6/25/2022 Backcountry summer time tarpon fishing

Well June is nearly over and we’re almost officially at the end of our typical ‘prime time’ tarpon season which runs April through June.  Of course that’s just a very general estimate – every year is different with weather patterns, bait patterns, etc… as to when the big schools of tarpon come (they don’t follow a calendar!)  But usually now is when we start targeting more of the resident fish which are typically smaller on average in the 40 to 70 lb range, and I myself am most often fishing in the backcountry waters of everglades national park to find these fish.  Some years there are good numbers of them, other years you have to work to scrape by.  As of now I’ll say it’s been more the latter the last couple weeks.  There are definitely a few pockets of tarpon though not big numbers of them.  Though we’ve had a few trips recently where we have caught them every time we’ve tried and had a few other bites.  Yesterday we actually caught 3 out of 4 in about an hour and a half in the morning, including a double header.  I was pleasently surprised as again we didn’t see tons of fish but the few we got in front of seemed to respond rather quickly.  Then later in the trip we moved to a different area, where again we didn’t physically see too much or mark much on the bottom machine, however being slick calm we did have good vision and sure enough a handful of small 15-20 lb fish showed themselves and after shuffling around we caught one of them and jumped one more off.  So this was the best day of tarpon I’ve had in the last couple weeks, though some of the other days we’ve still had decent fishing but we’ve mixed it up more with snook, tripletail, and the like as it’s been better to explore other options if you are up for that rather than try to force the tarpon thing when it’s not happening.

All that being said July is often a little better for these summer time fish, and some years it’s very strong fishing.  And some years it’s very good in August, September, and even October.  Unfortunately I do not have a crystal ball so I can’t say if it will be this year or not.  But as I say to everyone, if you want to book a trip and try I’ll guarantee we’ll give it 100%.  Though some days the tarpon don’t cooperate, and some days even just getting bait is very difficult.  But if it doesn’t seem worthwhile I’ll usually have a plan B we can try, or if you are dead set on wanting to try for tarpon then we’ll do that to the best of our ability.  I usually have a much better idea on how it’ll be within a week of the trip as you just know more what’s going on then.

Here are a few pictures from Pete and Kelly’s trip the other day, we even caught a double header in the morning which I haven’t had in a while!

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