Backcountry fishing in September Video

Fishing in the Islamorada backcountry with Capt. Rick Stanczyk and Capt. Nick Stanczyk. We catch some live pilchards and fish the creeks for snook, redfish, tarpon, and baby goliath grouper.

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Fishing with Crabs in Islamorada

Fishing with crabs in Islamorada is done all throughout the year.  There are many species of fish which enjoy a delectable crab once in a while.  Often times there are many fish that you wouldn’t even think that will eat a crab.  Typically the most common targets with crabs are tarpon and permit.  Tarpon typically like the larger blue crabs while permit prefer smaller sized ones, of course the size of the target fish may call for a different sized crab.  For tarpon the most common methods of fishing with crabs usually involves drifting.  The most standard rig is using a heavier spinning or conventional rod loaded with 50 lb braid, or 30 lb mono.  Most guides nowadays prefer fishing braided lines as you can fish heavier line, get more line on the spool, it doesn’t have near the amount of memory like mono filament which will twist up on you after reeling against the drag on a fish, and it is very tough and long lasting.  Now one drawback of braided line for tarpon is there is no ‘give’ in the line, so we usually put a good 15 or 20 feet of 60# monofilament on top of the braid, then have that go to your main leader.  The main leader consists of a swivel, about 8 feet of 80# or 100# monofilament, and your hook (usually something in the 6/0 to 8/0 range, J hook or circle hook will work), and a bobber up near the swivel.  Tarpon fishing with crabs can be good all throughout the year, but usually starting in the spring through early summer is when they work the best…

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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9/20/15 September Islamorada Fishing Report

September is winding down though it has given me a welcomed break from fishing every day.  It is always our slowest month of the year.  Thankfully though as I mentioned it is a welcome one, a time to catch my breath and take care of all the things in life you can’t get to when you are so busy.  Anyways fishing can still be good this time of year it is just slow on the business side of things – with kids going back to school, hunting seasons opening everywhere, the possibilities of hurricanes (though unlikely), and the heat – all seem to keep it quiet here for the month.  Anyhow I have been getting out a couple days a week.  I’m not currently running my SeaCraft as it is getting some repair work done, but I am running a smaller action craft skiff.  I’ve still had the majority of my customers asking for tarpon and there have still been a few around.  It hasn’t been red hot action every day, though we have caught them just about every day we fished for them I think with exception to one.  A few days we had multiple shots and were able to land a couple fish, the others it was only a single shot but we got one.  Bait was fairly plentiful on the incoming tides in the backcountry, the falling tides it was a little tougher though we had gotten lucky a couple times and found some big schools of mullet in the gulf.  The sharks had been few and far between, though after the hard rains last week with the water cooling down about 10 degrees we did have some good shark action while tarpon fishing which was nice.  It is always nice to have that filler in between while waiting for a tarpon bite.  In the near-gulf bays the snapper fishing has been really good I’ve been chunking up mullet or ballyhoo and catching some big snappers.  This has been the best bet for action/rod bending, and there are big ladyfish and a few trout mixed in too.  This is not as tidal related and can be good into the Fall.  Snook and redfish have been around though honestly I haven’t done much of it as the bugs have been horrendous with all the rain we had, plus it has been difficult to find any good size pilchards.  My future forecast for October is…

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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8/20/15 August Islamorada Fishing Report

August is winding down and we are getting into our ‘slow’ season here.  I’ve been lucky and still filling in many days with last minute bookings though as we get into September it will be time to relax.  I have a trip to the Bahamas planned (hopefully) if hurricane Danny doesn’t have anything to say about it!  As far as fishing goes things have been decent I’ve been mostly tarpon fishing still doing the early morning drill in the everglades.  Bait has been a little tough to come by some days, on the incoming tides it has been much easier.  Fishing has been OK overall we’ve had some big days with multiple fish landed, and some days with only a bite or two and lucky to catch one.  In the last couple weeks we had a few 4 tarpon days, one day with 6 landed, and a couple others with 3.  The last few days has been a lot tougher we only had 3 bites in the last 2 trips, but we did manage to catch one on each trip.  The backcountry channels have been holding a handful of fish though they are moving around so it’s trial and error trying to hit them early in the mornings.  Later on off the beaches to the west near the gulf had been a little more consistent finding schools of tarpon out there, however a couple days it has been a ghost town and the next day they will be all over the place.  Though it is getting late in the year so it is not uncommon you just have to put your time in.   Sharks have been mixed in including plenty of blacktips, some big lemons, and occasionally some others like hammerheads or bulls.  I haven’t done a lot of snook fishing the last few weeks though the last few days I did earlier in the month we had some success.  Not a lot of big pilchards around but pinfish did the trick and we had several good days with multiple snook caught each of those days.  In the gulf bays there have been some good sized mangrove snappers and hanging the chum bag you can usually catch some ballyhoo or something to use for cut bait to get them.  A few trout have been mixed in too.  That’s my report as I said September is definitely our quietest month of the year as far as business goes, but that doesn’t mean the fishing isn’t good.  Actually since not too many boats are out you can often feel like you have the entire backcountry to yourself and don’t have to worry about boats being ‘in your spot.’  If you are thinking of coming down drop me a line it usually won’t be a problem to set something up short notice.  October is right around the corner and that is usually very good fishing as things cool off a little bit and we start to get the fall bait run.  That can be some of the best tarpon fishing of the year and also really good for redfish, snook, trout, and other specimens.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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7/21/15 July Islamorada Fishing Report for the backcountry

We are mid way through July and it is really feeling like summer with the heat.  But luckily the fishing has been just as hot too!  Actually it has not been too brutal we have had light breezes just about every day which makes a huge difference, plus I like to get our early before daybreak to beat the afternoon heat.  I’ve been mostly tarpon fishing still and that has been really good.  Consistent would be the best way to describe it and the bait and fish patterns have stayed that way with the relatively calm winds and stable conditions.  Mullet have not been super easy to catch every day, but we’ve been finding them and some days you just have to work a little harder at it.  The tarpon have been in the backcountry channels and hitting them early morning has worked well for me the last several weeks.  In the afternoons I’ve been finding some off the beaches of the mainland and those fish can bite just about any time of day, on any tide.  Some days have only yielded a bite or two, but on the good days we’ve landed multiple fish with up to a half dozen hookups.  Other than tarpon I’ve been having good luck with snapper and trout in the bays of the near gulf.  I’ve also been doing some snook fishing and that has been a lot of fun.  Finding the right bait for them is key to get ‘hot snook action’ which means trying to catch pilchards.  They aren’t always able to be found but pinfish will suffice and you can still pick away at the snook and redfish with those.  Out in the gulf there have been a few tripletail floating around, though with the crab and lobster pots gone not much structure for them to hang on so you have to get lucky and see them floating, or have them drift by you while you are tarpon fishing.  Permit are a definite possibility too I haven’t really tried the wrecks lately but I have seen a few randomly on some closer inshore spots in the everglades.  Fishing is really good and it is one of my favorite times of year as the crowds are gone and you have the place to yourself.  This will remain the next several months.  August can be a very good time to fish and I’ve already started filling in some days with customers who have experienced this the last few years with me.  Get in touch with me and lets go fishing!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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