Early May Tarpon Fishing Report for Islamorada 2024

I had a busy week this week and moved some days around for one of my good clients.  So instead of fishing my typical monday, tuesday, wednesday, this week was monday, wednesday, thursday, and friday.  Monday I had one of my good customers Bill out and we had some tough weather.  It was still blowing 25 mph which it had been over the previous weekend but hadn’t laid down.  We had fairly weak tide into the wind most of the morning so we were fishing with loose line off of our bow… not much happening.  Though once the tide started in we did get some action.  Bill hooked a couple of big fish in the 150 lb class and we were able to get both of them up to the hand which was awesome.  Though we did have a monster hammerhead about 500 lbs or more come take a look at one of the fish.  He nudged it a few times but never tried to actually eat it I think the fish was too big for his liking!  Lucky for us.  Anyways still a great day to get two big fish and luckily Bill really knows how to pull on those fish so we caught them in ample time but those were the only 2 bites we had.  By Wednesday the winds had laid down nice again to 10-15 mph.  I had return customer Irv and his son Carson.  We had stronger tide and I think a lot of that had to do with the wind laying down not blowing against it so hard.  We had good fishing all through the day and I think we caught 5 tarpon and lost or missed a few others.  Also a keeper mutton snapper, a small cobia, and a goliath grouper, among other things!  Yes the ‘others’ have started to bite it seems like with May rolling around… a nice mutton snapper is always welcome!  Then Thursday and Friday I had my regular customer Gerald here with some guys from his work.  We tarpon fished both days and I will say the fish were just acting a lot more erratic than normal.  But there was a lot of fishing pressure with a tournament going on and a couple dozen boats down there all day both days.  We had good fishing I think getting 8 or 10 bites each day, but many of the fish were going through the bridges and acting super wild.  We had multiple fish on our leaders through the day which we count as a ‘caught’ fish, though not necessarily what people want if they are wanting pictures and a totally subdued fish boatside.  Though they just seemed to not be having any of that.  Finally on the second day we did get one boatside and rolled over but as soon as we got hands on her she kicked hard and broke off.  But that’s how tarpon fishing goes and getting your glory picture shot is never a guarantee!  Anyways like I said we had good action both days… a little boredom at times where we’d have a stretch without much happening.  But than you might get 2 or 3 bites in a row after a few quick moves.  Hopefully next week things might settle down if the fishing pressure dials down a little bit.  But we should be coming up on good incoming tides for the morning and the wind forecast is favorable staying light to moderate.  Back at it Monday!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing
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