9/3/17 September Florida Keys Tarpon Fishing

Got out with Taylor, Stacy, and John again today for our 2nd trip.  We blanked yesterday on the tarpon but had some good shark action and variety on the light tackle.  Today though conditions looked much better – no crazy storms in the morning to divert us away from fishing or to scare the tarpon away.  We found a good load of tarpon at our first stop, they weren’t there yesterday but like I said I think that was due to the storms.  Soon after we set up, John caught a nice 60 lb tarpon and did a great job catching him.  Stacy was up next and she got a nice little 30 lber.  Then it was dads turn, Taylor got the big boy a nice 90 lb fish, pretty large for this time of year!  After that things started to die down.  We didn’t see near as many fish rolling or splashing, we made a few moves where we had seen activity and had a few shark bites but that was it.  We left out after that and tried further west.  Didn’t see a whole lot but did see one tarpon jump and another roll, but no bites out of them but did get a nice blacktip shark.  After that we bent the light rods for a while with lots of trout and called it a day.  Glad we put them on the tarpon today after struggling yesterday.  This time of year though as I say it can be hit or miss, luckily they had two days to try!  I think John may be getting that fish mounted for his birthday too they make a beautiful piece of art of for the wall and we don’t have to kill the fish to do it.  Back at it tomorrow, then I’m off Tuesday as of now and out of town Wednesday, so if anyone wants to go Tuesday give me a shout it may be good!  3 for 3

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
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9/2/17 September tarpon fishing Islamorada

Well slow season is officially here, I had 3 days off in a row and that hasn’t happened in some time.  Today I got out with Taylor, Stacy, and their son John.  Tarpon was the target.  Unfortunately we had some pretty bad weather when we headed out, it looked like we could get away from it and it might be alright in the backcountry, but by the time we got back there everything closed in on us.  Luckily we managed to stay dry and ducked into Flamingo until things passed.  We had to hang out there for close to an hour and then got out, fortunately I had some leftover bait from several days ago.  Tarpon fishing was very slow we did not see a tarpon all day.  We fished hard in the few areas I caught them the last day I was out, but never saw a roll or nothing.  We caught a few big lemon sharks, sting rays, and one black tip.  After the tide quit we tried another channel, and had one more shark bite that was it.  We decided to bend the light rods on the way home for the last 30 minutes, and caught plenty of trout, ladyfish, and a few jacks.  The weather I think fouled us up today, tarpon don’t like that lightning and thunder, I thought we’d see them after things cleared up but didn’t happen.  I have them again tomorrow hopefully everything will cooperate a little better!  0 for 0

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
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8/29/17 Late August islamorada tarpon fishing

Got out for a 3/4 day with Brad and Gabriella down from Charleston SC.  Catching tarpon in Islamorada was the goal so gave it a go.  I told them fishing had been slow the last few days but we’d give it 100%.  The winds were a bit more favorable today, once we got into the backcountry it was definitely more easterly as opposed to the southwest we’ve had the last several days.  It hasn’t been blowing hard so I wasn’t sure if that was really why fishing had been slow, but it definitely seemed much different today.  Bait was easy we made a couple throws and had more mullet than we could handle, but I loaded my cooler for the next few days in case I get booked.  We tried a different area this morning which can be good in the summer and got lucky, found quite a few fish rolling.  We had a bite early but unfortunately it got stuck in the bottom and broke off on the take, bad luck for Brad.  After a few various sharks Gabriella hooked a nice larger 60 lb fish!  We gave chase and she fought it well and after 15 minutes or so we landed it.  After that things seemed to slow down, we moved a little bit and caught a few more sharks, but didn’t see near as many tarpon showing any more.  We then moved to another channel to give it a whirl, didn’t see a whole lot of action but the water looked nice and clean.  We had a couple shark bites, but no luck with tarpon there.  Tide was slowing and we had about an hour left, so we ran to one last spot.  I had found tarpon there the previous day at the end of it, but they didn’t want to bite.  Today though they were much happier, we saw one jump and got close by and Brad soon hooked a nice 30 lber he landed.  We saw another one a little further down and moved there, the tide was still trickling in.  Brad got another bite but we didn’t know it, I had just told him that sometimes the fish will inhale it and lay there when there is very little current, and that is exactly what happened!  As soon as he pulled up to check his bait, the tarpon went airborne but unfortunately threw the hook.  Quite a coincidence but after doing this for so long you really get a feel for what is happening out there under the water sometimes.  It was almost time to go but I said let’s give it one more shot, and Gabriella had another bite this time, but again unfortunately the fish threw the hook on the first jump.  Sometimes they are just tough to hook especially when the tide isn’t running as the fish go all kinds of directions and the hook doesn’t find purchase as easily.  Oh well we were all please they both got to catch one and had a few more shots, after the last few days of fishing I will definitely take it!  I’m not booked the next few days, but the forecast looks good with winds going more easterly for the foreseeable future.  It’s gonna be a little windier then it has been, but shouldn’t be more then 10-15mph, so should be good!  If you want to get out there give me a shout!  2 for 5

