***We are more or less shut down as of now due to the Corona Virus. Visitors have been asked to leave the Florida Keys. Hotels & Bars are closed, restaurants are only doing take-out. We’re still allowed to fish and other businesses are still allowed to operate as of this time. As of now they are also closing down access to the keys for visitors, only people who live here or who have active essential work will be allowed down. I’ll post more as we figure things out, but looks like we are going to be down for a good part of April at the least…***
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 25′ Contender Bay Boat capable of taking up to 4 persons out on 4, 6, or 8 hour trips. These days however I am mostly just fishing 8 hour full days, though will take shorter trips in off season when I’m not as busy. 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.
IMPORTANT: All anglers starting Jan 10th, 2019 will be required to have an Everglades Visitors Pass when fishing in the park. You can obtain one via internet/phone at http://www.yourpassnow.com and select Everglades National Park. Most of my fishing is inside the park, so check with me but more than likely you will need one. You can also purchase an annual/lifetime pass at store.usgs.gov
Got offshore in my bay boat yesterday just to mess around while we are all still on lockdown here. Caught some big sharks off the hump using huge amberjack as bait! Check out the YouTube video here!
Also in regards to the coronavirus, we are still more or less out of business here in the Keys. Roads are shut down to non-residents coming down from Miami indefinitely. However we’re hoping in the next couple weeks at least that will open back up so perhaps people from south florida can come down and fish. Fishing has been really good and you have the place to yourself, and it’s prime tarpon time now!
Well we had a chilly week again but water temps finally breached 70 degrees yesterday in the backcountry. I had Reg and Lucinda whom were really after some tarpon and wanted to see it in the backcountry. I wasn’t sure it’d be good or not, but today was our day. Luckily we made it happen, not a ton of tarpon back there but enough we landed 2 and missed a 3rd. But looks like no more cold fronts in the immediate future, and the winds are going to be a standard 10-15 mph. So that should be good for tarpon fishing back there. I also have had several days open up due to corona virus fears… so check with me you could get lucky and have cherry picked awesome early season tarpon days available, because otherwise I’m more or less booked through to Mid June.
Well with a late cold front several days ago fishing got a little tricky this week. We had a few days of having to work a bit harder but still able to put some decent catches together of snook and redfish. Nothing super glorious as we had a lot of wind and it swung south and that makes many of the areas I like to fish a little less productive. But yesterday we decided to take a gamble and made a long run up the coast to further grounds. Often times this area is in the lee on a hard south/southeast wind and you can still have decent fishing especially on your falling tides when much of the other backcountry is ‘mudded out.’ We still had to work hard but were able to pick away at some smaller snooks. But then we were rewarded we found a school of juvenile tarpon, casted in to them and we hooked a monster snook 38 incher! We then caught a small tarpon and got another boatside that came off. Then we caught another monster snook 41 inches and maybe the biggest I’ve had landed on my boat we don’t see too many that size here in South Florida. Anyways just awesome day! I was back out today with my regulars Pride and Cile, we tried for a repeat performance but it was much tougher today. Couldn’t get much going up the road except for some smaller snapper, trout, jacks, mackerels, ladyfish, etc… When the tide finally turned on the way home we did get into a good bite of snook and a few reds, and finished the day up with a small goliath. But boy had to sweat it out until the last couple hours of the day!
Major cold front coming in tomorrow for 3 days, suppose to get into the mid 50s the next 3 nights. So it’ll likely shut the tarpon fishing down for a good week or so I’d imagine, at least until it’s likely worthwhile to invest time again. But who knows maybe some winter time backcountry bigguns’ will show up!