Hey folks sorry for the lack of updates but just wanted to let everyone know we are still here after Hurricane Irma! Bud n’ Mary’s (my families marina) got hit pretty good but we’ve been working tirelessly to get it back up and running. We are officially back open to the public today there with somewhat limited services. I’ll be running fishing charters again starting October 1. Most businesses in the upper keys are back to normal with exception to a few that are directly on the ocean side. The lower keys (souther marathon and big pine key) got hit much harder than the upper keys (islamorada and key largo). Many restaurants are serving normal menus, and hotels are back open. Notably a few big hotels will be closed for a while (Islander, Cheeca Lodge, and Post Card Inn), they are all right on the ocean and sustained more damage. Though I can let you know what places have rooms available if you drop me a line. Bud n’ Mary’s will have limited room available starting October 1. I have not been fishing yet but a few people I know have and they’ve said the fishing is very good. That is great news – October is one of my favorite months of the year to fish here. The fall bait run is starting and that usually means great tarpon and snook action, among other things. Drop me a line if you want to come down, the best thing people can do to help the Florida Keys is come down on vacation and spend some money!
I have opened up February through May 2023 for personal bookings with myself! You can book open dates by calling Bud n’ Mary’s Marina at 305-664-2461 and asking to book Capt. Rick. If I’m not available I recommend Capt. Brandon Storin who runs my SeaCraft boat or Capt. Trentin Leary who runs our 18′ Action Craft skiff – they are available any days in advance. If you have a dream of catching & mounting a trophy tarpon please email me to get your dates locked in! Please sign up to my email list to receive updates when I am opening trip dates for 2023 SEASON! I’ve spent time training some new younger captains to run some of my vessels for me and I can give you information for booking them, as I am no longer booking days far in advance. They’ve learned lots of the tips & tricks I’ve found over the last 15 years of my professional guiding career, putting in hard work & time being most important! You can see what we’ve been catching here lately on our regularly updated fishing reports.
I’m doing Instagram Subscriptions now, please join for fishing tips & tricks, behind the scenes of my charter fishing operation, and occasional discounts on STANZ merch. It’s $5.00 a month and you’ll get info & content not found anywhere else! Our Bud n’ Mary’s YouTube channel also has regularly added fishing reports from the marina and I’ll still be posting occasional fishing videos there too.
For updated tarpon fishing reports, look at http://www.islamoradatarpon.com
March is rolling on and we are officially in the thick of ‘tarpon season’ here in Islamorada, Florida Keys. The islamorada tarpon fishing has been fantastic the last week as we’ve had flat calm weather and lots of fish have pushed in from the gulf all the way from cape sable in the everglades, the mid-florida bay, and locally around Islamorada and throughout the rest of the Florida Keys. The weather look to stay fairly calm the next several days at least and the fish should stay happy. We’ve been catching live mullet in good numbers and the spring mullet run is a very good time to tarpon fish, it’s the most exciting form of bait fishing for tarpon there is. There is nothing quite like watching a live mullet run, jump, and panic for his life as a big 100 lb tarpon tries to devour him. We’ve had action with tarpon since the beginning of March just about every day though with the calm weather the last week is when it’s really heated up. We caught fish the last couple days on half day trips fishing close by on live bait. We were also able to mix it up with some patch reef fishing today and caught some islamorada hogfish for dinner. As we get into April and May that is usually ‘prime time’ for bait tarpon fishing in Islamorada. I’m fairly booked up though we have a second boat that will be captained by a local offshore fisherman for night trips. If your looking to get out tarpon fishing during the prime evening hours he is your man, let us know!
Been a while since I gave an updated report about fishing in Islamorada, but here’s a few pics from the last couple months. It has been a much better year for daytime swordfish than last year. They still aren’t guaranteed by any means, but we caught 1 or 2 broadbill swordfish on 15 of our last 20 trips. Most the fish have been from 50 – 120 lbs, but we did have a couple over 200 this summer as well. The mahi are finally slowing down a little the past week here in August, but June and July were two of the most consistent months for mahi we’ve ever seen! There was plenty of keeper size fish from 3 – 8 lbs, and we had a couple big bulls this year. A 57 lber was our biggest on the Bn’M II, and my personal best here my entire life! A 42 lber bull was my second biggest of the season. The blackfin tuna were a little hit and miss this summer, but the last week they have been showing up in good numbers on the humps. I currently have my 36′ Jersey Devil Sportfish Boat for sale. The next few months we should see more good swordfishing when the weather cooperates, and the blackfin tunas and sharks on the humps should be entertaining as well.
Capt. Nick Stanczyk
We’ve been busy so far this May while deep sea fishing in Islamorada. The last half of April was very busy too, and the fishing has been similar the last few weeks. The mahi bite has been on the slow side compared to what it usually is, but that’s why they call it fishing. There has still been some fish around, but it just takes patience to find them. On the hump there’s been some big sharks still, as well as some amberjacks and a few blackfin tunas. We’ve also caught a couple wahoo while trolling, and some tilefish and deep water grouper while deep dropping. I caught a couple swordfish my last trip, as well as 1 the trip before that. They were from 50 – 105 lbs. On the reef the Shallow water grouper season just opened on May 1st, so it’s nice now that we get to keep some black and gag grouper for dinner! May is one of my favorite months to fish in Islamorada, so if you want to get out on the Bn’M II, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org , and I’d be happy to get you out! The mahi and blackfin tuna bite should get better and better, as well as the daytime swordfishing!
Capt. Nick Stanczyk