Tiger shark clip

Here is a quick clip of a 300+ lb tiger shark anglers caught with Capt. Rick Stanczyk!  Fishing in the shallow gulf (20 feet of water) with medium 30 lb spin gear and cut mackerel for bait.  Don’t go swimming out here….

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1/7/16 January Islamorada Fishing Report

We finally had our first real cold front of the winter a few days ago. Temperatures have finally dropped into the 60s and looks to be cooling down a little again this weekend after slowly warming up some. Today we fished back in the everglades with my dad, his girlfriend, and friend Dave Peck. It looked to be the ‘ideal’ conditions for fishing some of the deeper canals and such this time of year. Usually after a good cold front in January when you have a nice slow incoming tide, you can get hordes of big snook and drum showing up in some areas back there. We ran back early and it was a foggy morning which is unusual here. Though this winter we’ve seen it a few times as it’s been super warm so any little temperature fluctuation with the moist air it can creep up. We fished a few areas using large shrimp on troll-rites. It was not a red hot bite and had I not had confidence in the conditions, I may have moved after not catching fish in the first 10 minutes. Though we waited it out and eventually we caught some nice snook, black drums, and couple straggling redfish. You would have to work the bait very slow and patiently, and only get a bite maybe every 10 or 15 minutes. But quality fish. Dave got a very big snook one of the largest I’ve ever had caught in light tackle of 15 lbs or so. It really ran like a beast all the way across the canal and was a good 5 minute battle. Later we moved deeper into the canal and tried a black drum hole. Same deal it wasn’t red hot action but eventually we got a double header of smaller black drums. Then Dave again caught a nice size black drum. Then a couple other smaller ones. Then before leaving I hooked a lunker 25 lber that we landed. What a fish he was a thumper! All good fun well now we tried some of the outside shorelines since the tide was getting high. We caught one little snook in one spot, then we tried another area and got into a load of redfish. Not huge ones but we probably caught a dozen or so plus a couple more snook. It was great to see the small reds as they have been a little scarce this year. Anyways it was a banner day with a total of 15 or so reds, 8 snook, and 8 black drums. We wrapped it up around 12:30 when we ran out of shrimp and made our way home. January is usually a very good month for this winter time fishery in the everglades, however this year it’s been a little more up and down with the lack of cold weather. Though as I said it looks to stay cool through into next week and hopefully we may got another front or two between now and the end of February. Otherwise the tarpon should be showing up early and there are plenty of other options too! I know the patch reef fishing has been very good we got into some nice hogfish, porgy, groupers, and variety of snappers out there the other day. And good spanish mackerel fishing in the gulf as well with some cobias and tripletail mixed in.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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December Fishing in Islamorada

Well I’ve been out of town quite a bite the last couple months and have not been fishing frequently just a little here and there. Anyways we are getting back to busy time and I will be hard at it for a while here now. Fishing during the late fall/early winter has been up and down. We have yet to have any significant cold weather, most likely due to the ‘el nino’ in the pacific. It is keeping the warmer air to the south east. We’ve had some terrible rain the last month mixed in with high winds. Though today was gorgeous – it was nice to see the sun again after a wet week last week. Anyways we’ve been doing a little bit of everything and nothing has been great consistently. The mackerels in the gulf which are usually swarming now are there but you must have patience and work for them. Catching 15 in a day is a good day, not the muggings of 30-40 fish. In the backcountry there have been some drum, snook, and trout, though they haven’t been getting into the usual ‘winter time’ digs. The deeper holes where they are easy to catch on shrimp and such. A few here and there but there too you must work for them. Today we had a great day we were able to get live pilchards and pinfish and we worked some creeks and came away with double digit snook, a nice little tarpon and jumped a few more, and finished up with some small redfish to complete a SLAM. Now early this week after the hard rains fishing was very difficult back there. We fished some of the same areas and there was not much at all. We did catch 3 nice size snook which made the day, and then finished with a handful of trout and ladyfish in the bay. I would say the most consistent action is out on the patch reefs. We did well a few times out there with good numbers of porgy and mixed in are small mutton snappers, mangrove snapper, yellowtails, bar jacks, and a handful of hogfish. The hogfish haven’t been hot and heavy yet but once we get some cold (if we get some cold) that should turn on more too. Even a few cero mackerel have been out there too. Anyways if you are looking to get out there drop me a line, I would love to take you. If the weather stays warm just about anything is possible too!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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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
305-747-6903
rick@fishingislamorada.com

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