3/17/18 Mid March Tarpon Fishing Half Day Islamorada

Got out with Eric today for a half day tarpon fishing trip in Islamorada.  We had another major cold front the last few days, with temperatures dropping into the mid 50s for several nights in a row, and the water getting down into the low 60s in several places.  Yesterday it finally calmed down some and looks like it will remain that way through the weekend into early next week.  But again now looks like wednesday night we have another front coming in and thursday night it’s suppose to dip into the 50s again!  Just crazy cold weather for March after having such a hot february where it was 80 degrees every day.  Anyways Eric really wanted to try for a tarpon so I told him I thought we had a shot with it being calm and warming up, but that the water was still cold so it may be tough.  I went out early and caught bait with my buddy and we ended up getting a couple dozen mullet, enough to fish hard with.  We found some fish local in one of the areas I’ve been fishing frequently.  The water was about 67 to start with, we didn’t get much action at all.  Saw some fish rolling and moved around a little bit, eventually after about an hour and a half, we hooked a big tarpon!  It screamed off line and jumped like crazy.  We gave chase and were able to get all the way up on the wind-on leader for a technical catch.  However the fish got around one of the channel markers.  I had Eric back the drag off, and we tried going around the mark several different ways but just couldn’t get untangled.  The fish stayed on for a good minute or two afterwards, but eventually broke off!  The line must of got trapped in some hard barnacles or maybe something else down there….  Anyways as I say on my page a ‘technical release’ is where we get the wind-on leader into the tip of the rod, but the fish may still be 30 feet away from the boat.  This is how long your IGFA leaders are allowed to be, so for tournament fishing etc… it would still count as a caught fish.  But of course still doesn’t feel that way sometimes especially when you don’t really get to see the fish next to the boat.  Anyways we looked around in some of the other channels after that and didn’t see any other bodies of fish.  So we came back and had fish around us the rest of the time but didn’t get another tarpon bite.  Tough we did get a couple big nurse sharks and a cuda.  Anyways Eric was happy to have hooked one and had a good time, he said he’d be back hopefully at a later date and maybe when the fishing was a little better.  March can be really good, but with the cold weather we’ve been having lately it hasn’t made it easy.  I hope after this week it’ll stop!  I have a half day tomorrow morning that we may extend and I think I’ll be tarpon fishing again.  Hopefully the fish will treat us a little better.  Stay tuned!  1 for 1

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