Capt. Rick Stanczyk

Capt. Rick Stanczyk is a locally born and raised charter fishing captain in Islamorada, FL. He caught his first bonefish when he was 3 and has been 'on the water fishing' ever since. He loves what he does and enjoys showing his clients a great time fishing in the Florida Keys. Contact him at 305-747-6903 or rick@fishingislamorada.com!

Late September Fishing Report

Well we’re nearing the end of September and I haven’t been fishing a whole lot, just about a day or so a week.  We’re actually having somewhat of an ‘off season’ this year as compared to the last couple of post-COVID years where business just kept rolling right on through the normally slow months of September and October.  But honestly everyone down here in the Keys is ready for a little break I think truth be told.  Anyways fishing has been decent I will say – not red hot but not terrible.  Really the last several times I’ve been in the backcountry over the last 3 weeks we’ve found snook, redfish, tripletail, and a few small tarpon (though haven’t caught tarpon as of late).  But no big rallies of fish numbers you fish your good spots where you may normally expect to occasionally bang away at a number of fish and you only end up catching one or two after putting a little time in.  So not a bad thing but you just have to jump around and fish hard to put up OK numbers instead of finding one or two of those magical spots where you catch that many fish in one sitting.  Personally I don’t mind that – I like to have to work around to catch fish it’s a lot more rewarding and you feel like you are doing something as opposed to sitting on a spot and getting them one after another.  Now don’t get me wrong as a guide we always like to get on those spots for at least part of the day to kind of take the stress of finding fish out of the equation!  But as mentioned right now just seems like everything is a bit spread out and making you work for it.

The good news is the bait has been plentiful and easy to catch as is often the case in the Fall.  And a lot of the bad algae bloom water in the middle bay of Florida is starting to get pushed out towards the gulf where hopefully it’ll get sucked out and go away.  We’re currently monitoring this tropical system that is developing and will likely give us some low level tropical storm conditions next week, but this honestly will be a welcome thing as long as it doesnt become a major hurricane as the heavy winds/rain should continue to help clean up the bad water in Florida Bay and give a much needed shock to the system.  Look for our post-storm fishing to hopefully get a lot better!

So anyways last couple trips last week I had guys from Pure Fishing (Penn, Berkley, etc…) out and we fished some new artificial baits they were wanting to try as well as our pilchards.  Again we picked away on snook probably catching 15 or so, as well as a couple redfish, small goliath grouper, and a tripletail.  We did catch 4 or 5 snook on artificial too so that of course was a win!  We did end up just fishing a 6 hour day on this trip.  And just yesterday I had one of my return customers Lee and his buddy John out for the full day.  Lee started fishing with me 15 years or so ago when I first started and still comes down.  We had very similar fishing though we just fished bait all day.  We had 4 or 5 small goliaths, maybe 18 or so snook, and a couple redfish.  So lots of jumping around and working at it but fun day none the less.

So if you are wanting to come down in October give me a shout, fishing should stay fairly good and might get really good after things settle from this storm.  Myself and Capt. Brandon have plenty of availability and I’m still offering discounts on trips with Capt. Brandon of 10% and can even offer a discount on lodging if you need it to.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

: @richardstanczyk
: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing
: Bud n’ Mary’s Marina
Follow for daily updates!

9/1/22 + 9/2/22 Great 2 days of early September fishing with John & Jan

Well we had a great two days with return customers John & Jan who come down from Pennsylvania!  It’s such a great time of year down here as it’s not so busy and they enjoy that part of being on the water.  We fished for 2 days and did some shorter 3/4 days (6 to noon).  Fishing was pretty good the pilchards have been readily available.  Snook were productive even though we didn’t have ideal tides we were able to catch around 20 or so each day.   We had a high falling tide but with the higher water levels we were still able to fish the shorelines and ‘high tide spots’ for a few hours while the tide was going out.  The fish aren’t always as easy to find as it’s just a different pattern, but we were able to get into a few rallies each day. We also caught a juvenile tarpon on day 1, and two juvenile tarpons on day 2.  Day 2 we were able to catch some mullet for bait early on too, which I haven’t been messing with a lot honestly as it’s been hard to find them in the backcountry where we normally get them this time of  year due to water quality issues.  But we found some locally and did give the medium/large tarpon a try for an hour or so the last day.  But unfortunately we didn’t see much action and just a handful of them around.  I think we might of had some luck if we committed to just tarpon and focused on that from the get-go – but sometimes it’s hard to stray from doing other things where you know you can catch fish.  But all in all fishing is looking to stay pretty good through the Fall, it’s my favorite time of year to fish down here.  September is fairly open as is October.  I have availability and am taking bookings, and Capt. Brandon running my SeaCraft is as well and he’s even offering discounted rates.  So give me a shout!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing
YouTube: Bud n’ Mary’s Marina

