Tarpon Season 2018 Outlook

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For the numbers last year in 2017 we caught 269 tarpon in 149 trips which works out to about 1.81 tarpon per trip.  The ratio is slightly better than my 2015 year which we caught roughly 1.75 tarpon per trip, and a good bit better than 2016 year which was about 1.44 tarpon per trip.  As always we consider a catch where we get the wind-on leader into the rod tip – this means any of the monofilament leader on the end of my braided line, which can be up to 30 feet including the ‘bite leader’.  So some of these fish we don’t always get boat side for a nice pictures, but rather we go by tournament/IGFA rules.  Also trips constitute any trip that we try tarpon fishing – whether we fish for them just for an hour, or all day – as we often fish for other things especially in the tarpon ‘off season.’

April has been absolutely spectacular fishing for the first week.  The winds haven’t been howling too crazy and it’s stayed warm.  The tarpon showed up in droves and we had very good fishing.  Weather looks good for the next week or so too so the bite should remain fairly strong.  Full days have been a better bet as of late as the backcountry fishing was really good though sounds like local fishing is picking up too.

I’m pretty much all booked up through the end of May but have some availability still in June and of course July.  Both are great months traditionally for tarpon, June is often my biggest month with numbers, and July can be right up there too.  At those times we are often fishing for our resident ‘summer time’ fish which on average aren’t quite as big (in the 30 to 80 lb range, rather than the 60 to 120 lbs spring time fish).  However you can usually catch them in a much shorter amount of time, and this means the chances of catching multiple fish is much greater as you aren’t spending a lot of time fighting one fish when the others are hungry!  Also there is much less pressure on the fish as its a bit less busy, and many guides are starting to focus on other things.  August can still be good too especially the early part of it.  Of course every year is different, but I will say summer time is my favorite time of year for tarpon fishing.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

Instagram: @richardstanczyk
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