7/25/18 July Everglades Full Day Tarpon Fishing Report

Got out with Clark and his dad Dwight for a full day of tarpon fishing.  We headed out early in search of bait as I was fresh out after staying close to home the last couple days.  We still had a little nasty southwest wind, but it laid off somewhat from yesterday and got nicer as the day went on and was swinging more south/southeast by days end.  To start we didnt’ see much for bait and we looked in several areas.  I missed them though and my buddy called me and got them good in one of the channels we did not go through.  He was nice enough to make a throw for us which saved us for sure.  We tried some channels in the back, didn’t see a whole lot but did catch a few big lemon sharks.  Finally saw a tarpon roll and moved nearby but no bites.  Tide was still falling and we checked another channel.  Saw a little activity on the surface but not sure what it was, after a bit another shark and then we definitely saw a tarpon roll, followed by another a little later and then another.  Seemed that there were a few.  We moved around a couple times and did get lined up ahead of some but they didn’t want to play.  The tide about quit and we ran further west to try another area where the tide was coming in now.  More sharks here several nice blacktips, thought we may of had some tarpon going by but not 100% sure.  No bites though.  We did look around more and found some more bait which we got one good shot on and caught a dozen.  We then ran back near where we started the morning, hoping that with the tidal change those handful of fish would get more responsive.  We stopped short though as we saw some good looking activity in a normal tarpon haunt.  As soon as we slowed down I knew we were in the mother load!  We put a couple baits out and got a shark right away and then Dwight got a nice 40 lb tarpon!  We fought him and Clark hooked a smaller 25 lber right away after that but he spit the hook.  We landed Dwights fish and got some pictures.  Then the sharks started to tear us up.  I could see the big body of fish seemed to be moving so we followed pursuit and my buddy from this morning had joined us as I had to tell him the fish were there as he gave us bait.  We got reset and then after 10 minutes hooked another nice 55 lb tarpon!  Clark caught this one, a great battle and nice jumps.  Clark was definitely thrilled to catch his first tarpon after going a couple trips years ago without even getting a bite, which can happen unfortunately.  After that the fish seemed to have moved further on, we tried to get lined up on them again and did get around a few but no more bites just some sharks.  After that it was about the end of the day, a park ranger stopped us to give us a safety check.  We tried one more spot on the way home for 15 minutes but no love.  Anyways good to see a big group of tarpon showing back up we must’ve caught them right as they were coming in.  They definitely were not settled in but with the wind going back southeasterly and getting nice tomorrow, it could be game on!  Never any guarantees in fishing though, you got to get out there and just try!  2 for 3

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