2024 Tarpon Season Outlook

Here you can read our latest fishing reports.  I try to keep this section updated regularly when we are tarpon fishing consistently.  Though remember in the off season we may not be fishing as much or we may be targeting other things.

April is almost half way through can you believe it!  Well we had a little bit of a slow start in early April with the full moon coinciding with a weak cold front.  But since then it’s been pretty good for me the last several trips.  Lots of fish continuing to show up and both big and small.  If you are looking to catch tarpon the next couple of months should be a good bet – just try and avoid right around that full moon if you can!  I’m also hoping this year our later May/June timeframe will be more productive, as we had a late start with the early season stuff so hopefully that leads to more fish being around at the tail end of ‘prime time.’  Night trips are do-able now with more tarpon being caught locally, so don’t be afraid to ask about evening fishing – my team is ready to get you on the silver king!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
305-747-6903
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing

Tarpon Fishing in Islamorada the second week of April

Got out for my Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday season trips this week.  Weather was a bit windy overall though Monday started out nice and it started blowing around mid-day mostly out of the East which isn’t a bad direction for where we were fishing.  Tuesday the wind had stayed blowing and slightly more Southeast which made it a tad rougher on the oceanside but not too terrible for the Contender Bay Boat I’m in, and Wednesday was more of the same of that.  Fishing was really good it was about the best I’ve seen it so far this season.  Monday we started out with the tide rolling in and again slightly calmer wind.  It was action from the get-go I had return customer Ken and his son and neighbor.  They got on tarpon from the start and we ended up landing six I think.  A big hammerhead shark got the first one unfortunately.  The bite was strong we ended up having a dozen bites or so at least so that was good to see.  The later morning/afternoon bites were all ‘short’ bites though they kept grabbing baits and spitting them out pretty quick.  Tuesday a little slower but still pretty good I had Greg down from Maine.  Our first 4 stops we ended up hooking three fish and catching all three.  The first one we got to the boat for pictures which was great – sometimes that is a hard feat especially when you are fishing in 20 knot winds and only have one guy on the boat.  The next ones the first we broke off boatside and the other we got leader on several times but eventually he made his way into the bridge and broke off.  After that we had to work at it a bit more the tarpon got a little finicky.  But we kept moving and seemed about every move with a fresh bait out if we were in a pile of fish we could encourage a bite.  But we weren’t able to keep many on the hook after that.  I was joking with Greg how lucky we were to get that first nice fish up boat side like that and how it doesn’t happen that easily all the time… now he knows!  But still a great day I think we had seven bites or so and caught three.  Wednesday it was howling 20+ knots and a little more southeast again.  Definitely about the windiest it’s been for me lately.  But the Contender Bay Boat handled it beautifully.  Fishing was decent but we had to work at it.  We ended up hooking a big one right off the bat for T that we battled for an hour but we did manage to roll over and get great pictures so that was cool.  Then soon after that Bob hooked one we lost in the bridge after a bit.  After that a bit of a dry spell we hopped around and it was difficult with the wind trying to keep the boat in place, but we hooked a couple nurse sharks and then finally after a couple hours and several moves we got another tarpon.  A smaller one for Bob that we got to the boat but right as we were going to grab him a shark got after him so we broke him off but unfortunately he wasn’t able to get away from the shark though he tried his best and we tried to bump the shark away with our boat.  After that we ended up having a few more bites some that we missed and lost another one in the bridge.  So overall productive day with a half dozen bites or so and two landed fish… not bad for a really windy one.

Anyways that’s it for me this week.  Tarpon season is in full swing here in mid April.  Capt. Steve and Capt. Trent have some days here and there, plus those evening trips are often available more short notice.  If the weather is nice and you wanna get after it, give me a shout and we’ll see if we can get you set up!

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

4/3/24 April Bridge Fishing for tarpon in Islamorada

Got out with Bruce, Darcy, Asa, and Evan for a day trip of tarpon fishing in Islamorada!  Conditions were pretty good again moderate southwesterly wind actually but it had just enough west in it to make it not too crazy rough.  When it goes due south it’s definitely worse.  I was hopeful as yesterday we had good fishing and sure enough today did not disappoint.  We had to work at it and jump around but very similar day to yesterday… we had a couple little rallies where we got bites fairly quick, and then a few times we sat for nothing for an hour or more.  But we ended up landing 3 and getting a 4th one on the leader we broke off I think and lost a few others.  No shark problems today which was nice.  Good to see some solid fishing and not too much boat traffic where we were, but I’m sure it’ll start getting busier here soon.  I’m off for a few days but will be back at it Monday next week!

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

4/2/24 April Bridge Bite turns on for Tarpon!

Got out with Zack and Connor today for some tarpon fishing.  Caught bait yesterday so we had plenty, including some good live ones that lived well overnight.  They were doing the ‘spins’ which we’ve been seeing bait do this year… just weirdly spinning around when they get stressed.  But otherwise they seem to be alright.  Some kind of neurotoxin or something I think.  We fished the bridges as we saw a lot of tarpon around them last week though they didn’t bite all that well then.  Today was much better though.  We had weak falling tide late morning so I thought it might be kinda tough fishing, but sure enough they bit well from the get go even with last of the incoming tide slacking up.  We hooked a fish we lost, jumped one off, then caught one that unfortunately proceeded to get eaten by a 500 lb hammerhead!  The hammerhead bumped our trolling motor hard and broke our prop!  Which was kind of funny because last week I had a prop break on the trolling motor randomly and I think that’s only the 2nd time that’s happened.  I was going to put the anchor out after that but I decided to just run back in and get a spare prop off our other motor since the tide was slacking up anyways.  Sure enough we got back and the tide was just starting to fall good.  We got bit right away again and pulled off a fish, then jumped around a few times and then boom boom boom we caught another fish, pulled another one off, then caught one more – those last two we got up to the boat for good pictures.  Anyways good day we landed 3 fish and had 4 or 5 others on.  Hopefully fishing stays like that I’ll be back at it tomorrow so we’ll see!

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