7/31/18 End of July Tarpon Fishing Report Florida Keys

Got out with Peter and Ben for Day 2 today.  Wind was a little more easterly than yesterday, much better than the due south!  Little breezy to start but we had a window where it flattened to nothing for about an hour.  No tarpon the first few stops but we stayed in the same area to keep grinding, I figured the fish were there as they were pretty good yesterday.  Third stop was a charm and Ben got a nice 40 lb tarpon!  We then moved around a little bit and got into a good swarm of them.  The wind laid out as I said and we could see them pop up quite often.  We missed quite a few – a lot of smaller size fish that were just blowing the baits out and not getting hooked.  A couple maybe were angler error pulling back to soon, but most of them were not just bad bites.  Eventually we got another 20 lber for Ben and then missed a few more before finally finishing with another 20 lber.  I think we probably had 10 bites in all including one that we missed, casted back out, and literally ate it as it hit the water but missed again!  Also some sharks mostly blacktips.  We ran out of bait and tried to catch a little more but that was difficult at that point, so we just bent the light rods to finish the day catching a few trout.  But a good finish to July and my best month ever by a long shot!  3 for 10

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

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7/30/18 July Tarpon Fishing Late Summer Islamorada

Got out with Peter and his son Ben today for Day 1 of their two day fishing charter with me.  We headed out early and searched for bait.  Winds were kicking slightly out of the south, not my favorite direction, but not howling at least.  Bait was there but much harder to catch today we got one good shot on them and then they got very finicky running from us hard.  We got another shot on a handful after jumping around and then went to fishing.  Found some tarpon right nearby in the same channel near the bait, but no response out of them just some shark bites.  We headed back to where I’d been fishing the last few days to try.  Tide was starting out good and it was choppy so hard to see the tarpon showing.  We did come across a few and set up.  Not much action eventually got a shark and some catfish, did see a handful of tarpon start to roll and thought we’d get one but didn’t happen.  They just didn’t seem very happy maybe from the south wind or bright moon still, who knows.  Anyways after an hour or so and jumping around a couple times we left.  My buddy who was nearby did manage to get one after fishing hard for an hour.  We ran and checked some other channels where I hadn’t fished lately, hoping some new fish may have shown up there.  We got lucky and did come across a small handful that we set up on and soon Ben had a 50 lb tarpon landed!  That was it there though, we moved further down and then cam across a handful more and set up.  We got a bite out of a nice big fish probably a 100 lber who jumped and spit the hook, unfortunately the rod was in the rod holder at the time which sometimes is fine but overall it does cut your hook-up ratio down to about 50% from 80%, so I always suggest for people to hold them.  One less thing you have to worry about in keeping the rod down on the bite if it’s in your hand, cause when it’s in the holder its pointed up!  Anyways we shook it off and caught some big sharks there, nice blacktips and several nice lemons!  We found a few more tarpon after moving from there, but tide was almost dead and we didn’t get a response.  We were limited on bait and was gonna try to catch more real quick but nothing nearby that looked catchable.  Anyways we killed a little time and that allowed the tide to start moving.  We set back up with our few remaining baits and managed to get one more tarpon bite, allowing Peter to land a nice 30 lber!  Great way to finish up and glad we found some more fish.  Think we’ll go right there tomorrow hopefully they stick around, I think they will.  A couple more days and then I’ll be off on vacation but mid August I have plenty of days open so give me a shout, tarpon fishing can still be good!  2 for 3

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

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7/29/18 July Florida Keys Tarpon Fishing Trip

Got out today despite some nasty looking weather!  It didn’t look bad early so we headed back into the backcountry, but as soon as we stopped for bait I could see a big line of thunderstorms building behind us and heading our way.  We got our bait and ran towards flamingo so we could duck in and hide if necessary.  We looked around and weather was definitely coming soon so we ran in and ducked into the flamingo store.  Had to sit there for an hour as nasty weather rolled by and it was blowing 30 mph.  Finally the wind let up and it was just a drizzle so we headed back out.  Found some tarpon right away where we stopped.  We set up and soon jumped one off!  Good sign and they were definitely still hanging around.  Then we had another weird bite where a tarpon jumped at us but threw the bait right away.  Unfortunate!  Finally we got one more shot thankfully and Keith caught his first ever tarpon a nice 40 lber.  After that we tried for a few more minutes but the thunderstorms started cracking lightning and more weather was coming.  So we headed back and just called it a half day.  But glad to get one and had a couple other shots.  The tarpon were much happier today as we only had 3 bites all day yesterday, but today had 3 bites in about 30 minutes.  You never know unless you go!  Hopefully the weather gets a little better tomorrow but looks like it may be similar.  1 for 3

