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
April is here and that usually means the start of ‘prime time’ tarpon season! Fish have definitely shown up around many of the local bridges and channels. However it has not been ‘red hot’ fishing all the time. Being there at the right time in the right place seems to be key, and often there are little windows where they seem to be biting well so you hope to catch a fish during those times. The last couple days we had pretty good fishing though we only ended up landing one tarpon. Yesterday we probably had about eight bites on the falling tide in the late morning around the bridges. But our baits were big and it was tough to get the hook in the tarpon but we finally did! The day before we had jumped a couple tarpon off in the morning, and spent the rest of the day in the backcountry. The backcountry fishing had been a little tough the last few days as we’ve had a stiff south breeze the last three days or so, and it really mudded up the backcountry and was even hard getting the sharks to bite whilst trying for tarpon. We did catch some nice mangrove snappers back there on cut bait, and had plenty of action with trout too. Speaking of trout several days ago we caught a nice 22 incher which was a great catch. The day after that while it was still calm (before the south wind started cranking) we had a banner day with tarpon. We ended up catching 6 with Jake and John Hess, it was just one of those perfect days. So anyways as you can see the fishing has been up and down. Right now we are having a late cold front smack us again so that will likely slow the tarpon bite down for a few days… It’s suppose to get down in the mid to low 60s so it’ll be about a 15 degree drop, hopefully it’ll warm right back up though. I’m fairly booked up through the end of June but if you are looking to get out this summer it’s still a great time for tarpon and we usually have pretty good snook fishing too on our full day trips, drop me a line and we’ll get it set up!
Capt. Rick Stanczyk
March is almost over and it’s started to really feel like tarpon season here in Islamorada. I just got back on the water about a week ago after celebrating the birth of my son, Felix! Mom and baby are healthy so we are thrilled about that. Fishing has been pretty good, we had a hard cold snap while I was away that really chilled the water down, and it stayed chilly until just a few days ago really. I know the tarpon fishing was tough while I was away, but now that it got warm again they’ve shown back up. In the backcountry a few days ago it was flat calm for a couple days. A horde of fish showed up from out in the gulf, and I’d guess numbers in the thousands – as far as you could see tarpon were rolling and busting. We found them one afternoon, and quickly hooked and caught a 100 lber, but by the time we got done fighting him the tide had quit and it was time to go home. The following day though we hammered them, and went 6 for 12 in about 3 1/2 hours! The best day I’ve had in a while, and certainly for this year so far. It was fun to see. Though the next day after that the wind kicked up to 25 mph, and had to take a day off. But yesterday and today it dropped down to 15-20 mph (and is going to continue to drop and be nice later this week!) We caught two tarpon both yesterday and today, yesterday way out there in the backcountry and today locally around the channels and bridges in Islamorada. We did see quite a few fish in the local areas, which I hadn’t seen until now, so that is a good sign too. Other than tarpon, there were some nice sharks to be had. We also got a cobia one day. Plenty of trout still in the bays too along with ladyfish and a few snappers. All in all it’s good fishing and hopefully this week will continue to be good – I have a feeling it will be with the weather and signs we are seeing.
Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Well I’ve still been pretty busy the last week though I’m taking this next week off expecting the birth of my first child! We’re due today but got a feeling it may be a little big longer. Fishing had been decent the last week though the last 3 days on the water I had (Saturday – Monday) were incredibly rough. Over the weekend we got hit by a minor front, not much of a temperature swing, but it blew 30+ mph for 2 days. Almost unfishable… But we made it out and did some snapper fishing around the islands. The weekend fishing was very good, both days we got our share of ‘jumbo’ snappers in the 18-20 inch range, I think a half dozen on Saturday, and 3 on Sunday, plus plenty of 12 inchers to limit out. On Sunday we also caught a juvenile tarpon which was awesome! Monday wasn’t quite as good, we were able to get our limit of snapper at least, but it was a struggle to get some barely over 10 inch legal ones. Though we did catch a couple big sheepshead too, and had plenty of shots at juvenile tarpon but they showed us no love. I noticed the water temperatures had dropped considerably with the wind and were in the high 60s, so I’m sure that definitely messed the bigger tarpon and sharks up for a few days. At least the few guys I talked to that tried that stuff, didn’t have much success. Before the bad weather, I had a great 3 days fishing with John and Jan Shulze. We had one flat calm day where we caught plenty of mackerel, then looked for tripletail without much success (didn’t see a single one!), but we did come across a school of free jumping tarpon. We spent the rest of the day after them, and landed two fish of about 80 lbs, one for each of them! Plus plenty of sharks including a hammerhead. Day 2 the winds started to kick up out of the north, but we made it into the bay and caught plenty of trout – it was almost every cast for about 2 hours! Then we made our way into the everglades creeks and had a slow pick of fish, but some quality, including a nice redfish, a handful of snook (we lost a big one too!), and Jan jumped a nice 30 lb tarpon on light tackle. The last day was the first snapper day that I mentioned. So they got to see a little bit of everything fishing with me for three days. Before that I had a couple of double half day trips and we caught a ton of mackerel on all those trips. Anyways looking forward to having the week off and adding a new fisherman (or woman) to the family! I’ll be back when I start fishing again.
Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Got out with Bob and Brian today and we did a mixed bag trip. Tarpon was a priority but conditions didn’t look great with it blowing 15-20 out of the east. We caught some mullet early and hit the backcountry channels. Not much happening we only had a couple sharks bite, and only saw 1 tarpon roll. Tried another channel and only one more shark. Slow start! We decided to regroup and bend the light rods a little. The trout bite was pretty good actually and we caught probably 20 or so trout, getting our limit for dinner which was great for them. We headed back towards Islamorada to try some local tarpon spots, and we got lucky and found a nice one for Brian. He hooked an 80 lber and landed him after 20 minute battle, and then it was about time to go home. Hopefully they’ll stick around tomorrow, may be doing the same routine we’ll see!
I probably will not be doing the daily updated reported on here any longer, but I’ll try to post something once a week or so. Check out my other website islamoradatarpon.com for daily updated tarpon fishing reports through the Fall!
Got out for double half days again today. This morning I had Colon, Lucas, and Lorry out. They were visting from the Cayman Islands! It was fairly windy but not too bad for my larger boat. We got out to the mackerel grounds in about an hour and had good fishing with the breeze. Lots of spanish mackerel, a few snapper and blue runners too. We hooked several big sharks and landed a large nurse shark. The black tips though were so big and with it being rough, they broke hooks and cut us off on both attempts! But fun none the less to see them go crazy jumping.
This afternoon I had Andy, Aiden, and Bob who fished with me last October for tarpon and had good fishing then. We did the same deal as this morning and it was still a good bite! The first fish in the boat cut my finger though so I was bleeding everywhere which wasn’t fun, but was still able to catch lots of fish! We again hooked several big sharks, and almost landed a couple, but they were still biting us off and it was tough fighting them in the bigger seas. But all in all a good couple half days with lots of rod bending action. Tomorrow I’m back on regular full day schedule, not sure what we’ll be doing but hopefully they’re biting!
Capt. Rick Stanczyk