2/10/19 + 2/11/19 February Islamorada Tarpon Fishing

2/10/19 – Well we gave it a shot for a short while both today and yesterday for some tarpon.  Didn’t really expect too much as the winds were cranking 20-25mph yesterday, and a good 20 mph today.  But the guys wanted to give it a shot.  Yesterday we tried some of the areas where we had caught a couple fish last week.  We only tried for about 45 minutes, I gave a good look around and we never for sure even saw a tarpon.  We did get a few sharks though.  But we caught plenty of other fish including a bunch of mangrove snapper for dinner, some spanish mackerel, and tons of redfish to finish up the day.  Nice thing right now there is so much other good fishing, you can usually have an easy out if the tarpon aren’t cooperating.  0 for 0

2/11/19 – Today my guys wanted to try and catch some snook as they hadn’t caught those before.  But they didn’t mind spending a little time for tarpon if possible.  I had not been way up the coast yet and wanted to see if anything was up there tarpon wise.  I also knew the redfish and snook fishing had reportedly been pretty good, so I felt OK taking the gamble to see and falling back on the other stuff.  We did find a decent school of tarpon early on, but smaller resident size fish in the 20 to 40 lb range… not the big herd of 80+ lb migratory fish I was expecting.  We set up and they kind of spread out and left as soon as we had baits out.  A few hung around, but we did not get a bite, and after 30 minutes or so we didn’t see many signs of them.  Anyways after that we left them alone and caught plenty of redfish, a good handful of snook, some small goliath groupers, some nice sea trout, and a few other odds and ends.  0 for 0

May try to give the tarpon a whirl tomorrow, but as of now it’s real hit or miss.  Should get better when the winds calm down and it warms up slightly more.  But if you really want one and are willing to invest the day to it, it’s definitely possible.

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2/6/19 February Tarpon Fishing Charter in Islamorada

Well got out for my first official tarpon trip of the year today with Garrett, Kim, and Finley.  Garrett was wanting to fish with me last year but I was already booked, so this time he booked well in advance.  We were planning on mixing it up a little with the fishing, but tarpon was definitely on his list.  The day was nice with a little northeasterly wind, not too bad.  We ran out and caught some spanish mackerel to start the day.  That kept us busy for an hour, and then we decided to look for some tarpon.  I checked some of the usual early season haunts, and the first place we stopped we saw a good slug of tarpon which was nice to see!  Within about 10 minutes, we were hooked up and Garrett had a nice 70 lber on that we landed!  A few good jumps and a show, and got some good boatside pictures.  After that we moved around a little, and the tarpon thinned out somewhat.  We caught a few sharks including a monster blacktip then the tide quit.  We decided to try to catch a few redfish while waiting for the tide to come in, which we caught one.  Then a buddy of mine phoned me and said the tarpon were starting to get active again.  We ran back to another area nearby, and again within 10 minutes, Kim had a nice tarpon on of roughly the same size 70 lbs or so.  We fought him and got the fish boatside as well, though unfortunately he came unbuttoned while we were trying to get pictures but a good catch none the less.  After that a few more sharks including a big lemon shark and it was time to go home.  Well a successful start to tarpon season, looks like thing will stay warm so the fish should stick around unless we have a hard cold front.  If the wind cranks it may slow it down a little depending where you are trying to fish, but I’d say it looks like a solid start to the season.  I’m not focused on tarpon for my charter tomorrow, we may give it a whirl for a short amount of time, but we’ll see.  Then I’m off Friday and Saturday.  Full week next week, but I have openings the 17th and 20th of this month, and some days still open in March.  Give me a shout if you want to get out after the silver king!  2 for 2

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

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1/29/18 Late January Tarpon in the Everglades

Got out with Jim and Gwen today two of my long time customers.  We had a cold chilly morning but light winds that faded.  We had some very nice snook, plenty of redfish and black drum, some trout, and even a few sheepshead.  But we also managed to get lucky and hook a couple tarpon!  Gwen landed hers, though we did not get good pictures as it broke off while leadering it and trying to get it into the net.  It was a smaller tarpon so would’ve been able to pick up for a quick pic.  Jim hooked one the last stop of the day too!  However we weren’t really ready for it and he made a quick jump and through the hook as Jim was setting the hook thinking it was a big snook.  Anyways great to see and fun to get one.  Not usually expected on these cold january days but it happens.  February is right around the corner and we usually start getting some bigger tarpon then when things warm up some.  It’ll start being a regular thing here soon I imagine!  1 for 2

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

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1/18/19 January Everglades Tarpon Fishing Trip

Got out with my dad and our friends Maria and Andy Newman.  We were fishing for snook and redfish, though happened into a school of happy tarpon!  After the snook and reds slowed down, we started getting some tarpon bites on our shrimp and jigs!  We jumped off the first two, the first one I thought was a snook and dragged me all around the boat then jumped and spit the hook!  But we landed the last 3, including a double header!  Hopefully this is a sign of a strong year to come.  I’ll start regularly fishing for tarpon in February usually.  Though we have a couple of strong cold fronts on the way here soon, so until it gets warmer it’ll be more of a lucky thing such as this day.  We also did catch some monster snook and redfish this day, including a 35 lb bull red!  Check out my other website fishingislamorada.com for the full report. 3 for 5

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

**These tarpon are under 40 inches so legally allowed to be lifted for quick picture**

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1/15/19 January Cold Front Tarpon in the Everglades!

Well today we had a cold front, didn’t get super cold but temperature is dropping more tonight.  We got lucky and found some tarpon in some of the canals while we were fishing for snook, redfish, black drum, and the like.  First fish of the day was a juvenile 10 lber on light tackle!  Lots of fun and managed to get him to the boat.  Keeping the little guys on there is always much harder than the big boys.  They just have less real estate in the mouth to hook ’em, and are very acrobatic and usually on our spinning rods we have a much tighter drag and such as we are fishing for other species sometimes like today.  But my dad was on the rod and knew right what to do, loosen the drag and go very easy on him and of course bow when he jumped!  Anyways first official caught tarpon of the season.  January is usually not very good fishing for them in our areas.  But usually by February sometime I do start catching them regularly and often some big fish too that are early arrivals.  It’s all condition related – if it’s calm and warm it can get good quick, but if its cold then I wouldn’t plan on it.  We have more cold weather coming this weekend, so if they are caught it’s going to be more of a lucky thing like today.  1 for 1

On a side note we did catch the largest snook I’ve ever had landed on my boat today, and quite possibly the largest for my dad ever too!  Read more about it on my fishing islamorada blog.

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

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