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