2/23/18 Full Day Tarpon in Islamorada

Got out with John, John, and Joe down from NJ for the day.  The guys really wanted to try to catch tarpon and I told them it’s kind of an all day affair right now to have a shot at one, and they were game.  We caught bait early which was easy enough.  Howling east winds made the bait fishing easier for sure, but not necessarily easier for the tarpon fishing!  We headed out back and tried the channels where we caught them a couple days ago.  Not much early on we had the last of the incoming tide.  After 45 minutes or so though it started falling but we still didn’t see much.  I gave it some more time and looked around but nothing looked promising so we tried another channel.  A couple other boats set up here, nobody doing much of anything.  We gave that an hour and nothing happened so we went back to the first area as I figured maybe with the tide running for a bit now some fish would show up.  As soon as we got there, a boat was there fighting a tarpon so that was a good sign.  Someone I knew, so we pulled into that general area and a couple fish came up and rolled straight away.  We gave it a good 30 minutes but no bite, the other boat did jump another one though.  We had to move around a little and got in front of what seemed to be the body of fish.  After another 30 or 40 minutes,  I was about to move out but then we hooked one!  A nice big 120 lber, Joe landed him in about a 20 minute battle.  I didn’t get any good pictures as we broke her off on the leader, but had it next to the boat sevearl times and the boys got some good video I think.  We moved around a little after that to an area where we had seen a free jumping tarpon, but no more tarpon bites.  We did end up catching a lemon shark and had one other shark bite us off.  So overall slow day but we made the tarpon happen so it was a good one!  1 for 1

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