5/24/2023 Late May Weekly tarpon fishing report for Islamorada

Well another few days of tarpon fishing in the books here in late May in Islamorada.  Monday and Tuesday we stuck around the bridges as I’ve been doing for the most part the last couple of months.  Not a ton of fish around though still a decent number though we had to move around and look for the right opportunities.  We had falling tide early on both days, Monday was slick calm too.  We didn’t do much early but when the tide started in around 9:30 we finally hooked a nice fish we caught.  About an hour later I’m fairly certain we got zipped by another one that broke us off.  Then finally right before it was time to call it a day we hooked another one we caught.  No boatside pictures though leader releases on both those fish.  We did catch a handful of mutton snappers, jacks, and nurse sharks too.  Tuesday we had a tad bit of wind but more or less the same fishing.  We caught one fish on the last of the falling tide and then another one later on when the tide came in same thing about 30 minutes before it was time to go.  Only two bites on that day.  So tough fishing but if you put the time in you can still catch ’em.  Wednesday I had the same crew as Tuesday and decided to go run in the backcountry and see about tarpon back there.  We had seen some last week when I was fishing with my dad though didn’t actually try to catch them.  We found a huge school of mullet which was good to see and caught some on our way.  The tarpon were in the same relative area today.  We saw a few splashing around early on but didn’t get any bites aside from blacktip sharks and a huge lemon shark the first couple hours.  Then when the tide switched we ran a bit further away a couple miles and found a few more splashing.  We set up and moved a couple times then had a nice pack drift by us and caught a nice 45 lber.  After that we slid further down and caught another 65 lber nice summer time fish.  We looked around a bit more but didn’t have much else happen.  We tried a few spots for big snook but no luck with that either.  We did have a southwest wind not blowing hard but not an ideal wind for sure but at least it was good to see some tarpon back there.  Seeing that, the big school of mullet, and the nicer color of the water bodes well for our summer time fishing I hope maybe June, July, and August will be productive back there this year as the last couple of years the summer time fishing has been mediocre I will say.  I’m off for a little bit but Capt. Stephen is available on my vessel.  I am fishing a handful of my regulars in June but he will be running the boat the rest of the time.  I’ve started bringing him on some backcountry trips with my dad and he came today so he’ll be dialed in to my summer time routine back there.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
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