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

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7/28/18 July Full Moon Tarpon Fishing Report

Got out with return customer Dave and his buddy Bill today down from Miami.  We headed out early in search of bait.  Full moon and bright moonlit sky for the ride, was nice but I knew can be funky for the fishing.  The tarpon I think often feed hard in the middle of the night sometimes then and are a little unresponsive during the day.  One of the only things you can predict ahead of time.  But can still be worth going so we gave it a shot.  We found a ton of bait so that was nice, a few tarpon chasing them too but we didn’t fish there.  Ran near where we’d been finding bigger schools of fish.  Not as much there today but a few.  We set up where I thought some were and we were rewarded with a nice 55 lber for Bill to start!  We set back up and moved around a little, saw quite a few fish but they didn’t respond as well.  We moved out further eventually chasing a handful we saw but just no more biters, think the moon definitely had ’em acting weird.  Eventually a lot of fish were around us rolling everywhere.  We kept at it hard and just couldn’t get a response, I talked to a couple other people and same story with them.   We were glad we had gotten 1 right away.  Eventually we hooked a big monster 300 lb bull shark that dragged us a few miles away.  We caught him and saw a bunch of tarpon where we ended up, so we set back up.  These fish seemed in a different mood, just giving a different look on the surface.  It was slick calm so we could see them a ways away.  We got bit right away, and Dave got a nice 70 lb fish!  Alright we were in business it seemed.  But as soon as we got back to fishing after landing the tarpon, it seemed to quiet down.  A few tarpon still around but not as many, and they trickled out it seemed like.  The sharks bit us up lots of blacktips.  We moved on after that checking some areas further west where the tide had changed and was starting in.  Didn’t see much and thunderstorms were starting to build.  It was almost time to go so I said we’d check one more spot in another channel on the way home.  Low and behold we saw a few tarpon roll as soon as we pulled in.  Set up and it looked pretty good, nice clean water with a good incoming tide.  Soon a  few rolled behind us, and Dave hooked another 80 lber as the thunder and lightning were rumbling behind us!  We landed him quickly and got him up for pictures actually.  Then took off and called it a day.  Had to work for the 3 bites we got but we made them all count even getting all 3 to the hand, and all nice size fish for this time of year.  Back at it tomorrow looks like the winds will be picking up a little and decent chance of thunderstorms but normal summer time weather just not as calm.  Hopefully the bite will get a little better as we get away from the moon.  A few more days I’ll be at it then off on vacation for the first week of August.  3 for 3

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

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7/26/18 Late July Tarpon Fishing Charter in Islamorada

Got out with Andrew Forbes and his family today for a 3/4 day trip.  They were leaving it up to me as far as what to do, wanting to either do a half day of ‘rod bending’ or tarpon fishing which I told them would take a little more time.  The conditions got right yesterday afternoon so I said it looks good for that and they were game.  We headed out early, beautiful day slick calm back there.  We found some bait took a couple spots to get on it right but we did and loaded up.  We then looked around where we found all the tarpon yesterday afternoon.  They were waiting for us so that was good!  Sharks got us a bunch in the first stop though tarpon were rolling pretty good nearby.  We moved around and then soon got a nice 100 lb tarpon!  After that things quieted down, but the tarpon were definitely around.  We had one grab a bait and jump sideways throwing the bait out.  Then we had another zip us real hard and drop the bait as well.  Hook one that we got to the boat real quick and then took off, thinking it was a shark, and then he jumped and spit it but we did get him to the leader for a technical release.  They were beating us up!  After that we jumped one more fish I think and then caught another one finally to the boat for pictures!  A few other sharks including a nurse shark and some big old catfish.  By 11:00 the tide quit and it was time to go.  But great action and three tarpon releases not too bad!  Looks like it should be fairly nice though the weekend, then perhaps a bit of wind next week.  At least for now it looks like it’ll be more southeasterly wind instead of southwest like we had a few days ago, that was terrible!  Hopefully the tarpon won’t mind, I’ll miss the slick calm like we had today for sure.  3 for 6

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

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