Capt. Rick Stanczyk fished with Dave and Frank the last 4 days, ending on 3/1/12 for some islamorada night tarpon fishing and florida keys backcountry redfish charters. The main focus was tarpon as both guys wanted to catch one, day one and two fishing was tough the high winds had stirred much of the bays and backcountry up. We were able to catch plenty of ladyfish, jacks, some snappers and nice trout. We saved the ladies for bait and fished them around several different channels back there. First day we caught several small blacktip sharks and a couple big ones that did put on a show at least, day two we caught nothing but small ones and did have a couple tarpon bites that wouldn't stay on there. Current was very weak everywhere as well making it tough for the bait scent to get out there, and to encourage the fish to feed. Day 3 we decided to do the early morning night fishing. We left at 3 am with some crabs and pinfish and did some islamorada bridge fishing. First couple spots were very weedy, we eventually moved to another bridge, and Dave hooked a nice 100 lb fish that went nuts! We fought him for almost an hour, boating him and releasing him unharmed. Daylight was upon us now, saw several fish in the area rolling, but no more bites. Called it a day after that, and put a long day in our last day. Left at 3 again, fished the bridges close to home since the wind was howling a bit more, and did pretty well. Two bites and caught 1 fish for Frank in our first 2 drifts, of about 65 lbs. No more action as the tied died, so we anchored near the bridge, as soon as the tide started going out, another one stole a crab. A few minutes later and Frank was hooked up catching tarpon in islamorada, very strange bite he swam right at us and did not jump until the very end. Caught him as it started to get light, nice 80 lb fish, and then headed into the backcountry for the rest of the day. Fished a couple islands and had a good bite of redfish, we poled around hitting several trees, picking a few fish here and there. Got in to a couple good holes that had 6-8 fish a piece, including a few large slot and even a couple over the slot fish! All in all a great trip for these fellows who stayed right at Bud n' Mary's. Things started off tough but we made adjustments to put 'em on some fish!
Capt. Rick Stanczyk