7/28/18 July Full Moon Tarpon Fishing Report

Got out with return customer Dave and his buddy Bill today down from Miami.  We headed out early in search of bait.  Full moon and bright moonlit sky for the ride, was nice but I knew can be funky for the fishing.  The tarpon I think often feed hard in the middle of the night sometimes then and are a little unresponsive during the day.  One of the only things you can predict ahead of time.  But can still be worth going so we gave it a shot.  We found a ton of bait so that was nice, a few tarpon chasing them too but we didn’t fish there.  Ran near where we’d been finding bigger schools of fish.  Not as much there today but a few.  We set up where I thought some were and we were rewarded with a nice 55 lber for Bill to start!  We set back up and moved around a little, saw quite a few fish but they didn’t respond as well.  We moved out further eventually chasing a handful we saw but just no more biters, think the moon definitely had ’em acting weird.  Eventually a lot of fish were around us rolling everywhere.  We kept at it hard and just couldn’t get a response, I talked to a couple other people and same story with them.   We were glad we had gotten 1 right away.  Eventually we hooked a big monster 300 lb bull shark that dragged us a few miles away.  We caught him and saw a bunch of tarpon where we ended up, so we set back up.  These fish seemed in a different mood, just giving a different look on the surface.  It was slick calm so we could see them a ways away.  We got bit right away, and Dave got a nice 70 lb fish!  Alright we were in business it seemed.  But as soon as we got back to fishing after landing the tarpon, it seemed to quiet down.  A few tarpon still around but not as many, and they trickled out it seemed like.  The sharks bit us up lots of blacktips.  We moved on after that checking some areas further west where the tide had changed and was starting in.  Didn’t see much and thunderstorms were starting to build.  It was almost time to go so I said we’d check one more spot in another channel on the way home.  Low and behold we saw a few tarpon roll as soon as we pulled in.  Set up and it looked pretty good, nice clean water with a good incoming tide.  Soon a  few rolled behind us, and Dave hooked another 80 lber as the thunder and lightning were rumbling behind us!  We landed him quickly and got him up for pictures actually.  Then took off and called it a day.  Had to work for the 3 bites we got but we made them all count even getting all 3 to the hand, and all nice size fish for this time of year.  Back at it tomorrow looks like the winds will be picking up a little and decent chance of thunderstorms but normal summer time weather just not as calm.  Hopefully the bite will get a little better as we get away from the moon.  A few more days I’ll be at it then off on vacation for the first week of August.  3 for 3

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