8/29/17 Late August islamorada tarpon fishing

Got out for a 3/4 day with Brad and Gabriella down from Charleston SC.  Catching tarpon in Islamorada was the goal so gave it a go.  I told them fishing had been slow the last few days but we’d give it 100%.  The winds were a bit more favorable today, once we got into the backcountry it was definitely more easterly as opposed to the southwest we’ve had the last several days.  It hasn’t been blowing hard so I wasn’t sure if that was really why fishing had been slow, but it definitely seemed much different today.  Bait was easy we made a couple throws and had more mullet than we could handle, but I loaded my cooler for the next few days in case I get booked.  We tried a different area this morning which can be good in the summer and got lucky, found quite a few fish rolling.  We had a bite early but unfortunately it got stuck in the bottom and broke off on the take, bad luck for Brad.  After a few various sharks Gabriella hooked a nice larger 60 lb fish!  We gave chase and she fought it well and after 15 minutes or so we landed it.  After that things seemed to slow down, we moved a little bit and caught a few more sharks, but didn’t see near as many tarpon showing any more.  We then moved to another channel to give it a whirl, didn’t see a whole lot of action but the water looked nice and clean.  We had a couple shark bites, but no luck with tarpon there.  Tide was slowing and we had about an hour left, so we ran to one last spot.  I had found tarpon there the previous day at the end of it, but they didn’t want to bite.  Today though they were much happier, we saw one jump and got close by and Brad soon hooked a nice 30 lber he landed.  We saw another one a little further down and moved there, the tide was still trickling in.  Brad got another bite but we didn’t know it, I had just told him that sometimes the fish will inhale it and lay there when there is very little current, and that is exactly what happened!  As soon as he pulled up to check his bait, the tarpon went airborne but unfortunately threw the hook.  Quite a coincidence but after doing this for so long you really get a feel for what is happening out there under the water sometimes.  It was almost time to go but I said let’s give it one more shot, and Gabriella had another bite this time, but again unfortunately the fish threw the hook on the first jump.  Sometimes they are just tough to hook especially when the tide isn’t running as the fish go all kinds of directions and the hook doesn’t find purchase as easily.  Oh well we were all please they both got to catch one and had a few more shots, after the last few days of fishing I will definitely take it!  I’m not booked the next few days, but the forecast looks good with winds going more easterly for the foreseeable future.  It’s gonna be a little windier then it has been, but shouldn’t be more then 10-15mph, so should be good!  If you want to get out there give me a shout!  2 for 5

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing