2/9/18 February Tarpon Fishing in the Everglades

Got out with Cary and Colin for a full day today.  Winds were cranking about 25 mph out of the east.  The boys were up for anything I wanted to fish for, so I told them there had been some tarpon around as well as a few other options and that we would likely mix it up a bit.  They were good with that.  We caught bait on the way out, bait was easy with the high winds… one good thing about the wind it makes drifting for mullet a lot easier.  When we got to the tarpon grounds the tide was coming in but we are on a very weak tide cycle, and it was going right into the wind.  So we had to basically fish are gear off the bow, which is just annoying and make it kind of difficult to fish as the boat is always swinging from one side to the other plus you have either the anchor line or trolling motor to watch out for.  Anyways we found tarpon where we first stopped, but no bites out of them and they didn’t seem to stay there for long.  We did get a small shark and a bluefish.  We moved and looked in a couple other areas, the second area we found some fish.  We fished for a bit without any luck, then we saw a couple tarpon busting near by.  Soon after we had one jump right in our spread of baits, and I swore he was hooked but no drags started to scream.  I think the fish may have grabbed a bait and blew it right back out.  Then the same thing happened about 5 minutes later, though this time it looked like the tarpon had a line hanging out of his mouth.  But again we didn’t come tight… very strange and even Cary said he thought he saw the line hanging from the fishes mouth.  Anyways the tarpon were getting active which was a good sign.  About 10 minutes later Colin hooked a nice 80 lb tarpon that we landed.  We weren’t able to get him up for boatside pictures though as it was difficult in the wind and we got him next to the boat on the leader, but he jumped and tip wrapped us.  With the wind howling so much the line snapped before I could get up there to unravel it.  Anyways a caught fish technically.  We finished up the day catching a bunch of mackerel, and hooked a couple big snook in one spot but they beat us into the structure unfortunately.  Oh well still a great day with a big tarpon!  1 for 1

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