About Bud N' Mary's

Bud N' Mary's Fishing Marina is located in Islamorada, Florida, The Sportfishing Capital of The World!  It was established in 1944, and over the years has been one of the most famous sportfishing destinations in the world!  It is home to over 40 of the finest offshore captains and backcountry guides.  We also have a spectacular party fishing boat, the Miss Islamorada.  There is also a great dive shop, boat rentals, motel, boat storage, transient dockage, and tackle store.  We will be posting fishing related events, catches, media publications, and overall news concerning Bud N' Mary's here, so keep tuned in!  You can contact Bud N' Mary's at 1-800-742-7945 or e-mail us:



Welcome to our Florida Keys Fishing Reports section.  Here we will be posting all the catch reports both offshore and backcountry around Islamorada and the Florida Keys.  Remember all captains can be booked through Bud N' Mary's Florida Keys Fishing Charters by calling 1-800-742-7945Islamorada Fishing Reports vary year round, so check back often! Thanks!

To see older fishing reports, scroll to the bottom and click the page numbers!

P.S. You can also read Capt. Rick Stanczyks daily updated fishing reports here or daily tarpon reports here (during season).

Entries in rick stanczyk (159)


4/9/13 April tarpon fishing in Islamorada heating up

Today the april tarpon fishing in Islamorada was pretty good.  We caught fish early on the end of the falling tide in the backcountry.  2 out of 4 big tarpon.  All on dead mullet from the day before.  The higher incoming water has had loads of 'red weed' in it that is making some of the backcountry channels unfishable, so the next few days getting their early is important!  Yesterday was a different story we fished about 8 different spots and only had 1 bite all day, and that was in the weedy mess so we had to move after the one bite.  Capt. Bill Bassett also caught 1 out of 4 fish today in another backcountry channel today.  Capt. John Johansen had multiple fish today as well.  The islamorada night tarpon fishing is going to be getting better and better as more migrating fish fill the channels and basins of Islamorada.  As of late it's been apparently lots of local fish, and a late start with the migrators - but hopefully this will mean they will stay strong later through the season!  If your looking to go tarpon fishing in islamorada make sure to give Bud n Marys a call, right now is a great time to go!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk


4/4/13 Great tarpon fishing!

Today the islamorada tarpon fishing was really good.  Lots of mullet around in the morning and afternoons.  We caught 4/4 this morning in the backcountry by 10:00 AM.  Anglers had enough so we finished the day catching trout, ladyfish, and snappers.  This evening we caught 4/9 around the local bridges mostly on live mullet on top.  Very exciting bites and strikes, mostly smaller fish though did get one 65 lber.  Incoming tide on both trips and live fresh mullet for bait.  That's a total of 8/13 fish!  Capt. John Johansen and Capt. Ben Ekblom also had some tarpon action this evening.  Today Capt. Jim Willcox had lots of sharks, a big 'mud marlin', and a monster hammerhead as well.  The islamorada backcountry fishing will likely be tough the next few days as another front is coming and suppose to blow 25-30 tomorrow, but luckily not getting very cold so hopefully as soon as the wind lays down it will get back to normal.

Capt. Rick Stanczyk


3/29/13 Florida Keys Backcountry Fishing Report

Well the backcountry fishing in Islamorada has been on the slow side the past several days.  We had another extreme late cold front and the nightly lows were in the low 50s, bringing some of the water temperatures in the everglades down to the high 50s making things very sluggish back there.  Even the local islamorada bay waters were down in the low 60s though are now climbing back up.  The islamorada patch reef fishing has been the hot ticket the last several days.  We had action with a variety of fish out there including lots of mangrove snappers, yellowtails, porgies, grunts, and blue runners.  We caught occasional nice hogfish, some various smaller groupers, and even a few small sharks and such.  Some guides that did fish in the backcountry that in the afternoon a few fish did bite.  Capt. Bill Bassett was able to find a handful of mackerels and snappers mixed in with lots of jacks and such.  Capt. Jack Backus did get a nice trout bite in the backcountry yesterday afternoon as well.  Capt. Mark Hlis was able to find some redfish poling in the afternoon too.  Today lots of guides were fishing the patch reefs and most had good action and a good mix of fish for dinner.  I had Andrew and son Alex Lee, they caught a mess of fish including some nice mangrove snappers, a couple hogfish, a few porgies, yellowtails, and a few small bonnet head and reef sharks.  The tarpon fishing the last few nights was very slow as the water temperatures were still below 70, that should be improving the next few nights and we do have some ideal tidal situations the next several nights, if the water warms up enough the next few days the tarpon fishing will likely improve tremendously.  Last night we saw plenty of fish rolling in 3 different spots we fished though none wanted to take a bait, live or dead.  April islamorada tarpon fishing is usually much more consistent and fish are here, so make your plans now as guides are booking up fast and this is one of the busiest spring seasons we have ever had!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk


3/24/13 Florida Keys Spring Fishing for Monsters!

Spring, especially march florida keys fishing, is known for big monster fish here in Islamorada.  While the cooler weather earlier this month had shut many of these brutes down, they've still been around and lately have been caught frequently.  Tarpon, sharks, goliath grouper, and 'mud marlin.'  Today Capt. Rick Stanczyk had guests out for a full day islamorada fishing charter.  The winds were howling from the southwest 25 knots, not an easy fishing condition.  However we made our way into the backcountry fairly comfortably without taking too much spray.  We fished for trout, ladyfish, and mangrove snappers in the bay early.  The fishing was surprisngly good with several nice keeper size trout to 20 inches, and lots of ladyfish for bait and a handful of snappers.  Later we went to the deeper channels, the water was not too pretty lots of grass and mud, though we ran up inside and found some areas that looked fishable with hints of blue in the water.  We put the big rods out with dead ladyfish on the bottom, and soon were hooking up sharks in the florida keys.  Mostly blacktips and black noses.  To our surprise after our 3rd or 4th shark, all of a sudden the rod bent over and a big tarpon came flying out of the water!  We kept a light drag to start as I had extra weight on to hold bottom with the weed, wind, and current, and often tarpon can throw hooks especially with a weighted line when they jump.   Luckily the hook was in the right place, he jumped several times and we eventually landed him - a nice 100 lb fish!  Soon the red weed flowed in which made the area unfishable, so we ran to some other channels to fish the last hour.  Had a few more shark bites including one big one we pulled off though caught a couple blacktips and called it a day.  Not bad given the conditions!  Capt. Ted Wilson had some good action with ladyfish and trout, and also reported catching 3 'mud marlin' close to Islamorada.  Capt. Bill Bassett had a half day and caught some nice mangrove snappers hiding around the mangrove islands.  Islamorada tarpon fishing in march is likely going to be stalling again a little bit - we are getting more cold weather the next few nights.  Though not freezing it is suppose to get in the 50s several nights which will likely bring the water temperatures down, I don't think the tarpon will leave though may be tough to get to feed until water temperatures get back to the low/mid 70s.  Also included here is a picture of a 400+ lb goliath grouper caught by young angler Sam last week fishing with Capt. Rick Stanczyk!


3/13/13 Islamorada night tarpon fishing report in march

Well had my first official march islamorada night tarpon fishing trip of the season.  Chris and Steph were down from Baltimore, and Chris reads the blog regularly and I promised to make him famous!  We did have a light blast of cool air last night with a predominant 15-20 knot north wind which generally the tarpon don't like.  You can't predict these things ahead of time, though the best time to tarpon fish islamorada is whenever you can make it down here.  However the water temperatures didn't plummet and were still in the low 70s which was a good thing, as well as falling tide till dark which I like.  The wind also laid out nicely around 6:00 or so.  Anyways I brought a loaded variety of bait included cigar minnows, pinfish, nice big live shrimp, and of course some crabs.  We made some drifts early starting around 4:15 pm in one of the channels where I had seen tarpon on previous days, though not much luck.  I anchored up near one of the bridges where we saw a tarpon roll as I pulled up and set up.  Tarpon fishing the bridges is often productive as most always there will be some tarpon around them.  We had one tarpon bite on a cigar minnow but unfortunately missed him.  We caught a nurse shark off a bait on the bottom, and while photographing him had another bite on a big shrimp - not sure if it was a tarpon or not but it zipped drag for a good 2 seconds so had to be something of decent size...  No more bites here, but we did catch a nice legal size gag grouper off the bottom which was cool, of course we released him as they are out of season now.  Nearer sunset we ran further back to catch the last of the falling tide, and on our first drift we did see a tarpon roll.  We made 2 more drifts and finally around 7:30 hooked up a nice 75 lb fish on a live crab.  Made a couple really good runs and spectacular jumps which my camera phone is not good at capturing, but we did land the fish and I snapped a quick picture.  After that it was time to head home.  Glad my first march islamorada tarpon fishing report at night was a good one!  This week there have been some other fish caught as well, I know Capt. Vic Gaspeny caught one early this morning and the past couple days Capt. Skip Nielsen had several nice fish, as well as Capt. Jim Willcox with one the other day in the backcountry.  Tommorrow night got downgraded to 15mph out of the north so may be fishable, not sure how the night fishing will be the rest of the week/weekend.  But if your interested give Bud n' Mary's or myself a call and we'll give you an honest opinion!  March can be a very good time to fish and if the cold weather stops, the fish are around and have not seen a ton of hooks yet so can feed really well with the right conditions!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk