2/28/19 End of February Tarpon Fishing in the Florida Keys

Fantastic day with Matt and Emily visiting from Oklahoma! We headed out early and decided to give the tarpons a try since it was pretty good yesterday. Little different condition today with a bit of a northwest breeze, nothing crazy but it was blowing onshore so it was a little rough to start. We didn’t see quite as much activity early on as yesterday, but enough to keep us interested. We caught a couple sharks first thing, then we moved around a bit and soon Matt had a tarpon hooked up! Not a monster but a decent 60 lber that we landed. Soon after that we jumped off a second one. We skirted around again, and the winds started to lay out a bit and it got nice. The tarpon started to show a bit more, and soon Matt had a monster hooked up probably a good 150-170 lbs! We chased after her and Matt fought it well, bowing when she jumped and not pulling to hard when she would run. We got the fish on the leader multiple times, but didn’t seem like she was going to roll over anytime soon, so eventually we just put the wood to her and popped her off. We then gave it one more shot and caught a few more sharks, but after a few moves, we hooked up a third tarpon for Matt and he landed this one properly and a few more nice pictures to be had. We were about to call it quits and were heading to try and catch a few snook and reds, but then we ran into a big old school of tarpon! It was hard to pass up, we got lined up and drifted our baits out and within a minute, jumped another tarpon and then hooked Matt hooked another that he landed! Sometimes it happens quick when you are in the right spot at the right time, and this was it! After that we left them alone. Finished our day catching about 2 dozen redfish. It was a gorgeous day and very lively out there. The 2019 tarpon season is off to a great start!  4 for 6

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing

2/27/19 February Everglades Fishing Charter for Tarpon

Great day with long time Bud n Mary’s customer and friend Rich Riolo and his friend Kevin with son Blitz. Rich hadn’t had a chance to fish with me but today was the day. I had gotten my boat back had to do a quick lower unit oil change this morning due to bending my prop shaft the other day, but thanks to Aaron at Proptec for getting it straightened out. We were after tarpon and ran into a good group where we found them the other day. We set up and first thing they were biting! We hooked three in quick succession blitz getting a few shots, but they were not good bites the tarpon we’re grabbing the baits and spitting them out quickly while jumping. Hard to get them to stick! We then caught a few sharks, but made a move and then got into see more tarpon. We jumped one more and then Rich got one to stay on. Big fish about 150 lbs I’d guess. He fought him well and we just got her to the leader and popped her off. Kevin got one after that about a 120 lber which we got up for some pictures. After that the tide quit and we went tripletail fishing which was fun, but we didn’t find any big ones. But nobody had caught one before and all three got to experience it casting to there own fish, a lot of fun. After the tide turned we tried for tarpon again, though they weren’t in the feeding mode we made a few moves and caught several more sharks and a couple more tripletails floating by. But all in all a blast I know everyone enjoyed the nice weather and plenty of action that we had! Back at it tomorrow hopefully fishing is just as good! 2 for 6

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing

2/26/19 February Full Day Fishing for Florida Keys Tarpon

Got out with Scott today for a full day.  We caught bait early, had to look around a little but found ’em eventually.  Loaded up the wells and headed to the backcountry.  We stopped to catch a few redfish and small snook first.  Then hit the tarpon grounds.  Lots of fish jumping around again same area as yesterday.  Today however the winds were cranking hard east.  But it looked like it would be decent fishing.  The tarpon did not want to play today however.  We moved around several times and just couldn’t get a response out of them.  We did catch a few sharks.  After a couple hours, I told Scott we could stick it out, or run a little further back to an area I was pretty sure we could bend the rods out.  He said let’s catch some fish, so we did just that.  Ended the day with a bunch of redfish, a few small snook, some nice sea trout, and a 35 lb goliath grouper on light tackle.  Anyways right now life is nice as days like today when the tarpon don’t respond, often times we have that ace in the back pocket to play.  Not that it’s there every day, but often times it is as the backcountry fishing is still just really good and consistent for the most part.  Back at it tomorrow.  0 for 0

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing

2/25/19 February Tarpon Florida Keys

Awesome day with Mike and Marc. We had a rough start, banged my prop while trying to catch bait and lost my steering! Luckily we were close to home and got a tow and used the trolling motor to get back. We jumped in my dad’s skiff and just got a later start. The boys wanted dinner so we caught our limit of snapper first. Then we tried some spots for reds. Unfortunately the tide was getting a little low, we got where we wanted but the fish weren’t there. So we decided to look for some tarpon. Nothing in the first stop so we kept looking. We found a pack after some searching. Winds got very calm and were northeast to start with, and the tarpon seemed in a happy mood. Nothing like yesterday with the big swells and nasty south wind we had. After a few moves, Mike hooked a big 100 lber! We landed that one, and then we hooked another that we had on for a minute and got near the boat real quick, but he jumped and threw the hook. After that we had one more zip that I’m pretty sure was the silver king, but dropped the bait before we could tell. We caught a few sharks after that, including s big lemon. We moved around again and then Mike caught another tarpon. We ended up jumping off one more after that. A good rally and nice to see a few biting! The boys wanted to see some of the Everglades creeks and such, so we jumped in there to finish our day. Not a whole lot going on in there, but we did manage a couple snook before calling it a day. Anyways great fishing glad we got our day in. And my boat was fixed by the time we got back, the steering line had been sheared. Glad that didn’t happen way far from home. Back at it tomorrow. Looks like it’ll be a little windy but staying east tomorrow which should be good. Then a little south wind on Wednesday which may make things a little tougher but hopefully doesn’t blow too hard. After that a nice calm stretch through the weekend… Should be good for the tarpon!  2 for 6

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing

2/24/19 February Everglades Tarpon Fishing Charter

Got out with Scott and his family today for a full day trip.  Tarpon was on the agenda and I told them there had been some around and actually the last trip they bit fairly well for us.  However today we had a wind direction change… due south and backed up southwest in the backcountry areas.  Not my favorite wind, it just blows on shore and creates big swells, and muddies up a lot of the areas I like to fish.  But at least the water was nice and warm!  We made a run into the backcountry as I had bait leftover from the other day.  Did not see a ton of tarpon though a handful were about.  I was hoping to see a pile of them, but just wasn’t to be.  Anyhow, we set up and gave it a shot.  After 30 minutes or so, we finally did get a bite out of a fish.  A nice 80 lber went airborne, but unfortunately he threw the hook immediately.  Nothing went wrong just a bad bite.  After that things seemed to go real quiet we didn’t see much at all.  Anyways we decided to look for some other things as the redfish and snook fishing has been decent back there.  We stopped in another spot for tarpon for a quick minute, but no luck with that.  We did good on redfish though later, and a handful of snook and some nice sea trout.  Fished a few other areas and found reds in a couple other spots.  Did see a tarpon or two in a creek that we tried for, no bites out of them but did hook a couple big sharks.  And that was about it for our day.  Tomorrow looks like a complete 180 with the wind, going hard northeast, but then things calm down some Wednesday and get real nice Thursday though Sunday.  I’ll bet the tarpon do some big things in that period!  0 for 1

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing