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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5/5/14 May Deep Sea Fishing in Islamorada

We’ve been busy so far this May while deep sea fishing in Islamorada. The last half of April was very busy too, and the fishing has been similar the last few weeks. The mahi bite has been on the slow side compared to what it usually is, but that’s why they call it fishing. There has still been some fish around, but it just takes patience to find them. On the hump there’s been some big sharks still, as well as some amberjacks and a few blackfin tunas. We’ve also caught a couple wahoo while trolling, and some tilefish and deep water grouper while deep dropping. I caught a couple swordfish my last trip, as well as 1 the trip before that. They were from 50 – 105 lbs. On the reef the Shallow water grouper season just opened on May 1st, so it’s nice now that we get to keep some black and gag grouper for dinner! May is one of my favorite months to fish in Islamorada, so if you want to get out on the Bn’M II, send me an email to bnmcharters@gmail.com , and I’d be happy to get you out! The mahi and blackfin tuna bite should get better and better, as well as the daytime swordfishing!

Tight Lines,

Capt. Nick Stanczyk

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4/16/14 Tarpon Fishing in Islamorada in April stays strong!

The april islamorada tarpon fishing bite has continued to stay strong throughout the month.  We’ve been catching fish on every trip really.  I think I only had one trip where we fished a half day due to a cold front and caught fish on the patches, only giving the tarpon a try for the last hour, where we did not hook at least one tarpon.  And only one other trip where we did not land a tarpon (we had two tarpon break us off in the bridges).  That’s great fishing!  We average probably two fish landed a trip, when you average the good ‘banner’ days where we release 3, 4, or more.  We’ve had a share of 1 fish landed trips in early april as we had a bit of a lull in the numbers of tarpon around, though the last week we’ve seen plenty more show up.  I think we had such a good early start that fish showed up strong in february and march, leading to a lull in early April which is traditionally considered ‘peak’ season.  Every year is different but like I said the last week seems to have seen big numbers around town again.  The backcountry has been a little slow with the tarpon since the last front, but they can show back up there any time again too I think when the wind stops blowing and some of the nasty ‘red weed’ that has been plaguing us back there dissipates.  Look for May to be stay strong that is often the best month of the year for tarpon and the weather stays consistently warm.  Summer can be very good too, last year July was just about as consistent as April with the early mornings being very good in the backcountry as well as good fishing around town on the evening trips with much less pressure on the fish since it is a bit slower with business and boats then.  I have some evenings available over the next couple months, just about every day is booked until June, but tarpon is what I’m doing and if your looking to catch one now is the time!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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4/3/14 April Islamorada Tarpon Fishing Report

It’s April and the tarpon have made their presence known here in Islamorada and throughout the Florida Keys.  Islamorada tarpon fishing is the big thing here for the next several months.  We’ve had a great early season and the weather is now really getting right for a big month in April.  Plenty of big schools of baitfish (mullet) have been showing up, several big ‘balls’ of thousands at a time that we use for bait.  The last few days I’ve been having great action fishing live mullet for tarpon.  We’ve had 6 fish to the boat in the last 3 trips, and over another fifteen or so that didn’t quite make it there!  Lots of other fish boiling, flashing, and busting the baits that weren’t hooked too.  It’s game on here for april tarpon fishing in Islamorada.  The fishing should only get better.  I’m booked most every day but I do have evening trips available that go from 4 to 8 PM so check with me.  It is a great time to go after big tarpon and the bite around sunset usually goes off!  You can see from the pictures below we’ve been having wild action the last month, and as stated before April only gets better.  The weather usually stabilizes and the big schools of migrating fish show up along with the schools of mullet.  It’s a mixture for tarpon craziness that you don’t want to miss!  Drop me a line lets get you hooked up to the fish of a life time!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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3/25/14 Offshore fishing in Islamorada on the Bn’M II

It’s been a busy month here while offshore fishing in Islamorada. March is a transitional month and there’s been a little bit of everything. We have caught grouper, wahoo, mackerel, mahi, tiger shark, hammerhead shark, yellowtail snapper, mutton snapper, golden tilefish, blueline tilefish, blackfin tun, amberjack, barracuda, swordfish, etc! Some days have been slower than others, but hey, that’s why they call it fishing. The slower days make you really appreciate the good days. We are still fishing on the reef quite a bit, but the next few weeks we will really focus on going “offshore” further, out into the gulf stream looking for more pelagic species. One of the most exciting things lately has been vertical jigging with tormenter tackle for big amberjacks, some over 50 lbs on spinning jigging outfits! Send me an email when you’re ready to go give it a shot! bnmcharters@gmail.com

Capt. Nick Stanczyk

golden tilefish

tiger shark bnm ii

amberjack

hammerhead bnm ii

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3/5/14 March Islamorada Fishing Report Florida Keys

Well it’s spring time here in Islamorada and that means we are kicking off with march fishing in islamorada.  For myself that usually means starting to target larger things – tarpon, sharks, mud marlin, goliath grouper, and more.  Most of February the tarpon fishing in the florida keys area we fish was fairly good.  We caught fish just about every day we tried for them aside from a couple.  However this time of year can be hit or miss especially when we have late season cold fronts, that really turns tarpon off.  We did have a few banner days, one day we had 6 nice tarpon to the boat between 60 and 90 lbs.  Most days however we are getting a variety of sharks, the occasional large ‘mud marlin’, and a handful of tarpon bites.  Tarpon have been biting a bit around town locally too if you can get fresh mullet like we have been, that can be a good option.  Evening tarpon trips are a possibility, again though warm weather is key.  Looks like we have a minor front coming in this weekend so that may slow the tarpon bite down but it will likely pick up again quick as it’s not getting too cold.  Other than tarpon we’ve been doing a lot of trout and snapper fishing in the bays.  Lots of juvenile trout showing up from the gulf with some larger ones mixed in.  The gulf is also a good option this time of year, I haven’t been out there much but this time of year tripletail are often out there plus some cobia, goliaths, and more on the wrecks.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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