10/3/18 October Fishing for Tarpon in the Florida Keys

Fun day with Chase and Stephanie visiting from Tennessee! Chase wanted to catch a tarpon and I told him I’d still been having some luck though it’d gotten a little tougher with the bigger ones this last week with the wind and all. So we decided to focus on some small guys. Bait was a little harder than yesterday, took an hour or so but we managed to catch enough and then headed out into the backcountry. We didn’t get much in our first stop though after 10 minutes or so though, Stephanie hooked a nice 10 lb tarpon free lining a pilchard! She reeled him to the boat after a good fight, but unfortunately he jumped and threw the hook next to the boat before we could get him up for some pictures. After that we drifted in and Chase hooked a nice snook we missed. We tried another area where we found a lot of small tarpon yesterday but did not see much there today, just a handful. So we kept moving and then found an area with a good amount of tarpon. They were fairly happy too, we drifted some baits in and had a few bust on them, then Stephanie hooked another one that jumped off right away! After that Chase got one, and this guy we did get to the boat a nice little 7 or 8 lber. After that we caught a few jacks and the tarpon seemed to slow down a little. We moved and tried a few other areas, which all had some tarpon in them but no response. We did get a big snook though for Stephanie, and Chase got a redfish and a spanish mackerel for a boat backcountry SLAM! We then decided to see if some bigger tarpon were showing offshore, and we did find a good pack. We moved in on them and had to readjust a couple times. Definitely were in the zone but unfortunately they did not want to bite for us. We hooked several big sharks, and caught a nurse, a couple big black tips, and a few others that bit us off. That was about all she wrote, not a ton of fish but some quality ones and Chase got what he was after so it was all good! Couple days off and then booked on the weekend, may go fun fishing one day if time permits to check out some other areas.  2 for 3

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