It's almost April and big tarpon are starting to show up now in Islamorada and throughout the Florida Keys. I've been fishing tarpon since the first week of February and we've had pretty good early season fishing but now the real big schools are showing up. Just a few days ago we had a 5 fish day with most fish in the 60-100 lb range. In February we had a 6 fish day with fish in the same size range. We've had a handful of 3 and 4 fish days, several 2 fish days, and a lot of 1 fish days - with other shots of course but tarpon are just tough fish to keep on the line some times! That's pretty good for this early in the season with over a 90% success rate of getting a fish to the boat. Mostly fishing fresh mullet live and dead as that is what the tarpon want this time of year. The fishing in both the backcountry everglades and locally around the islamorada bridges and channels have both had fish. Some mornings we go early or some evenings we stay till sunset and thats when the crabs are the bait of choice. Elsewhere we've been getting a handful of redfish, snook, drum, and trout in the backcountry. Plenty of snappers too if your looking for tablefare. The patch reefs on the ocean side still have good fishing too for porgy, hogfish, snapper, grouper, and a handful of mackerels. There are plenty of sharks around too, we got a nice size hammer head today plus several blacktips.
Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Tarpon fishing in the Florida Keys with Capt. Rick Stanczyk