8/10/18 August Islamorada Tarpon Fishing Charter

Just got back in town last night and back to the tarpon grind today.  Got out with John, Joe, and Brett today for a full day tarpon fishing charter.  John is a well established swimming coach with the Badger Swim Club in NY, we talked about that a bit as my wife is a swimmer and we have a few swimming events in town here like the lighthouse swim so that was nice.  We had good conditions with it getting very calm yesterday.  Sounded like it was fairly windy while I was gone and fishing was not all that great so I don’t think I missed too much.  My one buddy did say tarpon were OK the last few days though and pointed me in the right direction.  We caught some bait early which was fairly easy.  Checked a few spots nearby there and did not see much for tarpon life.  So we bolted out to the area he suggested.  Found quite a few there we got set up but had a fairly weak tide though still a bit of current for 45 minutes or so.  Made a move and had tarpon all around us and rolling right behind us.  Thought we’d get bit for sure but didn’t happen.  The tide quit out eventually and we moved around.  Did get plenty of sharks though including some blacktips, bonnets, and nurse sharks.  When the tide started in we moved further out and found a good group of tarpon again.  With some patience we eventually hooked up and Joe got a nice 80 lb tarpon.  Battled him for a good 25 minutes and had him boatside several times on the leader but he made one more surge and broke us off before we could get him to roll over!  After that things seemed to thin out a little.  We moved around several times up inside the channel then back out near where we were.  Saw a few more tarpon eventually and got near by them and then John hooked a big 100 lb tarpon!  Same story we battled him for a good 40 minutes and had him boatside several times.  I thought for sure this one would roll over but same thing we just couldn’t break his will and eventually he snapped off too on a good hard surge.  Those big stubborn fish can be hard sometimes for the good glory pictures!  But we got some good action shots and the boys got some good jump shots which sometimes you just have to be good with.  Catching them is one thing, getting them to roll over for a picture is another.  Anyways we were glad to make both bites count.  After that we had an hour or so left and it got really slick calm.  The tarpon seemed to be done with and we decided to try bending the light rods a little.  Though not much was going on it was very hot with almost 90 degree water temperatures.  We caught a handful of trout and then the boys were about done as was I so we headed on in.  Back at it tomorrow I think I’ll be running right to that spot and hopefully with a little more current they’ll bite a little better earlier in the morning.  I’m booked through Monday but this coming week I have several days open and the following weekend is open too if anyone wants to get out there.  Looks like it’ll be getting a little windier tuesday/wednesday but not too bad, then nice and calm again by Thursday.  2 for 2

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