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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2/20/17 February Islamorada Fishing Charter in the backcountry

Little bit windy today, east breeze at 15 mph or so.  We got right after some tarpon first thing this morning.  I had leftover bait so it was easy to go for ’em.  We had good conditions early with the breeze and a few hours of incoming tide.  I knew the tide would be quitting and was on a weak cycle too so thought it best to try for the silver king first.  We had to look around at a few spots, but eventually found a hungry pack of them.  We jumped one and then hooked and caught a nice 100 lber after a 1.5 hour battle!  We also caught blacktip sharks and a sawfish (mud marlin).  After that we tried for another tarpon but conditions (tide mostly) had deteriorated.  So we went into the near gulf and finished up with the spanish mackerel.  It took a little bit for them to get going, but they bit in a strong fashion and we landed probably a couple dozen and a variety of snappers before calling it a day.

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2/19/17 February Fishing in Islamorada the Gulf of Mexico

Got out with Eric, Eric, and Vinny today.  We had slick calm weather most of the day, then it picked up a light breeze out of the west.  In the morning we tried the mackerels, they weren’t easy but we kept at it and ended up with 15 or so after about an hour and a half.  When it’s clear, calm, and not hard current, it can be tough fishing.  But we wanted them for shark/tarpon bait so we made it happen.  We found a lot of tarpon where they were yesterday, but we kind of caught the tide change so had very little current there.  Fish were rolling and busting everywhere too but didn’t so much interest in us.  By the time the tide turned and got going out, they had mostly moved on.  Though 3 other boats were in the area and I don’t think any of them had any action out of them at all… guess it was just too pretty for them!  The boys didn’t want to spend the rest of the day doing that, after an hour or so we had caught probably a half dozen sharks (blacktips).  We decided to look for tripletails and it was surprisingly good!  There hadn’t been many out there, but with the light west breeze kicking we saw quite a few probably close to 20 or so.  We caught 3 keepers including a large 12.5 lber!  The biggest I’ve caught since last year when we got one that was 13.8 right around this time too.  We caught another half dozen small guys and that was the end of the day.  Not too shabby!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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