2/18/17 More February Tarpon Fishing in the Florida Keys

Well after the small cold blast we had the last couple days, today was flat calm and things warmed up again nicely.  A mini front dropped the water temperatures from the high 70s back down to 70ish, and the tarpon definitely dont like that.  I didn’t even bother fishing for them, but we did some other things for the last couple days to keep us busy.  Today my anglers Brandon and Eric had mentioned tarpon and I told them we’d have a shot since it looked to be on the warming trend, even though water temps are still on the lower end of what I like to see for catching tarpon in Islamorada.  We caught plenty of mackerels early on for the first hour, then went and checked the channels.  We found a ton of tarpon where we first stopped, didn’t see many rolling but a tail splash here or there, but I could see them on my bottom machine!  We first hooked a big blacktip that Eric battled, and as soon as we landed that, Brandon hooked a monster 150 lb tarpon.  He jumped several times but never made any blistering runs, but luckily he stayed on the hook.  We eventually landed him after 20 minutes or so – a pretty quick battle for a fish that size.  We got sucked into looking for tarpon the rest of the day, and fished a few more areas, though that was to be the only bite we had.  We did catch some more sharks, and a big old sawfish which was cool.  Marked a few other tarpon and maybe saw a couple roll in some of the other areas, but no big packs like where we first stopped.  Anyhow tomorrow looks like conditions should be good for the silver king in the florida keys, then looks like it’ll get a little chilly a couple nights later in the week, but maybe not enough to really bother the tarpon – we will have to see!  That’s the only problem this time of year is you still have a good possibility of cold weather, and sometimes even though it may not feel like it changes much, a few degrees in the water temperatures can make the tarpon go from happy and chewing, to not doing much at all.  1 for 1

Capt. Rick Stanczyk