2/26/17 Half Day Fishing in Islamorada, Florida

Got out for double half days today.  This morning the wind was cranking 15-20 out of the north, a little rougher than anticipated.  I had Charlie down from Long Island and we ventured out to the mackerel grounds.  It was a little bumpy getting their, but not too bad.  We anchored up and had a little slow start but by the end it was pretty good.  The mackerels took a while to get going, but at the end if was almost every cast.  I think we landed close to 20 or so.  We also got two large mangrove snappers for dinner for Charlie, which was perfect because he didn’t need a ton.  After that we made our way home.

This afternoon I had long time customer Jeff Godlewski who comes down with his group from CDW in the spring usually for a big corporate work/fishing trip.  We did the same routine, the wind had laid down nicely in the afternoon so it was a straight shot out.  The mackerels bit OK again, and we also caught several nice snappers, one was a big lane snapper which was cool.  We only gave it an hour and then tried to run out to a deeper wreck which I normally wouldn’t do on a half day, but Jeff didn’t mind the extra running time to try for something quality, plus it was pretty calm so I could get their fairly quick.  We couldn’t get on the spot however because a boat was already there, so we ran inshore to the channels to try for a tarpon for the last bit.  We saw a free jumper and got in the area with him, and started to mark a handful of fish on the bottom machine but not a ton.  I never saw one roll though.  We caught a few sharks, never had a tarpon bite, and then the tide quit and it was time to go.  But a fun afternoon anyhow.  I have the same deal tomorrow, two half days, so it may be a similar day as today we’ll see!  Hopefully the fish cooperate just as well.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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2/25/17 February Islamorada Tarpon Fishing Report

Got out with Jim, Jeff, and Ryan today.  We caught plenty of spanish mackerel early on with the last couple hours of falling tide.  Good to see even though it was flat calm.  Hopefully the mackerel will stick around for a few more weeks.  After that we tried looking for tarpon.  Didn’t see much life in the first stop where we had caught our big fish the day before.  We ran further back off the beach to look but alas saw nothing at all.  We ended up back where we first stopped, catching the start of the incoming tide.  We caught some sharks and hooked into a few big sawfish but unfortunately we weren’t able to get either of them up to take a look at them.  Some tarpon were starting to roll around us now but didn’t seem to want to bite for us.  We ran further inside the channel and there were even more back there.  We moved around a bit and ended up getting a few bites out of them, 3 total i think, but none of them stayed on the hook!  Made for a tough ending but at least we had some shots.  The boys want to come back in June when I told them the tarpon action is a bit more consistent.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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2/24/17 February Islamorada Fishing Report

Got out with Doug and Caroline again today.  We had a slight northwest breeze this morning still, that went to more north out in the near gulf where we first started fishing.  We had the last hour or so of falling tide and the mackerels were chewing pretty well.  Took a little bit to really get them fired up but we got them going and probably landed a couple dozen.  Also plenty of blue runners, some decent mangrove snappers for dinner, and a few other odds and ends.  When the tide quit we decided to go try for some bigger stuff.  The water was still chilly in the low 70s, but the wind was slowly dying out and it was getting sunny and felt like a tarpon might be a possibility.  I looked in a couple different areas, hoping to come across a big pack like we had been doing earlier in the week.  Though I didn’t see much or mark much on my machine, so we just started fishing on some numbers I like.  We caught a few sharks, then Caroline hooked a monster tarpon!  We fought it for about 20 minutes, and after a few good jumps and crazy head shakes, landed the beast.  It was one of the largest tarpon I’ve ever caught and was likely close to 200 lbs.  The girth of the fish was what really stuck out to me and one of the pictures shows how fat it is while the others dont truly do it justice.  We also caught a big sawfish after that as well as a few more sharks, before heading in on our 3/4 day.  What a great two days of fishing for Doug and Caroline!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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2/23/17 February Everglades Fishing Report

Well yesterday was a wash and I’m glad I had planned to have it off.  It rained all day up around the mainland, and quite a bit down here, as well as blew 25 mph out of the south.  I was thinking today it’d be a tough day as the water temps dropped back to around 70 in the backcountry, plus it was blowing 15 out of the west now, and that usually isn’t a good thing especially for things like tarpon and such.  Anyways I had Doug and Carolyn today (as well as tomorrow) and we made the best of it.  We found some live pilchards nearby on the way out so we caught maybe 4 dozen of them.  I decided to run back into some of the everglades creeks to try for snook since we had the bait.  There was a boat where I first wanted to go, so we tried a few other spots nearby but not much luck.  We than ran into another creek, and gave it a little bit and eventually got a little snook bite going.  We probably caught about 8 or so, and missed a few others, so it was decent fishing!  We ran out of bait after a while and then decided to do some snapper fishing to get a little dinner.  We hit one of the islands I fished last week when we had a stiff west breeze like we did today, and the snappers were chewing pretty good.  We got our limit and all nice 12-14 inch fish which usually can be tough to get on shrimp.  We lost one on a piece of cut bait that was either a big 3 lb snapper, or maybe another snook, never got a good look and it cut us off at the boat.  Anyways all in all it was a pretty good day.  Tomorrow I think we’ll try the mackerels since the wind is suppose to lay down somewhat, and maybe try for a tarpon or shark later on if things have a chance to warm up enough.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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2/21/17 Islamorada February Charter Fishing Report

Got out with Jim, Tyler, and Sam today who had fished with me a few years ago.  They wanted sharks and some light tackle action too.  We did the big things first, caught plenty of blacktips and 3 big sawfish which was cool.  They really loved to see the saws up close and personal, and Sam was loving all the sharks!  Was hoping we might run into some tarpon but no luck early on.  Later in the morning though I went to an area I hadn’t been yet this year and we found a pile of them!  We gave it an hour, and caught plenty more sharks, but did jump a couple tarpon just couldn’t get them to stay on there.  After that the tide started to quit and we decided to give the mackerels a try to do some light tackle fishing.  It was hot and heavy action, everyone caught a bunch of mackerel as well as blue runners and mangrove snappers.  Off tomorrow though it looks like it’s suppose to be nasty anyways, that doesn’t happen too often on your day off!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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