12/22/17 December Fishing in Islamorada for Tarpon and more!

Got out with Eric and his twin sons, Evan and Ethan, today for a full day islamorada backcountry fishing charter.  They kind of left it up to me as far as what to fish for.  I told them we had tarpon action the day before, and the right conditions for it even though this isn’t really ‘tarpon season’ in december.  But it was still warm with fairly calm winds, and the water temperatures are in the right zone plus we found a bunch of fish the day before.  They were down to try so we decided to catch some fresh mullet to start the day.  We found some nice muds with fairly easy mullet in them, I think we got 3 dozen or so.  We hit the channels first thing as opposed to later in the afternoon like yesterday.  Boy there were some tarpon there today!  I think hundreds of fish!  They were free jumping, rolling, busting bait, and doing all the things tarpon like to do.  Definitely a dream scenario!  We didn’t have a red hot bite but we managed to fool a couple and Eric landed a nice big 150+ lb fish, and a 80 lb fish!  Great fights and jumps out of them both we got some good pictures.  We also got another sawfish and a blacktip shark.  It was great to see especially in the middle of winter.  But when it’s 80 degrees out something like this can happen any time of year here in the Florida Keys.  After that the tide slowed down and the fish seemed to lay down and settle a bit, so I figured it’d be a good time to try something else.  We hit the gulf for spanish mackerel which I knew would be good action for the boys.  They did great and we fished for an hour and probably caught close to 20 mackerels!  Plenty of blue runners too for rod bending to keep the kids busy.  After that the boys wanted to try and catch a snook and I said I might know a spot.  I had some leftover pilchards from yesterday which I never ended up using and wanted to, as I made a big mess trying to catch them and didn’t want that to be for nothing!  They went to good use and we caught a couple redfish, some nice size mangrove snappers, and one snook.  I think we had a couple other snook bites too but we missed them.  All in all just a banner day with a backcountry SLAM for the boat.  Eric had even brought some bananas on board with him but even they couldn’t bring us bad luck!  I have an afternoon half day tomorrow, but am available in the morning if anybody wants to do a half day trip.  I have bait and know where some tarpon are, doesn’t get any better then that lol!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing