6/13/13 Great local tarpon fishing around islamorada, florida keys!

Well yesterday I fished a 3/4 day in the morning and a night trip.  We left out early at 5:15 AM to try to get the early tarpon bite drifting crabs locally.  We heard some fish rolling though it was flat slick calm which makes it tough to drift.  We were able to spread the baits well enough out but the fish weren’t interested.  By daylight we decided to try further down the road around channel 2 bridge tarpon fishing.  We got some fresh mullet plus I had some leftovers from the afternoon before.  We saw plenty of fish down there and set up on the last of the falling tide.  After a bit of waiting we hooked up on a dead mullet, nice 80 lb fish we fought for a good while and drug us around through the oceanside.  We caught him after 45 minutes then went back, the tide was just about to turn.  We were about to leave but it looked there was still a good body of fish around so we just adjusted positions.  We waited a good while, catching a big nurse shark and sting ray in the mean time.  Eventually we had a boil on a live bait.  Then we hooked up another big tarpon on the bottom close to 100 lbs, and had another one eat a crab on top at the same time!  Very exciting!  We lost the one on the crab, probably a good thing as it seemed to be very big too.  We caught the other one, making us 2 for 3 for the morning.  In the afternoon we caught more mullet, and really loaded up we found a big ball of them.  So we had lots of live baits and some dead too.  We fished locally and caught a big cuda, hooked one tarpon on the bottom that we fought for a bit and jumped off, and another big ray.  We moved channels then it was game on.  We went 0 for 3 really quick unfortunately just angler error not bowing to fish and rearing back on them.  Then 30 minutes later we had another good 3 bites we missed and a few other cheap shots.  Remember just reel when getting a bite on live mullet AFTER you see him grab your bait and bobber go down, then once your lines tight on the fish give it ONE good hard hookset.  After this drop your tip back down and keep your rod at a 45 degree angle and reel, don’t keep your rod stuck straight up in the air or angled behind you, reared back like your bass fishing.  Always BOW to the king when he jumps!  If he runs and surges hard, or is angling upwards, be ready to BOW as that is an indication he is going to jump.  Always keep your eyes on the fish and pay attention so you know what is going on.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk