10/31/18 October Tarpon Fishing in the Everglades Florida Keys

Got out with Pat and Eric today for a full day.  We focused on a mixed bag type of day so tarpon definitely wasn’t the priority, but I did have some leftover bait from several days ago that I could put to use.  We went with our shrimp and pilcahrds and started the day fishing for snook and reds.  It was incredible we had non stop action for the first hour and a half, catching probably 40 or more total fish.  Then we found a few small tarpon that we tried messing with but no action out of them, one possible bite but I’m not sure what it was.  But we did catch a handful of nice trout.  Then we went offshore and did see a handful of bigger tarpon busting.  Not a ton but saw a few and tried it.  No bites here either but some big sharks, caught a big lemon and a big blacktip.  And also a couple triple tails that were floating by those were fun to catch!  We then did try a channel for the last hour of the day where a lot of tarpon were before this latest cold front came in.  Saw a handful here too, but no bites at all.  Anyways like I said it was still a stellar day with lots of variety and such, just no tarpon action.  With cool/cold fronts coming in the fishing for them will get hit and miss.  If we have warm stretches and calm weather it can definitely spark up and get good, if not then really it’s probably not worth focusing on – if you come across some and have the bait or set ups for it, then maybe try for a little while, but there are plenty of other things that are providing much better and consistent action for the next few months.  0 for 0

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
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10/26/18 Half Day Tarpon Fishing in October in the Florida Keys

Got out with Brad and Lindsey for a half day.  We fish for snappers around some islands but I told them some small tarpon may be possible here too.  We caught our pilchards and headed out.  Snappers were pretty good, slow to start but got better with the tide change.  Then we got a nice little snook for Brad.  Then a little later, wham!  Tarpon on!  A nice little 10 lber but we got him to the boat for some pictures and released him unharmed.  After that we got a couple redfish to complete a backcountry SLAM – awesome!  Anyways very cool and nice half day.  Looks like we have a little weak cold front coming in tomorrow, it’ll be blowing hard west and then north on sunday as temperatures drop into the low 70s sunday night (lol).  Well it is a change for us as it’s been closer to 80 as a low and 90 during the day.  Fishing should start to change to fall/winter time stuff slowly.  Tarpon are still definitely possible as long as it doesn’t get real cold.  May be a little more hit and miss, but if you put the time in it can pay off.  But a lot of times, going for other things like snook etc… may pay off more and you still have shots at small tarpon while fishing for them.  But I always leave that up to my anglers.  1 for 1

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
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10/21/18 October Tarpon Florida Keys Fishing Report

Had Andrew, Jim, and Jay out again for Day 2.  They fished with me Friday and we had a good mixed bag day with snook, redfish, and finished the day with a small tarpon.  Today we focused on bigger tarpon.  Originally the forecast looked great it was suppose to be flat calm, however these weak cold fronts they never know what they’ll do, so it ended up being a little windy not too crazy but a solid 15 mph out of the north mostly.  My buddy gave me some bait yesterday afternoon so I felt confident that we’d have something at least, as the bait for big tarpon has been a little hit and miss as of late.  Of course we had no problem catching it after checking a few spots, but always nice to have that safety net to have a few left overs.  We loaded the bait well and then looked for tarpon.  Luckily for us they were right near where we caught our bait!  We had the last hour of falling tide and boy the water was super muddy from the wind a few days ago, also had a weird yellow tinge maybe algae related.  Tarpon were rolling and splashing around, I thought for sure it’d be red hot.  But we sat and never had a bite on the falling tide.  Waited for the tide to come in and moved around a bit, saw some more tarpon but still no response.  Made one more move and had them rolling there too, nothing!  The sharks did keep us busy though some lemons and blacktips.  It was hard to leave as every time I wanted to, another tarpon would roll right on top of our baits and we’d sit for a bit longer.  Must’ve happened at least a dozen times.  No bites though…. some days they do that, today really didn’t look like it was gonna be one of those days but they just weren’t into it.  We finally left and tried another area.  Saw a few splashed and a tarpon roll.  We set up and had another shark bite, then moved and after that we got lucky.  Jay hooked a big monster 120 lb tarpon that we fought and got on the leader in about 10 minutes!  A few good jumps to put on a show.  We leadered the fish but unfortunately with the tide into the wind, she made one good kick under the boat and cut off before we could get her to lay up for pictures.  So it goes with those big tarpon especially but we had her leader in hand for a legal catch.  We tried another channel after that, looked around hard but never for sure saw any tarpon there.  We blind fished and did catch a few more sharks.  Anyways a hard days work we definitely gave it 110% effort and were in fish most of the day, but sometimes you just can’t make them bite ravenously.  Good to still see such big groups of tarpon around though, it could still be worthwhile as long as the water temps stay in that 80 degree range.  Might have to work at it, but it’s doable.  Anyways I’m off the next couple days, then charters mid week again on Thursday… Another weak cold front coming in Friday, so wind may get funky on us but the calm before the storm could be good fishing!  Wednesday I’m available if anyone wants to go, it looks like it’ll be a nice day!  1 for 1

