Capt. Rick Stanczyk

1/27/2023 January Tarpon in Islamorada!

Well we had a few calmer days after the last cold front and slowly the water temps had been getting more & more in ‘tarpon’ range.  That’s usually 73ish degrees or so to have an OK shot.  I fished a couple days before this and we had given the tarpon a try both days but it was still on the chilly side (71 degrees) and both days we didn’t see a ton of tarpon, a handful no doubt but not the hundreds & hundreds we like to see on flat calm spring conditions.  Anyways on this day we found the mother load – thousands of tarpon airing out as far as you could see, and marking groups of 6, 8, 10 fish at a time coming by the boat occasionally.  We first drifted in to an area with a crab and pilchard out on the surface, and sure enough our crab got sucked off within 5 minutes!  We got tight on whatever it was and got a munched up crab back so we didn’t get the hook in them – possibly a permit which was on our wish list but definitely could’ve been a tarpon too.  Anyways after that we caught a nice cobia on a pilchard, and then we focused on tarpon more.  Had to jump around and stay with the schools of fish but we wound up getting a half dozen bites, not able to keep the hooks in them really good but finally we did stick one.  That one went through the leader on us early but then later on we got one that we got to the boat and up boatside for pictures.  A few more jumped off but it was pretty good action plus plenty of sharks to keep us busy.  The winds were flat early on but they picked up as the day went on getting to 10-15 out of the north which is breezy in the backcountry.  But the tarpon didn’t seem to mind though the next couple days over the weekend it blew 25 and got slightly chillier so it may have shut them off temporarily but I think the next calm day or at least light southeasterly wind day it’ll be game on again!  So I’m thinking it’ll be an early start to the season as is the usual case in recent years.  February can offer some great opportunities plus you still get plenty of other options as well.  I’ve just opened my fishing dates for myself personally through May, so if you want to get something on the calendar I suggest doing so ASAP as I’m only fishing 3 days a week myself.  Though all my other captains are available for advanced bookings whenever available.

I am honoring my old 2022 rates for February as well so another good reason to come early!  However starting in March I’m going to a new rate, only offering full day bookings, and am reserving the right to bring along either my camera guy or one of my mates in training.  Though for the added cost there are some perks such as getting cool video content that I can share with you as well as often create a YouTube video for our channel if we get good enough content.  Obviously having a mate is helpful onboard too if thats the case.  And also being I’m only fishing a limited number of days each week, I often (not guaranteed!) can move days around if the weather is bad or something else comes up – as this is often hard to do in season since everyone is so busy and booked every day.  So you can look at it as a little bit of added insurance.  So let’s go fishing and if you have a dream of catching a trophy tarpon and getting it mounted lemme know too!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing
YouTube: Bud n’ Mary’s Marina

1/5/2023 First tarpon of 2023!

Conrgrats to angler Jim catching the first tarpon of 2023 for me!  She was a nice 70 lber that we caught drifting our live pilchards.  Other than that it was a slow day of fishing for us – it’s been a little tough with the weather changes lately and overall a lot of our backcountry fishing just has seen better days.  But definitely still worthwhile and hopefully we’ll be into tarpon season here soon in another month or so.  Anyways if we have warm weather windows tarpon like this are definitely a possibility and the Islamorada Tarpon Fishing crew will be dialed in on them in short order.  As always, if you are wanting straight shooting drop me a line and I’ll give you my best thoughts on if it’s worthwhile targetting tarpon or not.  For the winter time we often catch other fish we use for bait for them so at least you get to bend the rod a little and if nothing else usually catch some big sharks.  Once mullet start showing up in the spring then we usually start catching & using them for bait more.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

: @richardstanczyk
: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing
: Bud n’ Mary’s Marina
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10/12/22 Great October Tarpon fishing in the Everglades

Well the last week or so there’s been lots of tarpon showing up in the backcountry with the arrival of the Fall mullet run.  Tons of fish in the 40 to 60 lb range with some big bruisers mixed in too.  We fished yesterday and today out there for them and has some good luck.  Yesterday we just fished for a couple hours and landed two nice medium size tarpon and four juveniles in other areas.  It was tarpon action every where we went!  Today we fished a shortened 3/4 day as the boys had to be in by noon, but again good fishing we hooked 6 tarpon and landed 3 as well as some big sharks.  The fish are out there in number and I imagine it will still be productive for at least a couple more weeks and who knows maybe into November if the weather stays warm.  You can check out a couple videos of the last couple days action here and if you are wanting to get out fishing, give me a shout!  If I’m not available I have Capt. Brandon at the ready and he’s dialed in to the tarpon patterns as well.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing
YouTube: Bud n’ Mary’s Marina

Good juvenile tarpon video with our buddy Capt. Ron!

There’s been some juvenile tarpon still around lately.  Bait’s been a little difficult to get specifically for just tarpon (mullet) but we’ve been getting shots at some of these smaller guys while we’re snook/redfishing.  On pinfish or pilchards.  Fishing should still be good through the next couple months here and it’s off season so the fishing pressure is low!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing
YouTube: Bud n’ Mary’s Marina

8/17/2022 ‘The Bean’ on some juvenile tarpon

Blake and Julie each caught their first Tarpon on light tackle fishing with ‘The Bean’ Capt. Brandon Storin.  Happy half day for those two!  He said bait was easy (pilchards) and there were plenty of snapper to go along with that too.  Juvenile tarpon are lots of fun and to be honest, I prefer catching these little guys to the big brutes.  Though that being said I’ve gotten to catch my share of big ones!  The fall is a great time of year to target smaller tarpon.  They aren’t always a primary target but often in areas where we catch snook or snapper, you’ll find a few milling around.  Bean’s been running my boat the last 2 seasons and doing a great job.  He’ll still be with me next year too.  We’re offering discounted trips for the rest of August and September on the seacraft so drop me a line if you want to go.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing
YouTube: Bud n’ Mary’s Marina