9/25/19 September Islamorada Fishing Report

One of those days you dream about today… The wind finally let up yesterday a bit and we’ve had a true taste of fall with a slight north breeze and a slight temperature drop. Water temperatures in many parts of the bay are down to around 80 degrees as opposed to the very hot 85+ degrees of summer. I had the day off but conditions looked so good and we found some quality fish yesterday in a few areas, that I didn’t want to pass it up! My dad and our friend/marina manager Stephen went out for a morning trip. We left early and caught the last trickle of falling tide which didn’t produce much as far as fish went. Stephen missed one good bite, but then nothing but a whole lot of catfish for a little bit. The tarpon put on quite a show though first thing in the morning as the mullet run is in effect, but we didn’t really mess with them as we were looking for snook, redfish, drum, etc… Once the tide turned back in and started moving, the fish turned on. We got into some very nice snook up to 36 inches, nice fat healthy fish! We also got a good handful of quality redfish in the 8 lb range (didn’t get any pics of them). Eventually we also got into a few very large (for here) black drum, one probably being close to 25 lbs! So awesome to see as they are a rarity for us especially over 10 lbs or so, usually we only really get them on the freezing cold days but funny we found one yesterday and got a few today. On the way home we stopped at one more spot and the big jack crevelles tore us up, but we also got a couple small goliath groupers and Stephen got one last big snook to finish the day up. Back at the dock by noon for lunch.

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

9/23/19 + 9/24/19 Backcountry Everglades fishing in Islamorada

Great couple of days with Gary and Melissa visiting from across the pond!  We had tremendous wind yesterday and we decided to make a long run up the coast to get out of it.  Luckily the Contender is quick and great for those 50 mile runs like that.  We had good fishing, nothing red hot but quality for sure!  A good half dozen reds of nice size, and maybe a dozen or so snook.  We also got Gary a tarpon for the SLAM, and Melissa caught a nice 30 lb goliath grouper.  We also had a good mix of ladyfish and jacks to keep the rods bent.

On the second day the winds let up nicely and more northerly.  We fished a little closer to home around the Flamingo area.  We had great fishing, getting into a ton of smaller snook and redfish.  We got one nice snook and a handful of better size reds too.  After that we went in search of something bigger.  We were hoping for some big snook but no luck with them, though I think we did miss one good bite.  But we did get a few decent size reds, and a couple black drum.  One of the drums was a whopper too close to 20 lbs!  Unusual especially that size for it not being real cold yet.  Anyways a fun day 2.

The fall bait run is totally in effect and there are definitely good fishing opportunities.  Lots of tarpon around I didn’t really mess with them today, but that could be good fishing too.  Give me a shout if you want to get out there, October is one of my favorite months of the year to go fishing.

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

9/8/19 September Islamorada Backcountry Fishing Report

Well the scare from Hurricane Dorian has come and gone.  We didn’t get a whole lot here from it, though we did have a couple of days of hard west wind but no more than a regular real windy day.  I got out the last couple of days though and am happy to report that fishing has not slowed down a lick – in fact perhaps the wind/rain actually helped by cooling things down a bit and stirring things up a bit.  We had great success with snook, redfish, and tarpon on Friday.  Today we had the same though not quite as many redfish, but several lunker size snook in the 36/37 inch range!  Just truly incredible.  There were also a good amount of tarpon both days as well, though we didn’t spend a ton of time targeting them but did catch one each day.  Seems to be quite a bit of bait around in the backcountry and I think hurricane Dorian perhaps helped trigger an early fall bait run as I’ve heard reports up the coast that the mullet run has started up there.  This usually occurs in October, but with high winds from such a storm you never know what’ll happen.  Good news is this coming week we also have some northeast winds which is usually good for that fall bait run as well.  September and October are some of my favorite months to fish down here as you get the place to yourself often, and with those fall conditions sometimes you see some pretty epic fishing too.  I also have some good discounted rates, so give me a shout and let’s get out there!

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

9/1/19 September Fishing in Islamorada

Well we are in the clear from Hurricane Dorian thankfully.  I had a busy week on the books starting today, however unfortunately I’ve lost 4 trips over it due to the possibility of this dang storm…  Today was the first day, and it was absolutely beautiful and slick calm.  So luckily my dad was up for going with our friend Ron Modra and Debra who works at Bud n marys.  We headed out early and first stop we found a bunch of tarpon rolling, we casted to them and jumped one and that was about the only good shot we got.  Next we got a nice cobia.  Was hoping we’d find some more but nothing else came up.  Second stop we got a good size trout.  Then we decided to run further up the road and fish some areas that I’ve been going with the new boat that are far away.  It was loaded with smaller snook and redfish, though we did get one decent size snook in there too.  After that it stayed calm so we headed out into the gulf.  This is where we started to see some crazy things…  Two big schools of permit, probably 100 fish in each!  Though they weren’t too happy we chased them casting crabs, shrimp, and even artificials… but they just did not want to eat.  We had one crush a crab possibly, but that was it and the little jacks were eating the shrimps and artificials so quick you couldn’t even have a chance, they even ate a few of the crabs too.  We kept moving and we found another school of things with some birds following them around.  At first it looked like more jacks, but then all of a sudden we were surrounded by monster bull redfish!  Again it was hard to get a bait to them as the jacks ate our shrimp and pinfish.  But I quickly grabbed the biggest crab we had, and we hooked a nice 20 lb red that I caught.  After that though we lost the school and it was about time to head in anyways as we were still a good ways from home.  We did stop on one more wreck on the way home, and caught a nice little goliath grouper on light tackle which was cool.  The west wind started to kick up a little on the way home but luckily we were going with it.  Wow what a special day and just some unreal stuff that you don’t get to see all the time.  Unfortunately we are going to get some bad west wind and possibly rain the next few days, so it may not be great for fishing.  But by the weeks end it should be getting better.  September and October are some of my favorite months of the year for fishing down here – you really get the place to yourself and when conditions are right, you may see some wild stuff like we saw today.

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