End of August Fishing with ‘The Bean’

Capt. Brandon ‘The Bean’ Storin has reported excellent fishing this last week of August.  Larger size tripletail have shown up in good number off the beaches and backcountry areas of cape sable and Flamingo.  This is one of Brandon’s favorite things to target and are lots of fun!  There’s a certain level of skill required which makes it much more rewarding for anglers, though if you aren’t sure of your casting skills Capt. Brandon is happy to do that part for you and let you just hook ’em and reel ’em in!  They offer excellent tablefare as well and are probably the best eating fish we have in the backcountry.  Other than that there are good numbers of snook around with quite a few juvenile redfish starting to pop up in the last few weeks.  This is a great sign as the redfish population the last year or two had definitely dwindled from what it was a few years ago.  Though everything ebbs & flows in cycles and hopefully we’re at the start of another run up in their numbers!  Fall & winter are typically great times for snook & redfish in the backcountry and this year with it being offseason the next couple of months, the fishing pressure is finally off of them which leads to great opportunities.  Capt. Brandon has also reported some good fishing for snapper for those just looking for a half day, and there have been some juvenile tarpon in some of his snapper holes for the old ‘dinner & a show’ option!  Give me a shout if you’d like to book a day with Capt. Brandon, we’re still offering a good discount through September and 10% off in October for the time being.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing
YouTube: Bud n’ Mary’s Marina

8/19/2022 Backcountry SLAM in August with Mark

So i’ve been fishing a bit this week and we’ve finally had some calm weather after a really windy July & early august.  Very unusual time of year for that much wind.  Fishing had been a little tough through that… we were catching fish but having to work at it a bit.  Today though I had Mark out and the last slick calm day we’re suppose to have as the wind picks up a little again tomorrow.  But fishing was very good.  We caught over 20 snook, 3 redfish, and a juvenile tarpon for a backcountry SLAM for him!  He’d never caught a red so that was extra cool.  We’re getting into off season now, and the last couple years it’s stayed pretty busy all year long with everyone coming to Florida post-COVID… but now this year with recession looming, high fuel prices, etc… it finally seems like business is going somewhat back to normal and it’ll be quiet down here for a month or two.  Which is somewhat welcome to be honest of course we love to be busy but I think the Keys need a bit of a break – the fish certainly do as that constant fishing pressure has been tough on them!  So anyways September can offer some great angling opportunities and the backcountry fishing is often excellent.  Still some resident tarpon around.  And you can have a shot at a permit or bonefish or something like that too.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing
YouTube: Bud n’ Mary’s Marina

Late July backcountry fishing in Islamorada

Well July is already nearly over it’s hard to believe!  We’ve had some decent overall fishing the last month.  Tarpon hasn’t been quite what we normally like to see, but I’ve been mixing it up a little more on some trips.  The snook bite has been good for the most part, and a few of those larger specimens around too when the conditions are right.  Tripletail have been around as well which are fun for those looking for a challenge of sight fishing.  I haven’t done a lot of it myself but I know the bonefish bite has been pretty good too fishing the local flats of Islamorada (and of course in a boat like mine that would be stake-up fishing, not poling/sight fishing).  So all in all it’s been a good overall time to be down here.  As we get into August and September I think you can expect more of the same, and hopefully less crowds after the lobster season stuff is over in the first week of August.  Some challenges we’ve had on occasion are getting bait – they haven’t had a steady supply of shrimp so we’re left to our own to get that.  Mullet have been hit & miss which is what I use for tarpon, and some days to get them you have to bypass other bait opportunities.  Pilchards have been around but a lot of little guys.  So some days you kind of have to pick what you want to target (tarpon vs. other stuff), and go after that bait first and fish accordingly.

Anyways I’m fairly busy through the end of this month, then we’re going away again in early August.  But I’ll be around and available through later August and September.  And I also have Capt. Bean running my other boat and he’s been doing pretty well in the backcountry too.  So give me a shout if you are looking to get out fishing.  We have some awesome lodging options at Bud n’ Mary’s Marina that are very affordable – cool new houseboats right on the Atlantic ocean!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing
YouTube: Bud n’ Mary’s Marina