Tarpon Season 2017

June is almost half way over, time is just flying by!  Now and the next couple months is typically my favorite time of year for tarpon fishing, as the winds generally subside and we get a lot of our ‘summer time’ tarpon in the backcountry showing up.  Overall we’ve had nice weather for tarpon fishing in June, with overcast/rainy days keeping the heat down and the fish happy (and not getting us too wet).  Though we did have a short bout with some funky southwest wind, though now we are forecast for nice easterly wind for the coming week.  Fishing has been decent so far this June, though I will say it hasn’t been very predictable.  Not very often has it been where I am going to one spot first thing in the morning, sitting for a couple hours, and getting multiple bites.  More having to move around two, three, four times before getting into fish.  Though often times when we’ve gotten into them, you get a good rally and have a shot to catch multiple tarpon in a short window of time.  A few years ago the fishing was much easier and you didn’t have to think about it as much and the fish were staying in channels for longer periods, more predictably.  As you’d get dialed in on a spot it would produce for several weeks some times… not this year (nor last year for that matter).  So i’ve been telling most people that you just have to go all in for tarpon some days, and usually after you’ve made three or four moves, your chances of getting into fish on the next stop are increasing as you’ve covered some ground.   Also fishing different tides can play a big part in finding fish, and having more time gives you the opportunity to fish both tides during the day.  Though I think as we get further into the summer it will get a little easier as the tarpon get back into more typical routines and the spawn ends.  I will say so far this year though, June has already been much better than last year…  We’ve landed 26 fish in 10 trips, whereas in 2016 we landed 24 fish in 17 trips, but as mentioned previously it hasn’t come easily we’ve really had to work at it.

I’m usually recommending from here on out fishing full day or 3/4 day trips.  Being that I’ve just had a child a couple months ago, I’m still not doing any evening trips, and the local half day fishing during the mornings gets a little more hit and miss as the mullet start to thin out locally around Islamorada.   On the evening half day trips you can rely more on your crab fishing, and that gets better as you get closer to dark especially on the falling tides.  However with the morning half day trips it’s the opposite, so if you don’t hit ’em first thing often your fishing gets tougher and tougher.  You can definitely still catch them locally on half day trips, but for me I am just dialed in on the early morning everglades thing, so that is what I prefer.  That again just requires at least a 3/4 day as it’s an hour run or more going back there.  Getting out there early gives you some very good opportunities, and bait is often much easier to catch.

I’m pretty much all booked up through the end of June, though may possibly have a day open here or there so don’t be afraid to ask.  July is filling in nicely and about half way filled up.  July, August, and even September/October can still be very good for tarpon fishing though it isn’t always the case.  July usually always is a very good month, August is a little more hit and miss but is usually pretty good at least for the first couple weeks.  Last year we had some of the best tarpon fishing we had all year in September and October believe it or not, just check out my reports those months!  If you are interested in tarpon fishing drop me a line, if I’m not available I’m more than happy to make recommendations.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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