5/5/16 Early May tarpon fishing in the Florida Keys

We fished a 3/4 day today and a mixed bag was the objective.  We did catch a few fresh live mullets first thing this AM so we decided to give tarpon some time.  Early morning we fished around the bridges but had no luck for the first hour.  We did have a late cold front hit us last night, didn’t get very cold but down in the 70s and suppose to get in the high 60s the next couple nights – which is highly unusual for May!   Winds were 20 mph out of the northwest.  Tough to say what effect it will have on the fishing.  Anyways after that we caught some big jumbo mangrove snappers around the island which was very fun, and then gave the tarpon a try the last hour again.  We got lucky and hooked a big 100 lb fish that battled for a while and we chased out through the channels to the ocean side and finally landed.  While fighting him I noticed several purple swimming crabs flushing out with the tide, a very good sign as we use to have the crabs decades ago every summer and it was a quality food source for tarpon, permit, and other fish.  Then they disappeared for many years until the summer after the ‘freeze’ of 2010 where they showed up for a month and we had really good fishing.  Anyways not sure if it’s from the late cold weather or perhaps some of the water quality issues to our north, but was cool to see them again.  1 for 1

Capt. Rick Stanczyk