2/28/15 Morning half day tarpon trip in Islamorada

Well today was first official ‘tarpon trip’ for the year.  While we’ve already caught a few we’ve mostly been focusing on other things and just giving the tarpon shot a little bit of time.  Anyways we caught mullet early this morning a few starting to gather in the local areas.  It was tough had to throw 15 times to catch 2 dozen baits, but we got ’em.  Anyways I fished locally around Islamorada where I’d been seeing fish, not much first thing this morning though.  Very weak tide and took a while to turn.  Anyways I ran all over checking the bridges, bays, and other channels.  Did not see much of anything as far as tarpon went.  Finally for the last bit of the morning we went back to where we were first thing, tide was falling better now.  Saw quite a few fish rolling and we set up and eventually hooked a nice 40 lber.  Landed him and that was that, glad we got one.  Anyways I would say it is still a bit early to really put all your eggs in the ‘tarpon’ basket – likely best to do other things and just try for tarpon for part of the day.  Though as we continue into March it should get better especially once the water gets closer in the 80 degree range.  And a nice calm sunny day will likely start bringing some bigger schools of fish in.  1 for 1

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

2/27/15 Late February Florida Keys Tarpon Fishing Report

Well today the conditions were much nicer.  We started out in the backcountry and did have a bit of fog and chill in the air, slight north breezy in the morning.  We messed around with some smaller fish, redfish, trout, etc…  Tried tarpon fishing one of the backcountry channels and caught several sharks and a cobia.  Did see one tarpon roll, but tough to get past the sharks.  Definitely not a lot of tarpon in the area though I did not think as the wind at this point had laid down and was fairly calm, sunny – the type of conditions where you would normally see plenty.  Anyways we ran back towards Islamorada and finished up in the local channels we fished the other day.  Saw a few rolling fish, had one flash behind the boat eating some bait.  Though he did not bite for us right away.  Eventually we hooked and landed a nice 60 lb fish, great way to end the day.  David got to catch the fish he’d been after!  1 for 1

Capt. Rick Stanczyk


2/26/15 February Islamorada Tarpon Fishing

Just got back in town after a week long vacation out west in the snow.  The end of January and February has not been ideal for tarpon fishing – we had a lot of late cold weather.  This included a couple of the coldest days we’ve had in years while I was out of town.  It got down into the 40s a couple nights.  So I have not been tarpon fishing much though the gulf, backcountry, and patch reefs have been good fishing for the most part to give us more of our traditional ‘winter time’ action.  The last few days while I was away we did have a few slick calm gorgeous days with some great fishing, I heard reports of all kinds of things including tarpon on the fly.  Today however the wind blew hard out of the southwest with weak tides, though the water temperatures at least are in the mid to high 70s.  Anyways we found a good school of mullet mudding and were able to catch them.  We ran into the backcountry and did not find any tarpon though did catch a few sharks, as well as had some action on the light rods.  We finished up the day locally around Islamorada and caught a nice ‘mud marlin’ and saw a tarpon rolling around in a channel.  Did not get him to bite though, but in another spot in the last 15 minutes we finally hooked a nice 90 lb tarpon we landed.  All in all not a bad day considering the poor conditions.  Looks like the wind is swinging back into the northeastern quadrant as another mild front hits us, but temperatures shouldn’t drop too much so hopefully the tarpon will continue making their way here!  1 for 1

Capt. Rick Stanczyk