9/28/19 September Florida Keys Fishing for Tarpon

Got out with Jason and Clay today for a full day in the backcountry.  We mixed it up a but but tarpon was on their list.  Fished a little different area than the previous days, as the winds were howling a bit from the get go.  Lots of tarpon around here too, they seem to be everywhere blowing up the mullets and such.  We set up and put out some baits, anchored and then tried drifting as the current was absolutely ripping.  Jason got one nice 20 lb tarpon on the jig which was cool, unfortunately he came off at the boat before we could get him in for pictures, but a good catch none the less.  After that we didn’t get much more activity out of them and they seemed to quiet down.  So we switched gears to fish for other things.  Not much happening anywhere there with the falling tide, we jumped between 2 or 3 spots and then decided to make a bigger move.  Boy there were boats everywhere as I found out later there was a couple tournaments going on.  Running 50 miles from home you expect to be able to fish wherever you want, but not today several spots I wanted to go were taken!  Anyways we were still able to put together a good catch, had to dig in and grind hard, but we managed a good 15 or so snook, a half dozen redfish, a nice tripletail, and plenty of ladyfish, jacks, and snappers that kept us busy.  Had to pick a few fish in several spots and then finally the last stop of the day we got into a steady bite for about 30 minutes anyways.  Backcountry SLAM for Jason too!  1 for 1

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

9/27/19 September Tarpon Fishing in the Everglades

Fun day with Eamon and Cecilia!  We fished the backcountry and tried for tarpon early on.  Still a bunch of them back there, going crazy with the mullet run happening.  We did manage to get a nice one early on, fishing our lighter gear on live bait.  A good 40 lb fish.  After that though, no other action out of them.  We focused on some bigger snook and such which was good the last few days for me, but today that seemed to die down we didn’t get any bites.  But we fished for smaller snook and redfish on some shorelines the rest of the day, which was fairly productive and lots of fun!  The winds kicked up a good bit by mid morning.  Looks like it’ll be a little breezy sunday/monday, but staying northeast so the bait run should continue.  1 for 1

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

9/26/19 September Fall Mullet Run Tarpon Fishing

Got out today for a full day and tarpon was on the agenda.  I hadn’t been focusing on them a lot as of late, as other fishing had been very good.  Most the ones I’ve been catching have been whilst doing other things, or just spending a short time focused on them.  Though there had been lots of fish around and the fall mullet run going on.  We gave it a good go today though and invested a few hours, leaving the options open for Plan B if necessary.  Early on tarpon were showing everywhere, busting pods of mullet.  Though no big concentrations of them, really seemed you could sit anywhere and thered be a few around.  We fished hard, around the end of the tide, through the tide change, and then again on the start of the incoming tide.  Moved 3 or 4 times, and just no bites from them.  We managed several big lemon sharks, and a few big blacktips.  Finally after hour 2 and a few moves, we jumped a big 100+ lb tarpon but it was shortlived and threw the hook immediately.  After that, we decided to try plan B and were able to still catch a good handful of nice snooks, some nice reds, a decent black drum, juvenile goliath grouper, and a tripletail!  Wonderful thing about our fishery when things don’t work out, you often have other options.  We then fished some shoreline and got into some numbers of redfish and snook, though smaller size ones.  We still had some time to try for tarpon a bit for the last 45 minutes.  Gave it another go, but no love.

So sometimes things visually look much better than the actual fishing/catching is, as we saw tarpon busting all day long.  But as can be the case with fishing, they just weren’t interested in our offerings.  Maybe just too much other bait out there.  So I would say if you really, really want a tarpon it’s possible you just might have to invest your whole fishing day to do it.  But it’s kind of hard to do when there is so many other productive options with quality fish.  Though I’m always game to try.  0 for 1

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

9/23/19 September Florida Keys Fall Fishing

Got out with Gary and Melissa today for a 3/4 day.  Didn’t fish over the weekend and was happy not to be as we had howling 30+ mph winds from Friday through Sunday.  There was also a big tournament going on with 80 boats, so you can imagine every look nook and cranny where you could hide, there would of been boats!  But today the winds let up somewhat, it was still windy but a more manageable 20 mph northeast.  We decided to make a long trek up the coast to check things out up there as I’d heard the fishing had been pretty good with a mullet run in effect.  It took a little longer with the wind but we still made decent time that left us a good 3 hours of fishing time.  The wind swung around more northerly and the tides were high, which I was hoping the wind would be blowing offshore leaving it calm there but there was a little bit of a swell on the shore, which isn’t as desirable of a condition.  We mostly focused on our light gear and we caught a decent number of snook though mostly little guys, a handful of redfish which were larger (we did lose about a 12 lber on a pulled hook!), big ladyfish, jacks, a small goliath grouper, and finally a nice 25 lb tarpon!  He was just under 40 inches so small enough to legally boat for a picture.  There were more tarpon around but we didn’t focus a lot on them, but did get the one bite.  I have the same crew tomorrow, and we crushed the bait this afternoon coming home, so may give that more focus tomorrow.  Conditions are suppose to be better this week with the wind dropping to the 10-15 mph range but staying northeast which should keep the fall bait migration conditions in effect.  I’m booked up this week, but next week starting Monday I’m fairly open.  October is a fantastic time to fish here and as mentioned the fall bait run is already in effect so it should be good!  1 for 1

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

9/17/19 September Backcountry Fishing in the Keys

Got out yesterday for a full day with my dad and a couple friends of his, Steve and Dana.  We mixed it up a bit, found some snook and redfish early on with the last trickle of incoming tide.  We did find some baby tarpon and my dad caught a nice juvenile we got to the boat but he jumped off before I could get him in the net, but had him on the leader for a while.  After that we caught a big old snook for Steve about a 17 lber, and nice cobia for Dana.  Not a whole lot doing after that though the water was super muddy as we had a hard west wind the day before.

I haven’t been fishing a whole lot else this week aside from a short half day several days ago.  The Contender was in the shop but I just got it back today so she’s ready for action.  But there have been a good number of tarpon out in the backcountry it appears.  Most my anglers have preferred mixing it up a bit though so I just haven’t really been concentrating on them.  But I have a lot of trips coming up after the weekend, so will probably spend a little time after the silver kings.  October is right around the corner, and that is probably the last good tarpon month we may have.  The conditions look ripe for a good fall bait run, in fact it seems to be starting a little bit already.  My favorite time of year to fish!  1 for 1

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