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
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8/28/17 August Fishing for Tarpon in the Florida Keys

Got out with Cody today visiting from Texas for a full day.  We spent the day after tarpon.  Bait was plentiful and easy to catch, a couple throws of the net and we were loaded.  Saw lots of bait too while running to the first tarpon area, its amazing how many mullet are still around this late in the summer.  Unfortunately the tarpon weren’t as plentiful as yesterday, we saw a couple rollers but couldn’t really get through the sharks to get a bite out of them.  Yesterday there were so many that you knew after some point a tarpon would get it, but today as I said we only saw a couple roll.  We tried another channel after that, caught the start of the falling tide, but didn’t see much though got some big spinner sharks.  We then ran out towards the mainland to give it a shot out there.  I hadn’t really been out there as we’ve had southwesterly wind which generally isn’t great for that area, but being that I’ve been just about every where else the last few days I had to try something new.  Didn’t see any tarpon unfortunately, though we got into some more sharks.  We tried up inside the canals to just try something different, and actually did end up hooking a nice 100 lb tarpon in there!  Unfortunately he got around a tree limb right away and broke us off.  We tried another area in there and caught a big lemon shark and hooked a few others that cut us off.  After that I tried another are offshore where the tarpon can stack up in the summer sometimes, though nothing there either.  We then ran back towards flamingo to finish the day.  Saw a few triple tail there which was cool, had one good shot but didn’t get him to eat.  We fished one area without much luck, then tried one last channel where I had seen a couple fish caught a few days ago.  We did see a handful of tarpon roll so I got excited.  We got lined up perfectly on them, had a few roll right behind us, but luck just wasn’t with us.  We gave it some extra time but just couldn’t get a bite.  A few more sharks including another big lemon and that about wrapped things up.  Cody had a good time though and we worked very hard trying to make it happen but things have just gotten tough.  Really the water and everything just looks so pretty, and plenty of bait around, you think there would be some more fish around and happy but just not the case right now.  Looks like Wednesday winds may swing back to the east for a while and pick up just a tad, maybe that will help things out again.  Don’t think it can get much tougher!  Back at it tomorrow and then probably taking Wednesday off, but have thursday, friday, or next tuesday open, then going out of town for a week or so.  If anybody wants to give it a shot, let me know!  0 for 1

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
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8/27/17 Tarpon Fishing in Islamorada

Got out with Chris and Caylee today for a 3/4 day.  I told them it’d been tough the last couple days but they were down to give it a try and hold fast for tarpon.  We mixed it up and I tried some other areas.  We found a load of tarpon first thing with the last trickle of incoming tide after  we caught bait.  Tons of bait around too which is good to see.  The little sharks were pretty bad but we got through them and Caylee caught a 50 lb tarpon and then later on a 25 lber.  After the tide quit things slowed down, I hoped when it started falling the tarpon would turn back on.  But they seemed to have moved on.  We tried further up the channel and found a handful more, but no more bites they seemed like they were in a weird mood.  We tried a couple other spots, and got some more big sharks and some big jack crevelles, but that was all she wrote for the tarpon.  Oh well any day you get one is a good day, so I was thrilled we caught a couple – Especially after how slow the last couple days were.  Hopefully they’ll stay put and be there tomorrow, have a couple more days booked then open Wednesday and Thursday if anyone wants to go.  2 for 2

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
@richardstanczyk

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