1/15/2023 Monster snook for pops plus a few others

Got out with my dad and his good buddy Pete who often fishes with us.  Pete hadn’t been down in a while so he was glad to get out on the water.  We had a fair bit of wind though it was relatively calm early in the backcountry with the colder air and picked up as the day went on.  Strong incoming tide though the mid-day falling tide was very weak, on one of those cycles.  This often isn’t necessarily a bad thing for hunting the big trophy fish we like to do as it makes many of those areas much more fishable without heavy current.  Water temperatures were still a little chilly in the high 60s but the water for the most part looked pretty good not too muddy in many areas.  We found a couple spots that we hadn’t really been catching much at that both had some nice black drums.  Not monsters but good 10-12 lb fish, we caught 2 or 3 off each one.  The first one too my dad got a monstrous snook that was super fat.  Not over 40 inches but the belly was just big.  Seems a lot of these big near gulf/everglades fish are like that they rarely push over 40 inches but some of the bellies are just huge so they must weigh more than an average fish that size.  Anyways good to see some big beauties out there.  Doesn’t look like much cold weather in the future so that might be it for the year.  Tarpon should be just around the corner I think a nice calm day or two and they’ll be loading up offshore in the backcountry.  That early season fishing can be good through the next couple months and one of my favorite times to be back there.  You may not get the amount of bites you do when the bridge fishing is red hot, but not having to deal with the bridge and the boat traffic is definitely a plus.  I have open days through the rest of February and some in March too.  Let’s go fishing!

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