Well we had another cold front come in the islamorada area a few days ago and chilled us down into the mid 50s! After a very warm february where it was 80 degrees every day this was unexpected, and we have another one on the way early this week. The last few days were decent fishing today with today being exceptional – however it slicked out and was nice, sunny, and warm though the forecast wasn’t quite that. The last two days with it being cold we stayed in the everglades. Water temperatures were in the low 60s both days and I wasn’t sure if much of anything would bite. Day one though we had a solid pick throughout the day – not red hot but we managed a snook, four or five black drums, ten trout, and capped the day off with a small 10 lb tarpon! We also lost a good snook and had a couple other tarpon bites we missed. So not constant action but some quality fish anyhow. Day two was similar but the winds had swung around southeasterly, though it was calm in the morning and picked up much later. Overall the day was tougher in the morning we really had to jump around. I was hoping the little tarpon would be in the same area, though they were not. We tried three or four snook spots and didn’t get a sniff. We then tried triple tail fishing in the gulf while it was fairly calm, did see a couple but didn’t get great first casts to them and they were fairly spooky. So we had not caught a fish by 11:00 or so and was a little panicked! But we hung in there we made a little longer run and did find a very good trout bite. We caught probably 20 or so, including several nice fish close to 30 inches – very respectable trout for this area. We let them all go of course. Then we did finish the day off with 5 snook, and another small tarpon this one 25 lbs or so! We didn’t get him to the hand but boatside before he jumped and through the hook. But anyways a slow start with a good finish I will take it! This was a Saturday and there was a lot of boats back there and I know many guys were struggling as I talked to several throughout the day so was happy we got what we did. And today Sunday the final day I had my crew from Friday out again for a half day. The winds were light south and gorgeous, sunny, and finally warming back up. Just seemed like a fishy day. We caught a bunch out on the patch reefs, including hogfish, yellow jacks, porkfish, mutton snappers, and more. We also got a nice size jack crevelle and capped it off with a 13 lb permit! Nice fish on a live crab which was excellent! We also had a barracuda eat a yellow jack that we fought for a bit but of course it was on light line and he got away when he really wanted to. Anyways a great three days of fishing despite adverse conditons for two of them. As I said we have another front coming in tomorrow but not getting cold until tomorrow night… then in the high 50s for several nights. Oh well hopefully by the weekend it will warm back up and get back to normal spring time fishing for big tarpon!
Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing