2/28/19 End of February Tarpon Fishing in the Florida Keys

Fantastic day with Matt and Emily visiting from Oklahoma! We headed out early and decided to give the tarpons a try since it was pretty good yesterday. Little different condition today with a bit of a northwest breeze, nothing crazy but it was blowing onshore so it was a little rough to start. We didn’t see quite as much activity early on as yesterday, but enough to keep us interested. We caught a couple sharks first thing, then we moved around a bit and soon Matt had a tarpon hooked up! Not a monster but a decent 60 lber that we landed. Soon after that we jumped off a second one. We skirted around again, and the winds started to lay out a bit and it got nice. The tarpon started to show a bit more, and soon Matt had a monster hooked up probably a good 150-170 lbs! We chased after her and Matt fought it well, bowing when she jumped and not pulling to hard when she would run. We got the fish on the leader multiple times, but didn’t seem like she was going to roll over anytime soon, so eventually we just put the wood to her and popped her off. We then gave it one more shot and caught a few more sharks, but after a few moves, we hooked up a third tarpon for Matt and he landed this one properly and a few more nice pictures to be had. We were about to call it quits and were heading to try and catch a few snook and reds, but then we ran into a big old school of tarpon! It was hard to pass up, we got lined up and drifted our baits out and within a minute, jumped another tarpon and then hooked Matt hooked another that he landed! Sometimes it happens quick when you are in the right spot at the right time, and this was it! After that we left them alone. Finished our day catching about 2 dozen redfish. It was a gorgeous day and very lively out there. The 2019 tarpon season is off to a great start!  4 for 6

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