4/30/14 End of April tarpon fishing report

Well after struggling yesterday keeping the fish on the hooks today we had a great day and the fish cooperated nicely.  We caught 4 out of 5 big tarpon, 3 over 100 lbs!  Large schools of fish showed up ‘around town’ in islamorada which was great to see.  The weed was horrendous as we had a stiff southeast breeze with incoming current.  It made fishing the live baits tough as the weed was getting on them often.  But we managed and eventually it got better.  Lots of fish rolling and popping, several other ‘cheap shots’ on the baits.  It was a lot of fun, I was very glad my anglers got to have a great day catching after we had a couple tough day previously.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

4/29/14 Tarpon Fishing Long Key and Islamorada

Well I had my anglers yesterday for a morning and evening 4 hour trip. We ran down to long key to fish the incoming tide in the morning.  Not nearly as many fish as there had been down there but we had some action.  2 for sure solid bites and possibly another one and a few ‘cheap shots’.  Unfortunately we jumped the one fish off straight away I don’t think we got the hook set good in him.  The other one was a very large fish and I had taken my leader size down a bit to try to encourage a bite, but unfortunately it freyed through right away.  We did catch a couple of very large jacks though.  The evening trip we had more of the same bad luck.  We fished near home in some of the channels.  We had a pack of fish up within 30 minutes, taking multiple cheap shots at the baits and 2 solid bites again.  Just not able to get a good hookset one fish jumped straight at us which was tough to hook anyways, the other got the bait off somehow.  I gave it some more time we had a few more cheap shots after some time and eventually moved on.  We did catch a monster barracuda, and a couple sharks.  We moved back in the bay and tried a spot, after a bit of time we had double header tarpon eat both baits.  I thought for sure this was our time… and again both fish were gone as fast as they showed up!  Just not our day!  We tried drifting mullets the last of the tide further back in the channels, but only saw a few fish roll in the distance and did not have a sniff.  It’s a tough couple of days for me we’ve definitely had shots at fish just have not been able to seal the deal.  Wednesday I have these anglers for a full day, we are going in the backcountry and going to try the tarpon back there.   Hopefully the bad mojo is done with, I haven’t been in a slump in a while and I don’t like it!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

4/28/14 Tarpon Fishing Marathon Report

We ran down more towards marathon last night to tarpon fish.  The day before fishing was good down that way.  Locally the fishing has been tough lately in islamorada.  Yesterday morning I snapper fished around the bridges which was good, nice big snappers and other variety.  But I only saw one tarpon roll while doing that, and saw about 10 boats down there and not even a single hookup.  So it’s been more productive to run south.  So we did last night but fishing was tough down there too.  We had a couple cheap shots and finally hooked a nice fish, but my angler made the mistake of jerking back while he jumped and he was gone quickly.  Never jerk back or keep the rod high when a tarpon jumps, once the hook is set always bow to the king when he jumps.  Alas that was our only shot at a fish down there, we had one more solid bite up near islamorada making a last drift at the end of the evening, but we missed him too just didn’t get the hook set.  Not our night.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

4/27/14 More good tarpon fishing in Islamorada

Did a full day tarpon fishing around town here today.  The morning was tough we had one bite right off the bat but missed him.  Tried a few spots around ch 2, ch 5, and in the bay.  We had a few other cheap shots at 5 but no real connection.  We did catch some monster mangrove snappers and a nice would-be legal size black grouper, but doesn’t open for a few more days :(.  We ran down to long key bridge my buddy said they were biting.  We caught one on the last of the incoming tide there on live bait.  Then the tide switched we had a few bites on dead bait, lost one in the bridge.  When the tide got really rolling we got bit up on the ocean side.  Everyone in the area was having bites, we caught 2 more fish and then it was time to come home.  So I think 3 for maybe 8 on the day, great tarpon fishing in islamorada in april!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

4/26/14 Everglades Tarpon Fishing in April

Well the sometimes you get the tarpon, sometimes the tarpon gets you.  Today fishing was tough it was northwest breeze in the morning.  Not ideal for the backcountry tarpon fishing.  Anyways we got there early and caught some nice fresh bait first thing.  Was slack tide when we got there but got rolling pretty quickly, incoming tide.  The first channel we fished was dead nothing going on.  We had caught 1 out of 2 there yesterday afternoon and a few sharks in the last hour, but today it seemed lifeless.  So we moved channels and we had a shark and then jumped a tarpon soon after.  Another 30 minutes and we jumped another tarpon, caught a big bull shark, and then the weed came.  Horrendous mats of red mangy stuff that we get on and off this time of year.  Though it was not there yesterday, but today it made it practically unfishable.  The wind had laid out by then and the tarpon were rolling, we jumped 1 more fish that we had a bite out of really quick and that was about it.  Frustrating when you know it would of been great fishing if you could keep the baits out there for more than a minute without having to reel them in to get weeds and gunk off.  Oh well tomorrow we will likely fish around town if we tarpon fish.  Today I really wanted to get away from the crowds as its a busy saturday and there were a couple tournaments going on.  I heard the fishing around town was slow though so all in all getting 3 bites back there was probably still worth the ride back, but it’s nice when you can catch them!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk