12/7/16 December Islamorada Patch Reef Fishing

Got out for a half day today with Jeremy Fellgraff and his father Jon.  They’ve been fishing with me for the last several years and Jeremy even moved down here from NJ after our first trip together because he loved it so much.  The wind slicked off today just a light breath of wind out of the southwest.  We found a load of pilchards near the marina on the way out and caught some of them, though most of our action was on shrimp today.  We hit the patches first and caught plenty of mutton snapper, porgies, and a few other specimens including a nice lane snapper.  We then went in the bay and hit a wreck that was loaded with small to medium size pompano!  We probably caught about a dozen or so, plus plenty of jack crevelle, mangrove snapper, blue runners, and even a few mackerel.  It was something every cast for a while!  After that we tried a couple spots for local islamorada snook.  This winter there have been some fish around locally in certain areas and if you have the pilchards you can usually have a shot at catching them.  Anyways the first stop we didn’t get anything, but the next one both Jeremy and Jon landed nice medium sized snook plus some decent mangrove snappers.  A great way to end our morning half day trip in the Florida Keys!  Fingers crossed I’ll be getting my boat back this afternoon and hopefully back up and running tomorrow.  Looks like some cooler weather this weekend which will be nice!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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12/6/16 December Backcountry Fishing in the Florida Keys

Well I decided to repower my boat so it’s been in the shop waiting for a new motor which I should be getting tomorrow.  My lower unit had blown a seal so needed to be replaced which would’ve cost several thousand dollars, and the motor itself was still running but they said wasn’t looking great.  So for me with as far as I run and being we are getting into busy season, I figured it was time to do the deed and sell this one for what I can get while it’s still running.  So tomorrow I should be back in business.  Today I fished and used one of our other smaller skiffs to take John and Jeff out again who were fishing with me last week.  We fished the cape and it wasn’t very easy we had a pretty good southwesterly breeze and high water, so everything looked like a big mudhole.  We picked some random oddities – snappers, ladyfish, jacks, etc… at the first spot for a while and eventually got a black drum.  After that we tried a few shoreline spots but not much luck.  Eventually we worked our way into some of the smaller creeks and were able to pick away we got a nice snook on the first stop, then nothing on the next two spots, then another snook on another spot, and then finally we got into a decent rally of fish for the last 45 minutes.  I think we ended up catching 4 snook, 2 reds, 5 black drums, and a handful of other rod benders.  Had to work for it but at least we ended up having a decent day.  The winds look to lay off tonight for a couple days but we have a front coming in Thursday night so it’ll be kicking right back up again but hopefully more out of the north/northeast.  Anyways that should help out our traditional winter time fishing although it’s not getting very cold only in high 60s, but as of right now it almost feels like summer again today.  Have a half day tomorrow then getting my boat back and may go fun fishing this weekend or hopefully pick up a pay trip.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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11/29/16 November Fishing in the Florida Bay

Got out today for just a half day, we were suppose to fish all day but had a little bit of engine squirliness and didn’t want to stay out longer.  Anyways luckily the service shop will be able to get me in quick to check things out.  We had a great morning though the spanish mackerel bit their tails off we probably caught close to 30 in just a couple hours.  We did have to run a ways almost an hour back into the near gulf.  Winds were cranking at 20 knots southeast, but we were able to run the shoreline and get a straight shot down sea to the mackerel grounds, so it really wasn’t too bad especially in a larger boat like mine.  The fishing out there should stay pretty good for a while now, they don’t mind the wind and like the colder weather.  I’ll be taking the boat in for service Friday and then may be repowering or hopefully just tuning it up and getting another year out of the motor.  Though if anyone wants to go fishing I have another boat on standby, drop me a line!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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11/24/16 Thanksgiving Fishing Charter in Islamorada

Got out this morning for a half day with Mike and Tracy visiting from Oklahoma.  We got out at 7 and had plenty of fresh live shrimp.  It was a bit rough so we skipped the patches and decided to make a run a bit further into the near gulf.  After 50 minutes or so the wind laid down nicely out there and wasn’t too bad.  The water was very dirty on the way with some algae, but luckily once we got a mile or so from the spot I wanted to fish, it cleaned up very nice.  The tide was just starting in and as soon as we put the chum out some fish were showing up.  We got a couple nice mackerel after a few casts, and continued to catch them for the next couple hours.  Not a red hot bite, but some good little flurries and picked them along the way, plus plenty of blue runners and a few yellowtail and mangrove snappers.  We probably ended up with 20 or so mackerels for a very nice morning.  We came in around 11 to get ready for thanksgiving.  I have plenty of open dates in early December and later in the month, it’s a great time of year for fishing the gulf or everglades so look me up!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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11/22/16 November Backcountry Fishing in Islamorada

Got out into the islamorada backcountry fishing yesterday with Adam, Ken, and Dan.  They were down from South Florida for a little fishing.  Weather was nice it was a little breezy during the morning but laid out nice in the afternoon.  Water was in the high 60s in the morning and maybe 70 by later in the day.  We fished in the everglades creeks and canals in  the morning.  Water was high with the last of the incoming tide.  We caught a nice triple header red and black drum right off the bat, and a few more singles.  But after that tons of ladyfish and jacks swarmed us.  We picked away at the drums the next couple hours, also got some nice snappers, a few big trout, and even a couple pompano.  A good november florida keys fishing bite.  It was good various action!  Probably ended up with a bakers dozen on red and black drum.  Fished a few more spots back there without much luck, did lose what we thought was a nice snook.  The tide was now falling hard.  After that we headed to the gulf and we picked a nice cobia off of a wreck straight away, about a 15 lber.  We then found a nice tripletail that we hooked but unfortunately pulled the hook on him boatside.  We hit a few other areas of structure without much luck aside from jacks and small snappers, and looked for more tripletail but didn’t see much.  But we finished up on another wreck and caught about a dozen spanish mackerel to finish the day.  All in all a great day of everglades charter fishing.

Since we are more in ‘winter time mode’ the next few months, I’ll be posting more daily reports here and not so much on my tarpon blog (islamoradatarpon.com).

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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