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 tarpon (85)


4/28/13 Florida Keys Tarpon Fishing in April

Well the wind was howling the last couple days but the islamorada april tarpon fishing has still been very good.  Lots of fish in the local channels and around the bridges if you have the bait you don't have to run very far.  Yesterday the bite was very good lots of boats reported multiple fish to the boat.  Today it was a little harder to get them going but was still overall decent the wind was heavier and a lot more boats in the hot spots as word gets around quick!  A half day tarpon fishing charter is a good bet now but a full day can be even better.  Today Capt. Rick Stanczyk had 4 nice tarpon to the boat out of 6 or so bites all on fresh mullet.  Capt. Skip Nielsen had 3 fish to the boat though missed several other bites on the live mullets.  Live mullet fishing takes a lot of skill on the angler side of things as they must be ready to reel and set the hook, and tarpon always seem to strike at that moment when you look away to grab a drink, lunch, etc....  Capt. Mike Bassett reported 1 big tarpon out of 3 and also caught a nice big snook in the backcountry and lost a few others, plus some nice trout.  Capt. Bill Bassett had 3 nice tarpon today out of 5 bites.  Capt. Ben Ekblom sent pictures of this nice tarpon his anglers caught today as well.  As you can see tarpon fishing charters have been what we do most backcountry fishing the florida keys this time of year and the bite is good!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk


4/12/13 Tarpon fishing Islamorada in April is hot!

Well despite the high winds the april islamorada tarpon fishing is staying pretty hot!  Yesterday during the day most everybody had multiple bites and caught at least one fish.  The action stayed good throughout the daytime period locally and fish seem to be fattening up for the spawn.  Several captains had multiple fish to the boat.  Last night was the same story we went 2 for 6 and only fished for 2.5 hours.  Most other captains also caught fish too including Capt. Mike Bassett, Capt. Perry Scuderi, Capt. Vinnie Biondoletti, Capt. John Johansen, and Capt. Ben Ekblom.  Today the local fishing was not quite as red hot though fish were caught early.  We had 1 out of 2 fish in the backcountry before 9:00 AM, then caught plenty of ladyfish and trout, and several sharks and other 'sea monsters' to end the day.  The islamorada night tarpon fishing will consist of good tides through the weekend here, so if your thinking of going the conditions dont get much better!  Since the start of April tarpon fishing has been great and I think my theory of the late stable warm weather holding the fish off until now is proving true, hopefully the strong show of fish will continue and stay strong through into the early summer!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk


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


3/24/13 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!