2/18/19 February Tarpon Fishing in the Everglades

Got out with Mike, Michael, and Don today for a full day trip.  They had wanted to try for snook and redfish, though we had a light south breeze which would mean that the bugs would likely be insane in the creeks.  We tried it early, and they about carried us off the boat.  But luckily I had a good plan B.  We had seen one free jumping tarpon on the way to the area we were trying for snook and redfish.  So I had hopes there may be a few around.  We ran offshore and caught a ton of mackerel which was fun.  Then we came back in as the tide began to change.  Once we got close to shore, it was tarpon city!  For as far as I could see there were free jumpers, splashers, rollers, just tarpon all over the place.  We set up near some and didn’t get much activity for a bit.  But after 20 minutes or so, both rods bowed over and one was a big tarpon that went airborne!  Michael hooked him and fought and landed the fish, a good 110-120 lber.  Unfortunately whatever we had on the other line had spooled us and I hadn’t been paying close attention as I was trying to get the tarpon boat side.  But we lost all our line on the other rod to likely a big ray or something we couldn’t stop at all.  Anyways we landed the tarpon so it was all good.  I respooled the other rod and we moved around a bit and kept trying for silver kings.  But they weren’t having it, we saw a ton of fish but they just weren’t responding.  The water is still on the chilly side for them.  We did catch a ton of sharks though, and finished the day with a monster 14 lb tripletail, and about two dozen redfish and some nice sea trout.  All in all a great day, I think i’ll be giving the tarpon a whirl again tomorrow.  1 for 1

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