Hello and thanks for dropping by my website! My name is Capt. Rick Stanczyk and I’m a fishing guide in Islamorada, Florida. I fish out of the world famous Bud n’ Mary’s Fishing Marina located at MM 79.8 in Islamorada. You can find out more about me here, though for a quick synopsis… I was born in 1982, grew up fishing here, and have lived in the Keys for almost my entire life. I mostly fish in the backcountry which consists of Florida Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, and Everglades National Park… though I do also on occasion fish out on the ocean side in the shallow parts of the Atlantic Ocean. You can find out more details about my fishing charters here. I run a small center console style boat capable of taking up to 3 persons out on 4, 6, or 8 hour trips. I’ve done this for a living, full time since 2008. My specialty is tarpon fishing, however certain times of year we aren’t catching those very often so I focus on other types of fishing. On this website you will find my daily updated fishing reports during ‘off’ tarpon season, which is usually November – February. I will still try to update on a weekly basis during tarpon season, and day reports when we are fishing for other things, though you can also check out my other website Islamorada Tarpon Fishing for daily updated reports during that time. If you are interested in booking a fishing trip please contact me! If I am unavailable, or you need multiple boats for your group party, I work with plenty of other well qualified captains that do both inshore and offshore fishing here in the local area.
Capt. Rick Stanczyk
305 – 747 – 6903
P.S. For daily updated tarpon fishing reports, look at http://www.islamoradatarpon.com
Got out with Keith and Rich today for a full day. We caught some bait early on, some nice ‘beach bait’ small and medium size pilchards and had some shrimp we bought as well. The bait is started to show up in several areas for the fall which is nice to see. We hit the backcountry and found plenty of baby tarpon early on. They jumped off the hook on us though, Keith had a couple bites out of them but they didn’t want to stay on. We next moved to another canal where we got into a good mess of snook. We had double headers several times in a row and probably landed a dozen or so then things shut off. We saw a lot of tarpon rolling nearby so we messed around with them after that. Rich hooked up and landed a nice 30 lb tarpon! We also got into some more snook after this. It wasn’t as red hot of a bite, but we were getting one every 5 minutes or so and Keith got a couple nice good size slot redfish too! After that things slowed down and we met up with the other boat in our party. We tried a few different things, including drifting for trout in the bay and chumming for mackerel on the edge of the gulf, neither of which we had much luck with. Haven’t been out much since the storm so we wanted to try a few different things. After that we decided to hit a few channels for some mangrove snapper, even that was a little tough but we did find one good spot and caught 4 nice keepers before calling it a day. All in all it was a great day and we really made our day in the first couple hours of the morning, but we’ll take it! I’m fishing the next several days so hopefully the bite stays on, I’ll try to post another report after I get done with all that. But if you want to get out fishing October is a great time and we are starting to get the cooler northeasterly winds which usually can light the fishing up!
Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing
Got out last sunday with my friend Vic and fellow Capt. Mike Bassett. Bait was swarming we caught some locally around Islamorada. Loaded up with a few hundred pilchards and finger mullet. The bait run is in effect! We had to run a ways up islamorada to get the bait, and with the winds cranking we didn’t get back to the fishing areas to almost 10:00 or so. The winds were blowing a bit out of the south, not my favorite, but this was Vics day to go so we did. We got back to the cape sable area of flamingo and started fishing. The tide was super high and ripping in and the winds kicked up even more, so the water wasn’t very pretty. Inside the canal there was a deeper, darker brown almost tanic color, though it wasn’t a clean tanic but more muddy. I didn’t see many places that looked worth fishing so we tried the outside edge on the west side of sable that was more in the lee of the wind. We caught a big lemon shark on light tackle and vic got a snook. Not much after that we tried another area inside and saw lots of baby tarpon. They flashed on some free baits we threw, but couldn’t get them to respond to our hook baits. We tried another area without much luck either. We then tried somewhere else on the inside of the cape and caught a handful of snook and a sheepshead there. Vic was showing us how to do it he got all the snook! After that we were a little burnt out and I was having some fuel issues with my boat so we headed home. But a fun day and it was good to get out on the water post-hurricane irma. This week the winds are really cranking as another tropical storm is forming in the gulf and we are getting plenty of rain which we need to help clean up and restore our trees in the area after the hurricane. But I think the fishing later in October will be very good and once the winds lay down some it should be game on, hopefully by later this weekend that will be the case. My next day booked is Sunday and tarpon is on the agenda, we will likely be trying some other tactics. But if you are wanting to go fishing give me a shout, the upper keys are definitely back open and ready for business!
Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Hey folks sorry for the lack of updates but just wanted to let everyone know we are still here after Hurricane Irma! Bud n’ Mary’s (my families marina) got hit pretty good but we’ve been working tirelessly to get it back up and running. We are officially back open to the public today there with somewhat limited services. I’ll be running fishing charters again starting October 1. Most businesses in the upper keys are back to normal with exception to a few that are directly on the ocean side. The lower keys (souther marathon and big pine key) got hit much harder than the upper keys (islamorada and key largo). Many restaurants are serving normal menus, and hotels are back open. Notably a few big hotels will be closed for a while (Islander, Cheeca Lodge, and Post Card Inn), they are all right on the ocean and sustained more damage. Though I can let you know what places have rooms available if you drop me a line. Bud n’ Mary’s will have limited room available starting October 1. I have not been fishing yet but a few people I know have and they’ve said the fishing is very good. That is great news – October is one of my favorite months of the year to fish here. The fall bait run is starting and that usually means great tarpon and snook action, among other things. Drop me a line if you want to come down, the best thing people can do to help the Florida Keys is come down on vacation and spend some money!
August is rolling by quick and we are still absolutely killing it with the tarpon. The summer time fishing has been nothing short of epic this year. We’ve been averaging almost 3 fish a trip, and have only had a handful of days we’ve ‘struck out’ since the beginning of June. Much better fishing than last summer that is for sure. So far this August we’ve landed 24 tarpon in 9 trips, and only had one day where we didn’t get one (we had a bite, just missed him). I have a few days open coming up real soon, then going out of town Saturday for 5 days or so, then I have plenty of availability towards the end of the month starting on the 23rd. The tarpon fishing can still be good through October, and it’s a slower time of year down here so you have the place to yourself. We’ve also bagged several nice size triple tails while tarpon fishing too… seeing them float by in dirty water and casting to them is fun and requires some skill to get it done. Big sharks have also been keeping us busy in between the tarpon action. Today we landed 4 tarpon, a couple were big ones in the 65 and 90 lb range, followed by some little guys in the 15-20 lb range. Had several more eats too but they just didn’t stay on the hook sometimes those little guys are tough to keep on there. It was an absolute blast and just a gorgeous day out there. If you are interested in fishing down here the next few months let me know, business is slowing down and as I said fishing can still be very good. I’ll likely have availability short notice and in September can usually even give you a little break on a multi-day trip plus usually get a good deal on a room staying at Bud n’ Mary’s.
P.S. Follow my daily updated Islamorada Tarpon Fishing Blog here.
Capt. Rick Stanczyk