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
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing

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10/7/18 October Tarpon Fishing Report Everglades

Well all good things must come to an end. We had a good run of catching tarpon. Every trip all the way back to August I think, but today unfortunately that came to an end. I had Dan, Paul, and Michael out this morning. The boys wanted to pull on big stuff, so we forwent catching smaller baits and focused on tarpon. I caught a few bigger baits around the marina early but hoped we’d get some more. Unfortunately bait was very tough out back, we checked quite a few areas but didn‘t see much that was catchable. With the wind cranking 20 to 25, it was fairly muddy too. We decided to just fish with what we had. I hopes the tarpon would be where they were yesterday, and we did see a few, but not what was there the day before. We fished hard and moved around a few times but only had 1 shark bite that cut us off. After a while we didn’t see much any more so we looked around for more bait now that the tide had fallen out. Again saw some but just too hard to line up on and much of it was still way up shallow. We went and tried one other area where I had seen some tarpon last week. We did see a big one jump as soon as we got there, but again never had a bite. We moved around again and did see another fish roll and splash but just no interest in feeding. Anyways tough day we gave it a good shot but sometimes you can’t make it happen. The boys still enjoyed seeing the backcountry and great sunrise and still want to come back hopefully when the fish are more cooperative. Looks like we have see many weather tomorrow, taking the day off and then a few openings midweek. Hopefully the wind will lay back down later in the week and we might get a few more decent weeks of tarpon fishing before it cools off!  0 for 0

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
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10/6/18 October Tarpon Fishing Florida Keys

Got out with Pat and some of his buddies today after some tarpon.  We had some leftover bait and decided to leave later so we could catch some pilchards as I’d been having some better luck with small tarpon and getting a few snook and redfish as well with those.  The pilchards were easy we got a well full in 1 throw!  We ran out back and found  a good group of tarpon jumping, and set up on them.  Tide was near the end of the fall, and we definitely had some fish behind us.  However they did not respond, we moved around a few times, and had them roll over our baits and bust nearby, but no strikes!  The tide quit and we waited for it to start in.  I moved around again, and finally after a good hour and 20 minutes or so, we got a bite and Pat had a nice 75 lb tarpon!  We caught him and got a few pictures and then kept at it.  Unfortunately I was through most of my bait at this point trying to get a response out of the fish.  But we got in front of some more after another move and then we jumped another tarpon off.  Soon after though we had redemption and caught another one about a 50 lber!  Then we were pretty much out of bait.  I told the boys we could go fish with our pilchards for other stuff, or try to catch some more mullet to tarpon fish with.  They wanted the big tarpon so we went after some mullet.  We were able to locate a few and even though it was near noon, we made a few throws and caught another 15 baits or so.  We ran into a few other guides and I gave some piclhards away to give us some good karma!  We ran back to where we were and got into some big blacktips right away.  We moved further out in the area, and saw a tarpon on the sonar and then saw one roll soon after we had set up.  Eventually we got another tarpon and landed our last one of the day making 3 fish, one for each of the crew.  One of our last baits out Pat jumped another big tarpon after that, about a 100 lber.  And that was all she wrote.  But pretty good fishing overall especially considering it was blowing 20-25 mph!  I’m back at it tomorrow, have to catch some bait early as I don’t have any leftovers, so hopefully we can get some.  3 for 5

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
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10/3/18 October Fishing for Tarpon in the Florida Keys

Fun day with Chase and Stephanie visiting from Tennessee! Chase wanted to catch a tarpon and I told him I’d still been having some luck though it’d gotten a little tougher with the bigger ones this last week with the wind and all. So we decided to focus on some small guys. Bait was a little harder than yesterday, took an hour or so but we managed to catch enough and then headed out into the backcountry. We didn’t get much in our first stop though after 10 minutes or so though, Stephanie hooked a nice 10 lb tarpon free lining a pilchard! She reeled him to the boat after a good fight, but unfortunately he jumped and threw the hook next to the boat before we could get him up for some pictures. After that we drifted in and Chase hooked a nice snook we missed. We tried another area where we found a lot of small tarpon yesterday but did not see much there today, just a handful. So we kept moving and then found an area with a good amount of tarpon. They were fairly happy too, we drifted some baits in and had a few bust on them, then Stephanie hooked another one that jumped off right away! After that Chase got one, and this guy we did get to the boat a nice little 7 or 8 lber. After that we caught a few jacks and the tarpon seemed to slow down a little. We moved and tried a few other areas, which all had some tarpon in them but no response. We did get a big snook though for Stephanie, and Chase got a redfish and a spanish mackerel for a boat backcountry SLAM! We then decided to see if some bigger tarpon were showing offshore, and we did find a good pack. We moved in on them and had to readjust a couple times. Definitely were in the zone but unfortunately they did not want to bite for us. We hooked several big sharks, and caught a nurse, a couple big black tips, and a few others that bit us off. That was about all she wrote, not a ton of fish but some quality ones and Chase got what he was after so it was all good! Couple days off and then booked on the weekend, may go fun fishing one day if time permits to check out some other areas.  2 for 3

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
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10/2/18 October Tarpon Fishing in Islamorada

Got out with Rob Paxevanos and his daughters Emily and Hailey today visting from Australia.  We were shooting a bit for his TV show over their, Fishing Australia TV.  Tarpon were originally the desired target but they had some good fishing last week over on the west coast, so he said they were up for anything.  Since we already had some bait stashed away and there wasn’t really any other reason to leave early, we decided to just do normal departure time so we could catch pilchards and also have a shot at catching some other things like snook, redfish, etc…  Sounded like we made the right move as my buddy who focused on larger tarpon all day said it was tough, all the fish that were around a week ago really seemed to have up and disappeared with the winds kicking up.  We ended up actually finding lots of small tarpon in the canals while snook fishing and Hailey caught two of them on light 30 lb test!  We got them to the boat and up for some great pictures which I am still waiting for.  She also landed a snook and redfish for a backcountry SLAM.  Dad also got a snook and redfish, and I got a snook as well.  We hooked several others but they were just coming off every which way imaginable.  But none the less we got some very good video for his show and saw some crocodiles and other cool things as well.  Can’t wait to see how it comes out!  I just got booked for tomorrow with tarpon on the agenda, so I’ll likely try for the smaller guys again as we did today since that seemed productive.  We have some bait for larger tarpon if they happen to reappear as well.  2 for 2

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
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