3/31/19 End of March Tarpon Fishing Report from Islamorada

Back at it today the weather got nice and calm and things were looking spring like again! We tried a spot early for permit for Clive and Keith as that was on their list. No luck with that but we did catch several trout and jack crevelle. After that we went looking for tarpon. I was off the last couple days but after a cold front I know I had heard they’d slowed down a little bit. But today the water temps were back in the mid 70s and they were around. We had to work at it a bit but eventually they started firing for us. Keith jumped one nice fish and then we caught a few sharks. After another move, Clive hooked up and caught a nice 50 lber. We then found a hungry pack, and the boys hooked a double header of 100+ lb fish! We were stuck in between two big ones heading different directions, we had to chase one for a while down to the wind on leader, then go back after the other one as he had as down to our last 50 or so feet of line! We got back closer to that one, but unfortunately ended up pulling the hook on the other fish. So no double header picture! But we properly landed the other fish and got some pictures. After that the boys were whooped, so we focused on smaller stuff. Caught a few triple tails afterwards. We decided to look for some permit again the last hour but didnt see much out in the gulf. We did find a bunch of spanish mackerels though and had plenty of fun with them just throwing bare jigs, with some more jacks mixed in too. Also ran over a big ball of schooled up tarpon which was cool to see, I hoped it was our school of permit from a distance but oh well awesome to see anyways. We then made our way back to Islamorada. Back at it tomorrow looks like it’ll be another nice calm day.  3 for 4

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

3/27/19 Late March Cold Front Tarpon Fishing Islamorada

Little tough conditions today with Bob and Mark. Stiff northwest wind with another weak cold front. Also a weird weak tide that stayed a foot and a half above 0. We tried for some reds early on where we found them yesterday, but a total mud hole today with the west wind. So we then looked for tarpon. Caught slack tide and it took a while to get moving , but we did see some fish. Caught a few sharks, and after an hour or so and almost calling it quits, we hooked a nice 60 lb tarpon that we landed. As the tide moved more it got pretty rough and I figured we’d had our lucky break so we opted to try some other stuff. Ended up doing a lot of running around, as most spots I stopped the water seemed too high for the low water areas, and not high enough for the high water areas. Plus a lot of dirty mixed up water with the west wind. We did hook a very nice snook in one spot that unfortunately cut us off on a tree branch. Found a couple small reds in another spot. Finally on the way home we got on to a decent bite and caught about a dozen reds, six small snook, a few trout and snappers and Jack’s. Anyways had to work hard at it today but it paid off, but makes you appreciate the days when it is easy! We cancelled tomorrow and I’ll be up in Miami for the weekend, back at it Sunday.  1 for 1

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

3/26/19 Late March Florida Keys Tarpon Fishing Report

Fun day 2 with Mitch and Eddie. Ideal conditions again with a calm north wind. The tarpon seemed a little happier today as it warmed up slightly more. We first stopped and bailed a bunch of redfish in a spot, probably catching 30 or so. After that it was tarpon time. We found a few and soon Mitch hooked a nice one about 85 lbs we landed. A little later some sharks, and then we got into a few more tarpon. Eddie missed one and soon after Mitch had #2 on. A bigger fish 100+ lbs. He screamed out line Greyhound in we had to chase him fast! We caught up to it, and battled for a while. Got the fish boatside several times, but just didn’t want to roll over and we ended up popping it off on the leader. After that we moved around and not much , but next stop Mitch hooked a 3rd tarpon this one was small. We reeled it right to the boat as it jumped and spit the hook… A technical catch as we had the leader in the rod tip, but of course didn’t really feel like it. We ran around to another spot and found a few more tarpon. No luck keeping those guys on though, we jumped a couple more fish and caught a few more sharks. Eddie got a big tripletail too that floated by. All in all antoher fabulous day. Suppose to get colder tonight, and stiff north breeze tomorrow. The backcountry tarpon won’t be happy I don’t think, probably won’t mess up the local Islamorada tarpon as much. Not sure what we’ll be doing, but make that call in the AM!  3 for 6

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

3/25/19 March Everglades Tarpon Fishing in Islamorada

Fun day with Mitch and Eddie. Winds calmed down and things warmed up a bit. We focused on tarpon for most of the day. Tried a spot with some shrimp early, plenty of trout and some big lookdowns which was cool! Also caught a double header sting Ray and eagle Ray. Not sure if we snagged the eagle or not, but had me going I thought it may be a big permit. Oh well! Tarpon started to show a little, we caught a few sharks then Eddie hooked a big poon about 130 lbs. Chased her down and landed her, but she didn’t want to roll over for pictures. After that a few more sharks, we made a move and then Mitch hooked a smaller 30 lb tarpon. Got that one on the leader but he got under the boat and pulled the hook. After that things simmered down, a few more sharks and did get a nice tripletail that floated by. Eventually we got into another good pack of tarpon, but no response from them. Headed on home after that and caught a bit of fresh bait for our day tomorrow as the boys have me again. Looks like it’ll be a nice calm day again should be OK fishing! But unfortunately cranking up again tomorrow night and another cold front, then big winds on Thursday. Not gonna help out the backcountry tarpon. Might be sticking to the bridges again for a few days.  2 for 2

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

3/24/19 Late March Tarpon Fishing Report for Islamorada

Well we had a late cold front several days ago and I had yesterday off.  So I hadn’t really given the tarpon a try as my anglers have opted for action over sitting there waiting for a bite all day.  Unfortunately with these cold fronts, the backcountry waters where I’ve been fishing get a few degrees colder than the local Islamorada waters, and it’s far from the gulf stream, so it takes some time to warm back up.  For the most part the big schools of fish back there are spread out probably hiding in the deeper gulf waters waiting for it to get nice again.  There are some tarpon locally around islamorada that are a little less affected as the warmer atlantic is nearby, however they still aren’t super happy plus you have a bunch of boats out there being spring break.  Anyways we decided to mix it up today and we hit the backcountry first.  Put a nice catch together of about 15 redfish, 8 snook, a couple black drum, and maybe 20 trout.  Had to work at it a little the areas we fished were a little more affected by the ripping winds, but we made it happen.  We spent our last hour in town around Islamorada trying for a tarpon.  Did not see much, but the water did get up to 75 or so, definitely in the range to get a bite or two, but just did not happen for us.

Tomorrow and tuesday morning look nice and calm, so that may be a better window for the tarpon out in the backcountry.  Then we unfortunately have another cold front tuesday and wednesday night.  Not getting super cold but it’s not going to do the backcountry tarpon any favors.  So it’ll likely be good for snook/redfish/etc… but if you want tarpon, may be best to sit around the bridges and such.  We’ll see what my anglers want to do when the time arrives.  0 for 0

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