10/11/18 October Fishing for Tarpon in Islamorada

Got out with Steve and his son Carter down from Pittsburgh today for some tarpon fishing in the everglades.  October so far hasn’t been quite as good as normal, but we did have a stellar September so it may of come a little early.  Several days ago we had crazy winds due to hurricane Michael, but today it laid down to 10-12 mph so it was much nicer.  But still a southwest wind direction which we don’t really like it’s not good for most of our backcountry fishing.  I caught some bait yesterday afternoon, and of course this morning we crushed the bait too, but I hate going back there empty handed as the bait has been much more hit or miss lately and that determines your whole day.  We checked a few channels nearby where tarpon were the last time I fished, but did not see much this morning.  We looked hard driving around and keeping our eyes peeled.  After a couple spots and 30 minutes or so of looking, we ran to another area and just set up.  We did see a tarpon roll right away, almost right on our baits and I thought it was gonna happen.  But no such luck, we did get a few big sharks though including  a lemon and blacktip.  We moved around a bit and had another tarpon roll right behind us but again no love from him.  We moved on after that.  Next area we saw a couple busts and then saw a free jumping tarpon, it looked promising as we then also saw a tarpon roll.  I thought for sure it would be good fishing.  But we gave it a good 20 minutes with not a sniff, then moved around and another 20 minutes and still nothing.  After we started fishing we really didn’t see the activity that we saw when we first pulled up either, so looked good for a moment but then didn’t seem to be.  We made one more move and tried another channel I hadn’t fished in a while.  It looked beautiful now especially considering the wind direction and the heavy wind we had earlier this week.  Nice pretty green water it just looked fishy.  Sure enough we saw some busting going on, and then I saw some tarpon.  We set up and within a few minutes, Carter had a nice 45 lb tarpon on!  We landed him and got a few pictures.  Dad got a few more sharks and then the tide slowed down on us.  The tarpon seemed to spread out, still saw a few here and there, but with no tide they weren’t really responding.  We tried another channel nearby to catch the start of the incoming tide and that looked really good too, but never saw a tarpon there.  We ran back to where we caught the one for the last 20 minutes as I figured at least some fish would be there.  We did see a tarpon roll, but the current was ripping in with the west wind behind it, and it got nastier looking too with mud and lots of grass floating by.  We did get a few more sharks bites, but that was it.  Anyways had to work very hard for 1 tarpon but it was worth it, Carter also decided to immortalize his tarpon and got it mounted through Gray’s taxidermy which we work with.  He’ll be enjoying that fish for the rest of his life!  My baby is due any day now, so I have the next week off but I did open myself up Saturday if anyone wants to try and go.  I have some bait stashed away and like I said it may not be red hot fishing but definitely a decent shot, it should stay calm the next couple days too and who knows it could really light up especially Saturday it’s suppose to slick off to nothing.  Give me a shout if you wanna go.  1 for 1

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