12/21/17 Mid December Tarpon Fishing on a warm, calm day!

Got out with Duane, Diana, and their grandson Gilly today for a full day.  It was flat calm and gorgeous out, very spring-like conditions as things warmed up considerably from a week ago.  But the water was still in the low to mid 70s.  Tarpon often show up on days like this seemingly from nowhere.  I mentioned it to the crew and we figured we may give it a shot at some point during the day.  We caught plenty of mackerels in the morning and a few tripletails running the buoy lines in the gulf.  We checked one area for tarpon but didn’t see any signs of them.  When its slick calm, usually you can see them as they disturb the surface easily and can’t hide so easily.  We ran and checked another channel and as soon as I stopped the boat I started marking fish on the sonar!  After 10 minutes or so we started seeing them roll.  Not a giant school but probably 3 dozen or so.  We caught a few big blacktip sharks, but kept at it and eventually hooked a nice 100 lb tarpon!  It was a good fight and we landed him in about 25 minutes.  Unfortunately we didn’t get any good boatside pictures as we pulled the hook while he was on the leader, but a good technical catch anyhow as we had him on the leader boatside.  After that the tarpon kind of dissapated there were still a few around, but we didn’t get any more bites.  Saw a couple more boats show up and they didn’t have much luck but I know after we left one of them caught one too.  We did get 3 sawfish though which was really cool!  All in all a great day I think the tarpon will likely stick around until it gets cold or really windy again, but maybe through the weekend at least!  1 for 1

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