Email Capt. Rick Stanczyk
or call 305-747-6903!
If your interested in booking an islamorada tarpon fishing charter you’re in the right place. We offer full day (8 hour), 3/4 day (6 hour), and half day (4 hour) trips. Day trips typically start at 7 AM in the spring, and 6 AM in the summer unless otherwise discussed. We also offer late afternoon/evening trips, usually from 4 to 8 PM unless otherwise discussed. Tarpon fishing is one of my specialties – I focus on it more than any other type of fishing. While just about every backcountry/inshore fishing guide does some tarpon fishing throughout the year, many have other things they specialize in or prefer to do, especially during non-prime tarpon season (later summer/fall, late winter). You can bet if the conditions are right and tarpon are around, I am spending some time on my charters trying to catch them. I don’t mind getting up early, going later in the evening, or spending extra time catching the bait to try to give you the best shot at catching a tarpon. Knowing where the fish are, what tide/time they are feeding on, where the bait is, etc… is essential to productive tarpon fishing. I pride myself on trying to keep up with that information on a daily basis. I’ve fished over 300 trips a year in Islamorada and Everglades National Park some years, plus have a close working/friendly relation with other great Islamorada tarpon guides so you can bet I’ve done my homework before we leave the dock!
So one of the most frequently asked questions I get asked is, “When is the best time to come tarpon fishing?” Unfortunately every year is different, and conditions are different every day. You simply cannot predict this ahead of time. Though if I had to pick a time frame, I’d generally say April – July is usually the best bet. February and March we often start catching tarpon, but we still get some late cold fronts which can spoil the fishing as well as heavy winds which doesn’t always make it easy. By April there are usually some big schools of fish around consistently and the ‘mullet run’ is going on and they are feeding. This is often a great time for live bait mullet fishing, starting in late March through early May. However usually by the end of May/June, we have much stable conditions (it is generally calm and always warm). The fish get in much more predictable patterns and I often start fishing the everglades more this time of year, and get in some pretty good grooves of knowing where fish will be and when to be there. This usually goes on through July and even into August, though usually by mid August things aren’t as consistent as most of the big schools of fish have moved on and it’s very hot. Though we can still have good fishing then and all the way through until the early fall. Often in October we get the ‘fall bait run’ and we get a few weeks of great tarpon fishing during the dead off season for business. Actually in 2016, some of my best fishing all year was during the months of September and October. So basically, I would say avoid the winter months (November through January – though if its calm and warm it’s a definite possibility), and try to come in the later spring or summer.
There are many ‘out of town’ guides that fish the tarpon migration here in the Florida Keys. Each and every season I see new websites advertising new guides I’ve never even heard of – each claiming they have a lifetime of experience, averaging high numbers of fish caught every trip, blah blah blah. I’m sure some of them are decent fishermen, but many make promises of guaranteed fish and all kinds of other things just to get you on the boat with them – usually a promise of hooking a fish (not catching one). They likely don’t have a lot of business so they can make such promises, and take you twice for the price of a single trip when they have to. Instead of a pretty website making ridiculous claims, you can just read my fishing reports here and decide for yourself. I know I work very hard at fishing and I produce fish on a consistent basis. I usually fish the daylight hours because I myself and my customers enjoy seeing what they are catching, though it often does take a bit more work to be productive. Now some guys fish all hours of the night and sometimes that fishing is very very good – tarpon are naturally nocturnal feeders after all – but again I like to see the fish and my customers are usually on vacation and do not necessarily want to get up at 1 AM to go fishing!! I don’t inflate my numbers and I log every time I hook fish and catch fish so you can make an informed decision without any false expectations!
To book a charter you can contact me with the information below:
Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Or being that I am fishing just about every day in season and many evenings, sometimes it is tough for me to respond to people in a timely manner. If you want to secure a date ASAP the best thing to do is contact Bud n’ Mary’s Marina directly. They have my calender and know when I am available. Just ask to book Capt. Rick for a tarpon fishing trip on the day/evening of your choice, and they will take a deposit to hold the trip. You can reach them at:
Bud n’ Mary’s Fishing Marina
305-664-2461 / 1-800-742-7945