2/6/18 February Tarpon fishing in Islamorada, Florida Keys

Got out with Larry and his son Joe today for a full day of february backcountry fishing in Islamorada.  They have fished out of bud n marys marina for several years but wanted to give it a try with me after reading all of my reports and such.  They wanted action as they had spent some days in past years fishing most of the day for a single fish, but Larry said Tarpon was on his bucket list.  So I said we could mix it up and do some action fishing with the mackerels, and then spend the rest of the day after the harder to catch stuff (tarpon).  Mackerel fishing was good we spent a little over an hour out there and probably caught close to 2 dozen.  Some nice size ones which was good to see this late in the winter.  We then headed towards the tarpon grounds.  It was a little breezy but we made it, I had seen some tarpon in those areas yesterday as I was scouting.  A little quiet at first but after 45 minutes or so, Larry hooked a nice 110 lb tarpon!  We chased him and got some nice jumps out of the fish, and landed it afterwards.  Unfortunately it darted under the boat after we had it on the leader and broke off before we could get good boatside pictures, but we got some nice jump shots with the phones.  About 30 minutes after we set back up, Larry hooked another tarpon, this time a real monster about 140 lbs!  The fish put up a good fight again and we landed it in good time, about a 25 minute battle.  This time we took our time on the leader and worked it a little more carefully, and got it up for some good pictures by the boat.  Then we released it nice and healthy.  We fished the last hour and a half for Joe trying to get him a tarpon, but they didn’t want to bite for us any more.  Even the sharks didn’t want to play much we only had one shark bite earlier and broke him off.  But still a great day getting two 100+ lb tarpon!  They should stick around as long as the weather stays warm, it’s just gotten into that low range where you may get a bite or two if you put some time in.  I have regular customers the next two days that don’t like to catch big stuff, so I won’t be after the tarpon probably, but maybe again by Friday I will be.  I have availability later in the month and in March, may be a good early tarpon season, give me a shout!  2 for 2

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