Welcome to my website!

Hello and thanks for dropping by my Islamorada Fishing Charter website!  My name is Capt. Rick Stanczyk and I’m a fishing guide in Islamorada, Florida Keys.  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 Florida 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, though being raised here I’ve been fishing in the Keys much longer than that. My specialty is tarpon fishing, however certain times of the 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 regular 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.

Thanks,

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
305-747-6903

Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing

P.S. For daily updated tarpon fishing reports, look at http://www.islamoradatarpon.com

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2/17/18 + 2/18/18 Full Day Islamorada Fishing Charters in the Backcountry

Had a group trip the last two days with the Kurt Butcher group down at Bud n’ Mary’s.  We had good fishing both days.  Yesterday was fairly calm light winds, today it kicked up a bit out of the southeast but not too crazy 15 mph or so.  Yesterday we tarpon fished all day.  Caught bait to start the day which went well.  We caught a big tarpon 15 seconds after our first bait hit the water!  A nice 100 lber for Cody.  After that we got a bull shark about a 50 lber.  The tarpon bite slowed down we didn’t have another bite for a couple hours.  We decided to check some other areas I hadn’t fished yet this year.  Didn’t see much at first but caught a big lemon shark and a sting ray.  We took a harder look and did manage to find a few tarpon floating through the area.  One ate a live pilchard we missed, but then we caught two more later on and a couple more sharks.  Great day 3 day time tarpon in February!  Today we tried the same thing but the weather had other plans.  Lots of rain in the AM so we stayed close and fished our light rods for jacks and big ladyfish for an hour.  We did catch mullet too and then when the rain cleared we headed out back.  Similar as yesterday the tarpon didn’t want to bite too well on the early morning falling tide.  We got another bull shark and several black tips.  Then when the tide turned we moved around, got a nice 20 lb cobia and then hooked a double header tarpon!  One fish didn’t stay buttoned though but we caught the other.  Then later on we got another one so both my anglers Jay and Dustin caught their first tarpon.  So 5 tarpon in 2 days and all 4 anglers got to catch their first tarpon… not too shabby for february tarpon fishing in the Florida Keys!  Looks like the winds will be kicking up tomorrow so may have a little tougher fishing but hopefully something will be productive.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing

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2/16/18 Florida Keys Tarpon Fishing in the Islamorada Backcountry

Got out for a 3/4 day with John, Michelle, and Phil today.  We departed around 6:45 and headed to the spanish mackerel grounds.  Fishing was pretty good we caught about 2 dozen in just an hour or so.  It was action almost every cast!  Good to see them still around thick as they are sort of our bread and butter this time of year.  After that we ran to find some tarpon.  We tried the channels where they were milling around yesterday and they were there today again too.  The winds were nice and calm and we had the last trickle of falling tide, but the tide quit out on us early.  We managed to hook a shark that cut us off, and then on the change of the tide Phil hooked a nice 85 lb tarpon!  He to under and around the trolling motor, all the places you dont want them to go, which often happens when they bite on a tide change as the line and stuff is wanting to drift under the boat.  Anyways we avoided cutting him off and Phil landed him nicely.  Later on we caught a big lemon shark when the tide changed and started coming in, and while fighting him, Michelle hooked a nice 45 lb tarpon.  She got the wind on leader on him but unfortunately it was a quick release as he spit the hook on a jump but we had the leader for a technical catch.  It was time to head home after that but a great day on the water for these 3!  Back at it tomorrow.  We seem to be in full tarpon season swing right now with no cold fronts in site.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing

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2/15/18 February Fishing in the Florida Keys Backcountry

