Wow what a day fishing with our friends Ricky Walker and Paul Young visiting from the UK. Years ago they both did a show that aired all over the UK called Hooked on Fishing and had show several shows with my father Richard Stanczyk Sr. We’ve remained good friends through the years, and Ricky had visited this year in April with his son and we had a good day catching snook and tarpon. Paul got to tag along this time. We still had the cold water from the recent cold front, and light northeast winds, which I was hoping would be a good recipe for some great fishing. We hit it right and it was action packed all day long! All throughout the tide, everywhere we went there seemed to be fish! We started the day with a very healthy snook and then a smaller one. Then we got a few more black drums and snook. Another area was loaded with nice seatrout – all healthy looking specimens and definitely keeper size though we released them all. Later on we got into absolute pile of redfish as the tide started to fall. And nice size reds for us too, not many little guys as had been around often in the warmer temperatures. These were all slot size fish and some above. We even had a 30 something incher swim right under the bow we could see on the surface, it was amazing! Then we got into some tarpon action which was awesome. Our Mustad Fishing jigs with our PENN Fishing SpinFisher Vs did the trick and we landed all of our tarpon on the mustad 1/4 oz jigs! Paul had just been asking about whether or not tarpon would bite in this cold, I said not often but your best bet is with a nice big shrimp. As things started to warm slightly, they got a little active and my dad caught two and then Paul got himself one as well! While Paul caught his we doubled up on nice redfish too which made for a wild triple header! We decided to kind of wrap it up at that point and we checked a few things I had not fished in a while but did not have much luck there. But a good day to try as we had already had a killer day! Just what a magical day these two brought some good luck with them that is for sure. We will be getting some south/southeast wind tomorrow and a lot warmer for a few days, then another front mid week though I don’t think we’ll get a major temperature drop. Might mix up the fishing over the weekend with the south wind but when it calms down then goes north later this week, should be real good.
Chilly morning today with our second front of the winter season! It dropped down in the mid 50s the last couple nights and water temperatures plumetted. This can some times be very good for our snook and drum fishing, though the temperature fluctuations, tide, and water quality play a big role in when and where they want to feed. Today we hit it right and had steady action all day. The snook were definitely in shock mode, we caught quite a few but they were very light bites and they didn’t make big runs like they normally do. The redfish bit pretty well and we had a variety of sizes of them. Just a handful of black drums, was thinking we’d get more of them with the cold. And plenty of sheepshead which was nice to see. We did get a nice snook for Ann at the end of the day too. All in all a fabulous cold weather fishing day here in Islamorada. Back at it tomorrow. I do have some openings next week in early December if anyone wants to get out there, should be good fishing!
Today it was slick calm in the morning, and then the winds started to kick out of the west a little as we have a weak cold front coming in. First thing we tried an area for mackerel out in the gulf where we had seen a lot of activity while running around last week. Today though it seemed like a dead zone, not much life at all. So we ran back towards shore. Tried another spot and we hooked up a big snook! Unfortunately he got under the boat and around the engine, breaching one time and head-shaking, but then the line snapped. It looked to be at least a 20 lber! Heartbreaker! After that we had a couple big goliath groupers eat us but we didn’t have the tackle to tango with them. Things slowed down there we missed the one we wanted, so we tried another similar spot but no luck at all there but catfish. We then ran and tried some areas on the bottom of the tide where I hoped some redfish and trout would be. We got there and unfortunately with it being the weekend, there was 4 other boats working the area. But that’s just what you have to deal with on the weekends sometimes. We still managed to catch some fish though, about a half dozen redfish and maybe 8 trout. We gave it an hour or so, and then tried some other spots as the tide began to rise. The wind kicked more west now, and unfortunately we just could not get much going the next several stops. We tried 4 places without a strike aside from catfish! But when the tide got right, the last stop of the day produce big for us. We caught about 30 redfish, and one good snook that at least partially made up for the one we lost earlier in the day. We were really feeling good after that last stop thankfully it saved the day. I’m off the next couple of days, and then have some availability starting Tuesday if anybody wants to go! Give me a shout!
Got out with Nolan, Olivia, and Shane today for a full day of fishing this November in Islamorada. Nolan really wanted to try and catch a tarpon, and of course a couple days ago my last day out we had caught several, not even really trying for them. I was able to sneak out yesterday morning and caught some different types of bait, so we were geared up for anything. We left early and headed out back. Winds were light but got a little more when we got in the backcountry, nothing crazy but a good 12 mph out of the north. We found a bunch of tarpon on the last of the falling tide early. Busting on little minnows and finger mullets. They were not really responsive for us though, we tried various types of bait, and moved around several times. Did get a big blacktip shark and a nurse shark though. We then hit the creeks when the tide switched and came in, getting high enough to get in some of those areas. Today though it was not much action in there, we got one snook, a snapper, missed a couple other snook, and then nothing much in a couple other spots. We then ran further back to try some other shoreline areas. We did get into a good little bite here, catching several snook and a couple redfish. It was a nice little flurry of action, but after that it was over. We then bailed and I ran to my ‘honey hole’ area as of late. The honey was there and we bailed the redfish, catching them two and three at a time for a good bit. Also several more snook here as well. Really a day saver when I needed it! I gave it some extra time and we checked a few more channels for some larger tarpon. Nothing in the first couple, but all the way at the end of the last one we did see some signs of a few. We spun around and set up and then did see a fish roll. We set up and saw a few more in the next 30 minutes, but no bites unfortunately. We gave it a hard try but the tarpon eluded us today. Thankfully we had a good backup plan. Some times you really have to go all in on those silver kings and there isn’t always an easy plan B, but today we made it happen. Back at it tomorrow!
Great day with return customer Jeff and his buddy Bob. We had a little breeze early 15 mph out of the north. Bait was a little trickier than yesterday but we got what we needed and brought our trust shrimp along too. We hit the creeks again and it was fairly similar to yesterday. Picked away a few fish on each spot, and Bob got a real nice one early of 12 or 13 lbs! We picked a few more here and there. Then Jeff got a nice tarpon! He also got a pretty good snook later on close to 10 lbs. We didn’t catch many redfish but we did get a few in our last stop for a Slam for Jeff. After that we were running home and came across a nice mullet mud along the shoreline. Next thing you know we were doubled up on nice reds! We hit them good for a bit and a few snook as well. Then a few tarpon started to roll as the wind laid out. We rigged up for them and drifted and cast and Bob got to catch a couple tarpon! The boys each jumped one more. Then some big jacks showed up and we had a little fun with them before heading home. Wow what a great day! Off tomorrow I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving! Still have some days open the next few weeks, and fishings been red hot!