a nice 75 lb fish!  Anyways nice to have caught the first tarpon of the year in January!  Looks like its suppose to get cold the next few nights though so it probably is going to be short lived.  But February is right around the corner and that can be the start of tarpon season for us if it is warm like it is today.  Of course the weather is unpredictable…  1 for 1

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 1/27/17 January Islamorada Tarpon Fishing Report

12/18/16 December tarpon fishing in the Everglades

Stumbled into some nice tarpon today.  We were fishing for mackerels in the gulf which was very good and then decided to hit some channels for some sharks and possibly other stuff.  Luckily the other stuff was there!  Winds were a little breezy but southeast and warm with 75 degree water temperatures.  We didn’t see any tarpon rolling but I did mark a few on the bottom machine so we changed our gear to be more suitable for a possible tarpon hookup.  We ended up jumping one, but a bit later hooked another that stayed on for us!  A nice 70 lb fish.  We also caught some sharks and a big mud marlin aka sawfish.  Anyways I think the ‘big stuff’ like this will hang around for a while as long as it stays warm.  I wouldn’t go betting the farm on it for your fishing trip, but if you have a day like today when you can mix it up and give it a shot during part of the day it can be well worth it.  1 for 2

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 12/18/16 December tarpon fishing in the Everglades

12/16/16 December tarpon fishing Islamorada

Got out today after being off for a week.  Was just fun fishing with dad.  But we came across a nice school of tarpon in one of the backcountry creeks in the everglades.  There has definitely been some around with as warm as it has been the last few weeks.  I just haven’t been fishing much and the few times I have, we’ve been doing other things.  Anyways as the tide came rolling in we had about 20 fish around us and we caught a nice 30 lber on a live shrimp.  Didn’t get pictures of him as he pulled the hook while we had him on the leader trying to net him.  But a definite catch none the less.  Anyways I am fishing a few more days here, then going out of town for xmas, but then will be back for the xmas week craziness.  Not sure if I will get after any more tarpon this year, but if it stays warm it is a possibility!  Gimme a shout if you are looking to go!  1 for 1

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 12/16/16 December tarpon fishing Islamorada

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 11/4/16 November Florida Keys Tarpon Fishing

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

11316tarpon

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 11/3/16 November Tarpon Fishing in Islamorada

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 10/30/16 Late October Tarpon Fishing in South Florida