End of October Florida Keys Backcountry Fishing Report

We are near the end of October and things are really starting to feel like Fall here in Islamorada, Florida Keys.  We have had a couple of ‘cool fronts’ where the weather has gotten down to 70 degrees or so, which has helped cool the water down a bit.  This has made some of the inshore fish happy especially snook and redfish.  The fishing around the mainland cape and some of the island moats and channel runoffs had been good during and right after these fronts.  We had some good days of snook and redfish fishing, it was very nice to see some redfish move into these areas as they had been very shallow for most of the summer.  Bait has been thick we are in the midst of the fall bait run, and many hungry predators are right nearby.  Tarpon can often be seen busting big balls of bait which is an awesome thing to see.  Though we have not had the craziness of thousands of tarpon which we saw the last few years during this spectacle, but seems to be fish much more spread out and not as many numbers.  We’ve had luck though catching tarpon the last couple weeks, one day we caught 5 out of 12 which was phenomenal!  And most days that we have tried we have had luck catching at least one, plus plenty of big blacktips sharks to keep busy.  A few of the big winter time tarpon have been in the mix too we had several fish the last week over 100 lbs.  In the gulf there have been a handful of spanish mackerel, that fishing should really start to heat up in November and further out in the gulf cobia and tripletail can be found.  The patch reefs have been very good too I was out there a few days.  We had good action fishing just shrimp with nice size porgies, lots of mutton snappers, yellowtail, bar jacks, and a few hogfish.  Had a keeper mutton on the last two trips out there as well which is nice to see on the shallow patches.  November is filling up fast give me a call if you want to get out on the water and fish, it is a great time as things are cooling off!  305-747-6903

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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October Offshore Fishing Islamorada Florida

It’s been a mixed bag of fish here while fishing in Islamorada in October 2014! The swordfish bite has been as exciting as ever! We’ve caught fish our past 13 trips in a row since Mid September! We have released many of the fish, and have kept some for dinner, with the biggest pushing 200 lbs! Most trips have been 2 – 3 fish but we did have 5 on one, and a few with 1 fish. We will start fishing the reef and wrecks more and more the next few months. The sailfish will be the next exciting fish of the season that we target. There’s still some blackfin tuna and mahi around, although the mahi will thin out as we get into November. We should start catching some more grouper, wahoo, and king mackerel as the water cools too. Shoot me an email to bnmcharters@gmail.com when you’re ready to set up your private fishing charter in Islamorada!

Capt. Nick Stanczyk

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October Islamorada Backcountry Fishing Report

Well we are smack in the middle of October and things are starting to pick up again with business.  September I was out of town for a good part of, and the rest of the time was fairly slow as usual.  But everyone needs some times off.  So the beginning of October fishing has been fair – not great but not terrible – and I’ve been able to put together good catches for the day but really having to work at it.  We had not gotten a whole lot of cool weather, with exception to while I was still away very early in the month.  But it warmed up again very quickly and I think the fish are ready for a break from summer.  There had been a pick of snook around the islands and shorelines in the everglades, with the occasional redfish mixed in.  Lots of snappers, jacks, and some trout and ladyfish to keep the rods bent.  Half day trips snapper fishing has been a good bet, if you take your time with the live baits you can pick out some real nice size ones around the islands and potholes in the gulf area.  Many snook and redfish ‘spots’ had been loaded with juvenile snappers, and the tough thing is getting a bait to the desired fish without one of them grabbing it.  Sharks are in the mix if you want something big, and a few tarpon as well.  We did have a good tarpon trip a few days ago landing 2 out of 4 nice tarpon.  There has also been some smaller baby tarpon as well.  Now the tarpon fishing in October in the everglades can go buck wild if you catch it right… if we get some more northerly breezes that can push the baitfish down the coast and lead to some unbelievable tarpon action.  Yesterday we finally got another mild front and today the fishing was very good back there.  The temperatures dropped and the water was in the high 70s in the morning.  Snook and redfish made their presence known and the water in the cape sable area was very pretty with a good north breeze.  We caught double digit snook, and double digit redfish, so the action was hot!  Also some big jacks and a juvenile goliath grouper. One thing that has been prevalent has been bait.  Pilchards are readily available around many islands and shorelines of islamorada, and they have gotten bigger than they were last month so they are perfect snook and redfish bait size now.  Fishing should only get better and we should be getting more and more cool air from the north as we get into later fall/winter.  This is when the snook, redfish, and black drum fishing gets very good.  We also get hot action with spanish mackerel in the gulf, a mix of cobia, tripletail, bluefish, and more.  Plus don’t forget the patch reefs with mutton snapper, hogfish, porgy, and more – great for table fare!  The rest of October is fairly busy for me though I do have a few open days, and November is starting to fill up fast.  So if your interested in booking a trip, drop me a line sooner rather than later.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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9/30/14 Deep Sea Fishing Report Capt. Nick Stanczyk

