1/24/18 January Mackerel Fishing in Islamorada

Got out with Jim and Gwen today again, who fished with me a couple days ago and had a stellar day with big snook and black drum.  They wanted to mix it up a little bit so we tried a few different things.  Jim’s always wanted a permit and it’s one of the few fish he hasn’t caught with me, so we tried that early on drifting some crabs on some coral heads on the Atlantic side.  No luck with that unfortunately, and Jim and Gwen are usually pretty lucky anglers!  We then ran out into the gulf, the winds had kicked up slightly out of the north but not too bad.  We fished for spanish mackerel with our jigs and shrimp, chumming the water with frozen chum.  It wasn’t a red hot bite, but good enough we probably caught a dozen or so, with some blue runners and bluefish mixed in.  Nothing real big but that was OK.  After that we decided to try some tarpon fishing, Jims caught a few tarpon with me in the past and always enjoys them.  I didn’t have very high hopes as the water still seemed pretty cold, but I had a report that some tarpon did show up in a few spots yesterday.  We didn’t see much when we got there, but as the tide fell the water continued to warm up and we started to see a few tarpon.  After 40 minutes or so, Jim got a nice 85 lber on and it was game on!  He put up a good fight with some very acrobatic jumps.  We got some nice pictures.  We caught several sharks too after that, they were biting pretty well.  By the time we left the water was almost up to 75 degrees, from 68 or so when we got there.  Quite a change!  We had one more tarpon bite before leaving but unfortunately he didn’t stay on the hook for us.  Bummer, but we were happy to get one that’s for sure.  Nice ride home the sun came out and things looked pretty.  But that won’t last it’s suppose to start blowing 25-30 tomorrow for a few days, and then maybe even again on Tuesday for several days.  I think my hot streak of fishing is going to come to an end with the terrible weather, but I am going out of town on Saturday so it’ll be a good time to go.  Usually never works out like that it’s always nice and great fishing when I got out of town lol.  Anyways cancelled for tomrrow but  I have Jim and Gwen again on Friday, we may move to tomorrow it’s suppose to be slightly less windy, and then we’ll see what happens with my Saturday trip.  Give me a shout if you want to get out fishing in February when I get back, if it gets warm again which it likely could it’ll be tarpon time here in Islamorada!

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