1/23/18 January Black Drum and Snook Fishing in the Florida Keys

Got out with Joe and his dad Harold today, return customers of mine who have fished with me the last few years.  It was slick calm and still chilly, and I told them what kind of fishing we had yesterday.  I said if they wanted to take a little gamble, we could try the same thing again as the conditions were right.  They were game for it so we headed out a little early to give it a go.  No tide when we got to the spot, but I marked a few fish swimming around so I had some hope.  We didn’t have a bite for 45 minutes or so, and after about 30 minutes another boat had arrived so I was glad we got out early.  I waved them in and they fished nearby.  We caught a drum eventually, then another one a little later, but still a slow bite.  After that though Joe got a nice snook we had to chase around structure to prevent from cutting us off but we got him!  After that we had a little rally of drums, decent size fish mostly in the 8 to 12 lb range.  Harold had his turn at a big snook after that, this one got us around some snags which we chased and got off, and were tight chasing him again but he wore through the leader!  What a heartbreaker.  Oh well that is fishing some times!  After that things slowed down, we picked a few more drums on our shrimp and jigs.  After it died out all together seemingly, we ran into the gulf to try for some triple tails.  It was calm and looked like it’d be good, but surprisingly we didn’t see a single triple tail out there.  We ran a couple lines and spent about 30 minutes doing so.  We were about to bail and go mackerel fishing but I told the boys we should try one more time for the ‘big girl snook.’  We did and boy did that pay off big time!  We caught another half dozen snook in the 15-20 lb range, with one of them a little over 20 I think!  We also caught another 8 or so drums, and Joe got a nice 15 lber which he was satisfied with as he wanted a larger drum.  Just amazing fishing and lucky to experience it two days in a row like that!  After that we headed home.  Looks like tomorrow it’ll be a little windier, but not too crazy.  Then Thursday it’s suppose to start cranking like crazy unfortunately.  I’ll be headed out of town Saturday for a week or so, but back at it in early February.  If you want to wet a line then give me a shout, it’ll be tarpon time here before you know it.

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