We’ve had some great Islamorada deep sea fishing here the past month.  We’ve got blackfin tunas on the hump each trip we’ve tried, anywhere from 3 – 25 lbs. The mahi have been sporadic, but we did catch around 1o yesterday. On the reef and the wrecks we’ve caught a couple gag groupers, mutton snapper, king mackerel, and mangrove snapper. The daytime swordfish bite has been on fire too! We caught 3 our last trip, and the had 1 fish on each of the two trips prior to that, and 4 fish on the trip before those! The fish haven’t been huge, but anywhere up to 100 lbs. Email me at bnmcharters@gmail.com if you’d like to set up your next Islamorada fishing trip!

Tight Lines,

Capt. Nick Stanczyk

 

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September Islamorada Backcountry Fishing Report

We are half way through September and the last couple weeks you can really tell we are in ‘off season’ mode here in Islamorada, Florida Keys.  I was out of town for a couple weeks the last part of August getting married and have been back here since early September.  I’ve only fished a few days mostly for fun and a couple charters, but its that time of year to relax and take a breath.  Business was extremely good this year and I was fishing every day up until I left, so I’ve been doing some work on the boat and enjoying myself a bit too.  Anyways the fishing has been fairly good the few times I’ve been out, and I’ve been talking to others who have been getting out here and there.  Still some tarpon in the backcountry we caught a nice 70 lb fish last Saturday. Tarpon fishing is definitely still a viable option through October, and we also usually get an insane ‘fall bait run’ during the month so if your here during that, tarpon fishing can be epic before things really cool down.  Also we caught several goliath groupers with the big rods that day.  We finished the day with some lunker mangrove snappers (2 to 3 lbs!) we caught drifting chunks, and had some snook action too.  The snook and redfish fishing should continue to get better as we get into October, as things cool down and these fish move into the deeper creeks, canals, moats, and other areas where larger boats like mine fish them in the fall and winter.  Many of the local shorelines and islands are loading up with small pilchards (baitfish) which is the norm this time of year.  Once we really get into the fall these guys should grow in size and will be great bait for both offshore and inshore fishing.  They are what we like to call ‘snook candy’!  I was out sight fishing for fun yesterday with a fellow captain and we had a blast.  We poled some shallow shorelines areas and around some islands in the backcountry around flamingo.  We saw about a dozen redfish and a dozen snook, though only had a few bites out of the reds and landed a couple nice ones.  The snook were leary and not interested in the shrimp we offered them.  But it was very cool to be on the bow doing that as I don’t get to do much of it myself when running my boat!  The best part about fishing the next couple of months though is just being out there.  The boat traffic we see in the spring and early summer is gone, so you often feel like you have the entire backcountry/everglades all to yourself.  As things cool off too look for the spanish mackerel fishing in the gulf to pick up, that is always a great option for rod bending action and those fish can pull some drag!  Plenty of big blacktip sharks usually in the mix with them as well as other varieties of fish.  The patch reef fishing heats up too with hogfish, porgy, grouper, snapper, and the like – perfect if you want a half day trip of eatin’ fish!  Drop me a line and lets go fishing this is a great time of year to get out!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
305-747-6903
rick@fishingislamorada.com

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Offshore fishing in Islamorada Summer 2014

Hey Everyone,

Been a while since I gave an updated report about fishing in Islamorada, but here’s a few pics from the last couple months. It has been a much better year for daytime swordfish than last year. They still aren’t guaranteed by any means, but we caught 1 or 2 broadbill swordfish on 15 of our last 20 trips. Most the fish have been from 50 – 120 lbs, but we did have a couple over 200 this summer as well. The mahi are finally slowing down a little the past week here in August, but June and July were two of the most consistent months for mahi we’ve ever seen! There was plenty of keeper size fish from 3 – 8 lbs, and we had a couple big bulls this year. A 57 lber was our biggest on the Bn’M II, and my personal best here my entire life! A 42 lber bull was my second biggest of the season. The blackfin tuna were a little hit and miss this summer, but the last week they have been showing up in good numbers on the humps. I currently have my 36′ Jersey Devil Sportfish Boat for sale. The next few months we should see more good swordfishing when the weather cooperates, and the blackfin tunas and sharks on the humps should be entertaining as well.

Capt. Nick Stanczyk

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8/16/14 Mid August Islamorada Fishing Report

Can’t believe it’s the middle of august already, boy time flies!  I’ve been as busy as ever still fishing just about every day though I am getting ready to go out of town here for a couple weeks to get married.  August Florida Keys Fishing has been so good figured I’d share before I left – if your interested in booking a charter don’t hesitate to email me I can line you up with a good guide while I’m away!  I’ve been still doing a lot of islamorada tarpon fishing charters.  Things have been very hot mid day and the fishing has often been a bit slower come that time so early starts have helped.  We’ve had mostly light breezes, if any at all, out of the south which is a much warmer wind usually.  I’ve still been getting mullet regularly first thing in the morning with the 6 AM departures.  The backcountry tarpon fishing off the beaches of the mainland has been very consistent.  My last 7 trips we have landed 14 tarpon, so averaging 2 per trip and all trips caught 1 fish at least – not bad at all for mid-august!  Many tarpon in the 30-60 lb range which we consider on the smaller side or ‘resident’ size tarpon.  I’m happy to see that and hopefully if the weather stays relatively stable these fish should be there for a bit longer.  There are plenty of sharks, mostly blacktips, mixed in with them too.  When not fishing for tarpon I’ve still been doing some trout and snapper fishing in the bays.  Using small cut ballyhoo, chunks of mullet, or even GULP artificials can do the trick, however as I tell my customers most the best keys tarpon fishing is the first few hours of the day.  So often it’s a pick though when we have a lot of bait and chum you can usually get the snappers going pretty good at least if nothing else.  When pilchards or pinfish come up we are still catching those and I’ve been catching a few snook here and there around the islands and mangrove-laden shorelines.  But to be honest this time of year I am happy to do a 5 or 6 hour day, put in the hard work early for a few tarpon and sharks, and be back home in time for lunch!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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8/2/14 August Fishing in Islamorada

August is officially here!  We’ve just finished up with lobster mini-season.  It’s quite a zoo down here with everyone diving and snorkeling for the crawling critters on the bottom.  Regular lobster season opens this coming week and will be crazy for a week or two, but that soon dies down again.  Luckily most the fishing I am doing is back in the everglades as of late or the gulf, where we aren’t bothered by all the people.  The last couple days I fished were truly incredible.  In two days we’ve released 9 tarpon, 7 big snook 10-15 lbs, another 6 smaller snook, 8 goliath grouper, half a dozen large blacktip sharks, some big snappers, and a handful of other critters.  The bait in the backcountry is still readily available, I’ve been catching mullet early in the mornings really every morning.  Also on full days I’ve still been having good luck chumming pilchards up which we are using for snook and big snappers.  That is great fishing any time of year, let alone the beginning of August fishing islamorada, which is typically considered the ‘slow’ period here in the Florida Keys.  But as I always tell people – conditions really dictate the fishing here, it doesn’t matter whether it be in ‘season’ or not.  However I will say fishing had gotten a little bit tougher in days before that.  The winds now are east/northeast which is great, but days in the previous week before they were southwest which is not really good for much.  We had seen tarpon on some of those trips though they had gotten much tougher to get bites out of, you could sit for hours waiting for one bite, or maybe not even get that.  Sharks were not even very productive.  Some of the snook I had been wailing on in early July had disappeared from many of the spots I was fishing.  Almost any spot I went to a few weeks ago that you would normally find snook had some fish, though last week only a handful of spots produced any fish at all.  Though most days I was still able to work hard and put together a decent catch, whether it be a handful of snook, a couple tarpon, sea trout and snappers, or pulling on sharks.  That’s the great thing about fishing in the florida keys there is usually always a plan B!  As we get more into August the fishing can still be really good.  Tarpon are still not uncommon and on the right days can be really good.  Snook should still be around and getting the right bait (pilchards) will make the fishing much more productive.  Redfish on the flats, trout and snappers the bays.  The gulf can hold loads of permit too, I have not done that much but may try it if anyone asks.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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7/10/14 July Fishing in Islamorada

This july fishing in islamorada has really been sensational.  I’ve been mixing things up a bit though still doing a lot of tarpon fishing.  The early departures at 6 AM have really helped especially with the catching of bait.  We are loading up on mullets easily before the sun gets really high which increases the chance of catching a tarpon tremendously having the fresh bait.  The backcountry channels and beaches have had consistent tarpon action and I’ve caught tarpon on every trip this July with exception to one where we only had a half day and just didn’t have time to move around much.  Though we did catch plenty of sharks that day and saw some tarpon that just would not eat.  The afternoon tarpon bite has been good too if they don’t cooperate or stay on the hook in the morning, your chances are still very good in the early afternoon.  I often like to try again for the last hour of the day before we head in.  Other than tarpon the trout and snapper action in the bays has been great.  That is the best option for ‘dinner fish’.  I’ve also been finding some nice white bait a.k.a pilchards in the gulf.  When we are able to chum those up and net them the snook fishing has been stellar.  Many days we are catching double digit snook and some days they are pulling us out of the boat!  A few red drum are mixed in there and we’ve had several days with backcountry SLAMS consisting of redfish, snook, and tarpon. The gulf  is also a good option with the calm weather there have been a few permit and cobia out there and of course the big dogs goliath grouper and bull sharks!  I am pretty booked up through the middle of the month when I am going on vacation  though I have some open days when I get back near the end of July.  August is also pretty wide open and that can still be a great time to fish tarpon and other species as well!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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6/15/14 June Islamorada Fishing in the Florida Keys Backcountry

We are in mid june and the weather has been stable and nice.  While it has gotten a little hot on some days, most have had a slight southeast breeze which has kept the real heat down.  The mornings are often a little overcast too, perfect for half day fishing trips though if you do the full day at least you get a break with the clouds off and on.  Fishing has been good for the most part we’ve enjoyed lots of action in the bays with plenty of mangrove snappers along with a mix of trout, jacks, ladyfish, and more.  The backcountry channels have had a variety of sharks and there have still been plenty of tarpon around too.  Most full days we are mixing it up with the smaller fish bending the lights rods, perhaps catching dinner, and then going and trying for tarpon or sharks.  We’ve gotten a few reds and snook on occasion as well as the occasional floating tripletail or cobia when we are running around.  For the most part though tarpon is still my mainstay this time of year.  For the best fishing leaving early gives you an added chance of success as the mullet are much thinner now though there are a few spots you can find them before it gets too bright.  You can also catch the last of the falling tides in the morning and have good fishing drifting crabs.  This is the same on the evenings, the tarpon are feeding on crabs much more now especially with the falling tides and near dark.  Of course soaking mullet on the bottom or fishing them live if you can find them is still a good method too.  I’m pretty booked up the rest of the month though I have days available in July which can be great tarpon fishing in the everglades then.  Again it’s an early game though we often depart the dock at 6 AM or earlier.  Drop me a line if your interested in getting out!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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