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
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10/19/18 October Florida Keys Tarpon Fishing

Got out with Jay, Jim, and Andrew today for a full day.  Had the last week or so off, welcoming my baby boy Beau into the world!  He was born Tuesday and everyone was healthy and happy thankfully.  Was good to get out on the water after a few sleepless nights, and have some days off again coming up to spend some time with him at home.  We decided to leave later as the winds were cranking and the boys wanted more of a mixed bag trip instead of trying to focus on tarpon all day.  I said it’d probably be a good idea and we’d still have a shot at catching some smaller tarpon.  Anyways fishing was very good, we had a bunch of snook, a few redfish, a few trout, a nice triple tail, a sheepshead, and finished the day with a nice 15 lb juvenile tarpon!  We didn’t really put much effort into targeting them but of course when snook fishing with our live baits, this time of year there are plenty of small tarpon in those same areas so if you fish your baits the right away you can encourage a strike here and there.  Anyways we finally got one at the end of the day, unfortunately we got the fish to the boat but he pulled the hook before we could get a good picture.  I have these guys again on Sunday and it looks like it will be getting slick calm before a minor cold front hits.  So we may decide to focus on the tarpon that day as that is the condition we like.  Will keep everyone posted and if you are wanting to fish give me a shout, still have a couple weeks where tarpon are definitely possible and like I said the snook and other stuff are pretty good now too and you have shots at the smaller ones when doing that too.  1 for 1

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
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10/11/18 October Fishing for Tarpon in Islamorada

Got out with Steve and his son Carter down from Pittsburgh today for some tarpon fishing in the everglades.  October so far hasn’t been quite as good as normal, but we did have a stellar September so it may of come a little early.  Several days ago we had crazy winds due to hurricane Michael, but today it laid down to 10-12 mph so it was much nicer.  But still a southwest wind direction which we don’t really like it’s not good for most of our backcountry fishing.  I caught some bait yesterday afternoon, and of course this morning we crushed the bait too, but I hate going back there empty handed as the bait has been much more hit or miss lately and that determines your whole day.  We checked a few channels nearby where tarpon were the last time I fished, but did not see much this morning.  We looked hard driving around and keeping our eyes peeled.  After a couple spots and 30 minutes or so of looking, we ran to another area and just set up.  We did see a tarpon roll right away, almost right on our baits and I thought it was gonna happen.  But no such luck, we did get a few big sharks though including  a lemon and blacktip.  We moved around a bit and had another tarpon roll right behind us but again no love from him.  We moved on after that.  Next area we saw a couple busts and then saw a free jumping tarpon, it looked promising as we then also saw a tarpon roll.  I thought for sure it would be good fishing.  But we gave it a good 20 minutes with not a sniff, then moved around and another 20 minutes and still nothing.  After we started fishing we really didn’t see the activity that we saw when we first pulled up either, so looked good for a moment but then didn’t seem to be.  We made one more move and tried another channel I hadn’t fished in a while.  It looked beautiful now especially considering the wind direction and the heavy wind we had earlier this week.  Nice pretty green water it just looked fishy.  Sure enough we saw some busting going on, and then I saw some tarpon.  We set up and within a few minutes, Carter had a nice 45 lb tarpon on!  We landed him and got a few pictures.  Dad got a few more sharks and then the tide slowed down on us.  The tarpon seemed to spread out, still saw a few here and there, but with no tide they weren’t really responding.  We tried another channel nearby to catch the start of the incoming tide and that looked really good too, but never saw a tarpon there.  We ran back to where we caught the one for the last 20 minutes as I figured at least some fish would be there.  We did see a tarpon roll, but the current was ripping in with the west wind behind it, and it got nastier looking too with mud and lots of grass floating by.  We did get a few more sharks bites, but that was it.  Anyways had to work very hard for 1 tarpon but it was worth it, Carter also decided to immortalize his tarpon and got it mounted through Gray’s taxidermy which we work with.  He’ll be enjoying that fish for the rest of his life!  My baby is due any day now, so I have the next week off but I did open myself up Saturday if anyone wants to try and go.  I have some bait stashed away and like I said it may not be red hot fishing but definitely a decent shot, it should stay calm the next couple days too and who knows it could really light up especially Saturday it’s suppose to slick off to nothing.  Give me a shout if you wanna go.  1 for 1

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
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