Got out with Jeffery, Jesse, and Jerry today for a full day fishing charter for tarpon. We headed out into the backcountry. Weather looked great they were calling for some thunderstorms but that didn’t materialize so it was all clear and nice flat calm how we like it. I ran right to where we fished yesterday as there was a good pile of bait there too. Today though the bait wasn’t in the same area and the bait that was there seemed pretty tough. We made a few throws without too much luck, and I was almost in panic made thinking I’d have to bail and run back the other way to catch my bait which would’ve been do-able, but would’ve probably killed another hour getting there and back with also having to catch bait. Not what I was hoping for as I was trying to get to fishing early to catch the tide right. Anyways we got lucky and ran over some bait up shallow where it was just deep enough for me to stop and make some throws and get us a few dozen baits. We set up to fish and saw a decent amount of tarpon in the same area as yesterday. They were really spread out though and moving a lot. Hard to get lined up on. We just set up where I’d seen some and had to give it a bit. After 30 minutes or so though we hooked a nice 50 lber. He jumped right near the boat and unfortunately got tip wrapped and broke off. Though right after that the other rod went off and we had a big 100 lber on! Jesse landed him and it was a good 30 minute battle we got to the boat for good pictures. We set back up and the tarpon seemed to thin out, I was almost going to leave but after 15 minutes or so a few started to show again. Eventually we saw a few right behind us and I figured we’d get one more shot. We did eventually but the fish threw the bait out right away as he jumped and never even had the hook in him. After that the tide slowed and I figured it was done with so we tried to re-up on our bait which we were successful with. All the bait from the shallow flat came off on the bottom of the tide and we got a couple good tosses, usually that can be a very tough thing on slick calm days unless you are out there at day break, so that was nice. We checked some areas further back in the everglades but there was a lot of ugly muddy water, never really saw any tarpon in 3 or 4 other spots we checked. We ended up running back to where we started an hour or so later when the tide changed, and saw a few more but no bites. We checked one more area and then found a good load of tarpon there, fish rolling as far as we could see! I thought we were in the honey hole but the fish were definitely in a funky mood. We gave it a good hard 45 minutes, and right when it was about time to go we hooked up another one for Jerry! He battled the fish and got him boat side with the leader into the tip for an official catch in a few minutes, but then unfortunately the fish took off and jumped and we didn’t get the rod bowed down and pointed towards him so he threw the hook! Unfortunately it was time to go already but I was glad we gave it a few extra minutes for the boys to get one more, too bad it wasn’t a good picture taker but a legal release none the less.
I just realized I’m open for tomorrow had a little booking miscommunication, so if anybody wants to go tomorrow the days available. Looks like perfect flat calm conditions again, we have a good amount of left over bait, and I know where there should be plenty of tarpon. Can’t really ask for a better shot at catching one than that. Give me a shout! 2 for 4
Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing