1/27/2021 January Tarpon Fishing in Islamorada

Well we’ve been in ‘winter mode’ here in the keys for the last couple months.  With the cooler water temperatures tarpon aren’t really the big focus – they can still be caught but often more random by-catch while fishing for other things.  But we had some unseasonably warm weather the last few days here at the end of January so decided to go really give the tarpon a try.  Hundreds of them showed up over the weekend in some of the usually early season spots.  We don’t normally expect them this early but it was slick calm and temperatures got into the 80s, with water temps getting into the low 70s.  Still on the chilly side for tarpon as far as the water goes, but they had shown up.  Had a regular customer of mine Jim today who was game to really put the time & effort in for them.  Often when we’re not dialed in fishing them consistently, you have to dedicate a good bit of time trying to get some action out of tarpon – whether that be finding them, or just getting them to bite.   We did mange to find plenty of them, but getting them to bite was a different story.  Put a good couple hours in during the morning and managed a bite on pinfish.  Nice tarpon of 80 lbs we got boat side but a big bullshark tried to eat her, and ended up cutting her off.  Later in the day when the tide switched, we managed to get one on our mullet.  Smaller fish in the 40-50 lb range.  This one we got hands on and cooperated for a good picture.  Good to see so many fish out there, it’s still on the early side and we have some cold weather coming this weekend and next week, so that will likely slow them down.  But often times in February it gets consistently warm enough that we have decent tarpon fishing.  I have a feeling the fish are ready and that it’ll be good once the cold fronts are done.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing
YouTube: Bud n’ Mary’s Marina