3/22/17 March Tarpon Fishing in the Everglades

Gave the tarpon a shot again today.  We had some leftover bait from the last few days.  Mullet were not very easy where I looked today, so didn’t give it very long trying to catch them.  We caught some trout and ladyfish in the bay then tried some of the backcountry channels for big stuff.  Tide was coming in, fairly weak tide still but better than it was a few days ago.  We had plenty of shark activity and caught a nice cobia just under size.  After that we ran further into the backcountry to check some other areas for tarpon.  We found the mother load, tarpon busting as far as I could see!  We set up and within 10 minutes we had a nice 100 lb fish on.  We fought him for about 40 minutes and landed him.  After we set back up though the tide started to quit and the fish slowly dispersed.  We caught plenty of more blacktip sharks, but alas no more tarpon bites.  The water was still chilly, but with the calm weather it started to get on a warming trend, getting back up around 71 degrees at least.  Hopefully tomorrow will still be good, then Friday it’s suppose to blow like crazy so the tarpon may not like that.  1 for 1

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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3/21/17 March Tarpon Islamorada

Well I’ve been back on the water for a few days after celebrating the birth of my son, Felix!  Today we finally gave tarpon a try again.  Fishing had been a little tough since I’ve been back – the late cold front we got while I was away really cooled off the water, and it’s stayed in the low 60s at night so it hasn’t had a chance to warm up.  The water today finally got up to around 72 degrees or so ‘around town.’  Still on the chilly side for tarpon, they really became a solid option in my eyes when the water is a steady 75 degrees.  Anyways we didn’t make tarpon the priority and spent the morning catching plenty of nice sea trout, ladyfish, snappers, and jacks.  We gave the last hour or so a shot for tarpon around the local channels.  We did find some fish, not many rolling but was able to mark them on my bottom machine.  Unfortunately we were in a very weak tide cycle, and we had hardly any moving water for the first 45 minutes or so that we sat there.  Eventually the tide started coming in and did move a bit for the last 20 minutes or so, though I was not seeing the tarpon like I had when we arrived.  We had a couple shark bites and that was it.  Anyways hopefully things will warm up a bit more, though I don’t know we are suppose to get heavy winds on Friday… may keep the water from getting back into the ideal range.  Though it’s getting to be the time of year when tarpon are the priority most days so may be giving it a go regardless.  0 for 0

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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3/13/17 March Tarpon Fishing Half Day Florida Keys

Got out with Lucas and Patrick today down from Tennessee on spring break.  They wanted to try and catch tarpon.  We had some leftover bait from a couple days ago, many of which stayed alive very well with the cooler water temperatures, so we were able to get out early and get right to it.  We had some action fairly quick, Lucas hooked a nice fish with not much fussing around.  We had him on for a minute or two, but unfortunately he shook the hook while jumping a ways from the boat.  Not a huge fish but a 50 lber maybe.  Soon after that Patrick hooked one about the same size, this one stayed on there though.  We caught him from the dead boat since he wasn’t super huge, and tried to get a double header.  But no luck, though Patrick landed his and we got a few pictures. After that we moved around a little, but no more love.  The tarpon were still showing here and there, and I saw a few on my bottom machine, but just were no longer active.  A few other boats in the channel were just doing a lot of sitting, though one did catch a fish right around the time while we were fighting ours.  Anyways after that we did a little light tackle fishing and had some fun.  We tried for tarpon again for the last 45 minutes, though all we had was a bunch of blacktip sharks.  Anyways not a bad way to spend a half day!  I’m up to miami tomorrow to see the birth of our child on Wednesday.  So no more tarpon fishing for me for a little while anyways.  Like I said yesterday, cold front coming tomorrow night, and suppose to stay chilly all week into the weekend.  So it’s a good time to take a break.  Should be back at it hopefully next week some time!  1 for 2

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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3/12/17 Half Day March Tarpon Fishing

Well the baby is a little late so I opened myself up for a few half days the last few days.  We didn’t do any tarpon fishing the last couple though, but today Pete wanted to try and catch one.  I caught some mullet yesterday afternoon and we went to work this morning.  We fished our live baits and found a few fish in some of the local channels.  We had pretty good activity for about an hour and a half or so, having two solid bites and probably another half dozen ‘cheap shots’ where the tarpon bust on the mullet, slap it around, throw it in the air, etc… but just don’t quite eat it.  It’s definitely fun to watch the show, and the reason fishing live mullets is my favorite type of fishing for tarpon.  We did land one of the bites we got, got the fish up next to the boat but he started making a few crazy jumps towards us and threw the hook before we could get him laid up for a picture.  But a catch none the less.  After that things got quiet, so we looked in a few other areas but did not see much!  I really spent some time looking, as it was fairly calm and I figured we’d see fish if not mark them on the machine.  But no luck, we ended up fishing some of the bigger bridges for a bit, but never saw any fish there either.  Anyways, glad we were able to get some good action first thing in the morning, Pete was happy to catch one.  I’m available for a morning half day tomorrow, and then will definitely be having the baby by wednesday one way or another!  Looks like we are getting some cold weather tuesday night through the weekend… gonna be down near 60!  Perfect time to be taking off for the baby, as I’m sure that’ll make the tarpon a little slow for a while here.  Hopefully it’ll be nice and warm when I get back to fishing and lots of tarpon will be here!  1 for 2

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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3/5/17 March Half Day fishing in high winds

Got out today with Mark, Peter, and Matthew we had crazy high winds of 30+ mph!  Yesterday was pretty much the same and we did some snapper fishing around some of the islands that are not too far away.  Luckily in our area there are enough shallow areas, even when it is blowing crazy like this you can still get out there and do some fishing.  Though options are limited.  Anyways we were really just hoping to catch some mangrove snappers, which we had good luck with yesterday.  We often catch some nicer size ones on cut bait.  But we got lucky and found some little tarpon too!  Matthew ended up catching one and it was one of his first times fishing, a nice little 15 lber on light 20 lb spinning gear.  A nice surprise on a nasty day like this!  Looks to be blowing the next few days though it will be coming down somewhat.  The water temperatures have dropped considerably – I know in the backcountry it was down in the high 60s even though the air temperature didn’t drop too much.  The tarpon back there won’t like that, so may be a few days before they show back up and get happy.  Once the wind calms down things will have a chance to warm back up and settle down.  I’ll be taking a week or so off here though after tomorrow, expecting the birth of my first child, so hopefully when I get back they’ll be chewing!  1 for 1

Note:  We normally do not lift tarpon out of the water, however smaller fish (under 40 inches) you are still allowed to remove from the water (carefully) for a quick picture.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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