Got out for a full day with Howard and Mike, two return customers who fished with me last year.  We mixed it up a bit and tried a few different things, having some success with each.  We caught some pilchards to start our day and I had hoped we’d get in on some juvenile tarpon action that was good a few days ago.  We found the little tarpon, but they weren’t as active as I would’ve liked.  We couldn’t get them to respond but we did catch a couple nice mangrove snappers and a small barracuda.  After that we hit the gulf to try for some mackerel and other species.  We found a few mackerel and a bunch of big ladyfish and blue runners.  We moved out a bit further and got on a little bit better mackerel bite.  We saved much of this for bait for larger stuff later on.  We found some larger tarpon in the next stop and put out some bait for them.  Howard caught a nice cobia which was a surprise!  About a 30 lber, lots of fun and a first for him.  We saw a few tarpon showing a little ways away and moved into that area.  Mike had a tarpon bite soon after but he didn’t stay on the hook.  We had one other one that I beleive was a tarpon give us a quick zing on the rod but never got the hook in him either.  We did catch a few blacktip sharks, and Howard hooked what I think was a big sawfish (those are usually pretty easy to guess what they are).  He cut us off though but may of been for the better as it seemed like a big one that wasn’t stopping anytime soon.  Anyways that was about it for us for the day.  I’ll be back at it tomorrow not sure what we are doing and it’s a shorter 3/4 day, but tarpon may be on the menu.  Since it is so warm tarpon fishing will likely be a regular thing from here on out, barring any crazy cold fronts.  Be sure to check out my other website for the daily updated tarpon reports, as once that starts going I usually don’t update this site as much.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing

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2/12/18 February Backcountry Full Day Bay Charter

Got out for a full day today with long time customers Bill and Elaine.  We decided to mix it up and keep things simple as I told them the last couple days had been a little slow.  We caught some pilchards early on and had some live shrimp and headed out.  We found a few local islamorada snook first thing and Elaine caught a nice 8 lber on her own cast!  Great start to the day.  We were going to hit the bayside for some mackerel but had a report that it was slow there, so we ventured around some local islands for mangrove snapper.  We found some big snappers which was great but were also rewarded with more.  We found a good school of little tarpon and managed to catch a couple and miss a couple more.  We also got another snook and a redfish.  A welcome surprise we normally don’t see those fish in these areas, but since IRMA weird things like that have happened.  After that we headed into the gulf to mackerel fish and that was good action.  Not a ton of mackerel but we probably caught 8 or so, but plenty of blue runners and some big snappers out there too.  We tried some spots in the backcountry for snook and redfish but no luck back there, it was still a little muddy looking I thought.  We tried for big tarpon back their briefly and again locally near home but no luck.  I did not see the big school of tarpon like we saw yesterday near home, but I’m sure there are some around with as warm as it is.  Off tomorrow for boat service, then available Wednesday if anyone wants to go.  I’ll be fishing Thursday for sure hopefully the bite stays like it was today, the winds will be swinging more easterly as opposed to southeasterly which can make a big difference.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing

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2/10/18 February backcountry fishing in Islamorada full day

Got out with Jack and Sandy today for a full day of backcountry fishing.  It was super windy again but the wind swung around a little more south.  One of my least favorite wind directions!  Jack wanted to try and catch snook, and I said if we got the right bait (pilchards) we’d give it a good try.  Bait wasn’t easy it was super muddy with the wind, but we were able to get lucky and blind throw and caught probably 150 baits.  We made our way towards the cape and it didn’t look very nice over there… mud everywhere, typical with that wind direction.  We tried to find some areas tucked away inside.  We had one little tarpon suck a pilchard off in one area that was it.  No bites in the next couple stops.  We ran further back to try the shorelines on the western side of the mainland, in the lee of the wind.  Had one snook bite there but unfortunately it was while we had the rod in the holder and missed him.  We ran even further back to fish some other creeks, found a buddy of mine in one but he said fishing wasn’t great they had caught some trout while the tide was moving, but it was in the slow process of changing now.  We gave it 40 minutes or so and caught a couple trout and then bailed.  We ran all the way towards home, tried around an island for some snook but no bites there.  We then tried to catch the mackerels in the bay near home where they were biting good a couple days before.  But we never had a sniff there…  We tried a couple more spots locally in Islamorada for snook, and did manage to finally catch one and then had one other bite we missed.  Anyways very tough day, haven’t had one in a while but I guess I was due.  Tomorrow my anglers want tarpon so I’ll be sticking to that gameplan.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing

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