3/16/2023 Fantastic tarpon bite even after a late cold front in March!

Got out with one of my regulars Paul and his buddies.  We had a late cold front come through it didn’t get terribly cold but water temps definitely dropped to the high 60s in the bay and the gulf remainded a little warmer in the low 70s.  It was borderline questionable whether or not it was gonna be worthwhile.  But I was just talking to a friend of mine the other night about a few years back having a late front this time of year and doing well as it seemed the tarpon were well settled and happy and a little temp drop didn’t bother them that time.  So I figured being that theres been a ton of tarpon around it might be the same case.  The guys wanted to give it a shot so off we went.  We were loaded with mullet that I caught the day before.  We got out there and it wasn’t too bad of a ride over aside from the cold you definitely needed a sweatshirt and pants.  The wind stays northeast early and was blowing a good 15 mph, but turned more east/southeast later in the day and picked up to 20-25 which made for a little rougher ride home but nothing the Contender couldn’t handle.  We got out there and had to look around for a few minutes but we saw some busting fish.  I set up and sure enough our first bait out got picked up by a tarpon within about 10 minutes, though he threw the hook unfortunately.  After that we caught some sharks and moved around a few times, eventually getting into more tarpon.  We ended up catching four believe it or not, a couple large 100+ lb fish and then a couple in the 60 lb range.  Really great fishing to get 5 bites in not great conditions.  A big bull shark did get one of our tarpon though and a pack of bulls came in and finished her off unfortunately after we released it.  Hate seeing that but sometimes nothing you can do.  Anyways I don’t think we’ll be getting too much more cold weather but you never know, but at least for the next few weeks I doubt it’ll get cold enough to push those fish away.  Come April the tarpon should be loading up more around the bridges and channels and that bite should get a little better but the backcountry is often where its at in February and March.  I have a couple days left open at the end of March and a handful of days in April.  Prime tarpon time is now don’t miss out!  Again I’m doing my seasonal rate but only fishing 3 days a week so I can move things around often if the conditions dont look good (I even offered that on this day but the guys wanted to go!)  And you can get some cool video clips or even a full youtube video of your catch like this!

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