July tarpon fishing, summer everglades fishing report for the Florida Keys

Well we’re nearing the end of July and I’ve been fishing a little less than usual.  We had a couple family trips away, though was busy around those fishing.  To be honest the summer tarpon bite this year (and last year for that matter) hasn’t been quite what we normally expect it to be.  Definitely not the numbers of fish we had been accustomed to seeing around.  July often means the larger fish that show up in the spring are mostly gone up north, and many of the smaller resident tarpon (small to 60 lbs) start to show back up in the backcountry channels, bays, etc…  There have been a few and we’ve been catching some – don’t get me wrong – but many days you are fishing around a handful hoping for a bite or two… putting in a lot of work to catch bait, and hours of fishing, to just get that one hopefully.  However I will say my last few days out recently here, we did find a couple areas that showed a bit more promise.  One yesterday morning was really loaded with smaller fish in the 20-30 lb range and we caught a couple on accident actually while targeting snook.  And the day before that one of the other channels I hadn’t done much fishing in we checked out, and caught a nice 60 lb tarpon and jumped off 3 more smaller guys after spending some time in there.   We also found some tarpon further up the coast that we didn’t fish for another trip out, but physically saw them free jumping with our eyes and marked them on our electronics a little bit, but didn’t spend time fishing for them as we were doing other things.  So all that being said maybe it’ll be something promising for the last bit of July and August here.  August, September, and even October can yield some good opportunities for tarpon.  However just note it is off season, so we are often 100% reliant on ourselves to catch bait, find fish, etc… sometimes there are other guides out there and it always helps to have a friend for some intel, but thats not always available.  So if you are wanting to book a tarpon trip, let me know I’ll shoot you straight.  If I don’t feel very confident in the fishing or our ability to get bait, there are definitely other options out there like snook, tripletail, trout, etc…  And some days we can kind of focus on that more and perhaps still put in a little time for trying for a tarpon.  But all in all tarpon are a trophy fish and sometimes you just have to put in that commitment win, lose, or draw to get the one you are after. All we can do on our end is put 100% effort in to try and make that happen.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
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