2/15/18 February Full Day Backcountry Tarpon Fishing

Got out with Howard and Mike, repeat customers from last year, for a full day of backcountry fishing.  We planned to mix it up a bit but tarpon was definitely on the list.  We caught pilchards to start our day and tried to get in on the little tarpon that were biting a few days before.  Today however it seemed to be a different day, the little tarpon were there but not feeding very actively.  We did manage a few mangrove snappers in that spot though.  We then hit the gulf to do some mackerel fishing and did OK with that and then went after some larger tarpon.  The tide was turned and coming in now as we got to the channels.  I didn’t see a whole lot of activity, we scoped out a few areas and I found one spot that I favored.  We set up and Howard ended up getting a nice cobia to start things off, about a 30 lber!  After that we saw a few tarpon free jump further down the channel so we packed up and moved.  Mike had a tarpon bite soon after, about a 40 lb fish not as big as we are use to this time of year.  Unfortunately he jumped towards the boat and never got the hook in a good spot.  A little later I think we had another tarpon zip us too but not sure exactly if it was.  Our sister boat though did catch a big 140 lb tarpon next to us they were fishing the same group as me.  We ended up catching a few more sharks and hooked what I think was a big sawfish, but he cut us off.  So the tarpon won today but we had some good action anyways and all around a great day.  Hopefully they’ll be more cooperative tomorrow!  0 for 1

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