8/5/17 August Florida Keys Tarpon Fishing

Got out with Arthur and Chris down from Miami today for a full day of tarpon fishing.  We got out early and caught some bait in the backcountry, wasn’t real easy but we managed a couple good tosses and loaded up.  We found some tarpon where they were yesterday morning, but today they didn’t want to play.  We fished hard for 45 minutes or so, had them rolling right on top of our baits, but never a sniff.  Had 1 shark bite and that was it.  We tried another channel where they had been several days ago, didn’t see much there just a bonnet head shark.  Tide was changing so we tried another channel further out where the tide would be coming in now.  My buddy had caught one there a little earlier, and said he did well there yesterday.  We had them rolling around there too, right on top of our baits again at one point, but never had a bite again.  One big shark that we had cut us off, and my buddy caught another shark too.  After that things were looking kind of glum, strange as fishing had been so good the last few weeks I haven’t had to look around in more than a couple spots.  Anyways we ran back towards where we were this morning to try on the incoming tide now that it had changed.  First stop again nothing but catfish and a small shark.  Then we tried the morning spot again.  We sat for 45 minutes or so, and was almost getting ready to move when we hooked a big lemon shark for Arthur.  Soon after Chris had a tarpon bite while he was on his phone!  Luckily I was able to get the rod from him as the fish came up behind the boat quickly and almost cut us off on the motor, but I was able to put it in free spool and clear the back of the boat and the anchor line, and get him on the rod again when he got off the phone.  We had a good fight of about 25 minutes, landed both the shark and the tarpon, but unfortunately when I had the tarpon boatside on the leader, I put the rod in the holder about to get a picture with him and the hook literally just fell out of his mouth.  But Arthur had some good pictures while Chris fought him, and we got the legal release anyways.  After that we caught one more lemon shark and it was time to go home.  Not sure why the tarpon didn’t want to bite well today, I know yesterday they got lockjaw after the first couple hours in the morning, but today it seemed to be right from the start.  Could be the full moon they may have fed hard over night and just weren’t hungry.  Oh well, hopefully it’ll get better again.  The fish are definitely still around, I think we’ll have another window of good fishing soon… hopefully tomorrow!  1 for 1

Capt. Rick Stanczyk