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Richard Stanczyk

February fishing in the Florida Keys - Big tarpon here now!

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Fishing this month in Islamorada, Florida Keys has been fantastic. The mild winter has kept our waters very warm and as far as the fish are concerned, spring is here. Tarpon have started to show up pretty good back in the cape area, all around flamingo and the everglades, and even in the bays in the local fly fishing holes on flat calm days. We had some good nights bridge fishing, catching several fish in the 80-100 lb range fishing early in the morning. There have been plenty of redfish and snook around in the backcountry as well, they've moved from the deeper creeks and canals to the shallows. The morning after a recent (and likely are last) cold front, it blew a steady 25 mph, but we made it back to one of my honey holes and caught approx. 30 snook and 20 redfish, plus some sheepshead and black drum! Many of the shorelines and islands with downed trees are a good bet for finding these fish, they can also be found in numbers up on the flats where they can be sight fished. Plenty of trout, ladyfish, jacks, snappers, and the likes can be found in muds in the bays, and there are even still a few mackerel, bluefish, and pompano around though they are starting to thin out as the water temperatures rise. Some permit and cobia have shown up in the gulf, and even some permit on the offshore wrecks on the atlantic side have been spotted. We had some good bonefishing on some of the recently windy, overcast days which gave us good stake up conditions, catching 3 one morning in the 6 - 8 lb range. Now being at the beginning of March, we've had some very windy days which is not unusual, but luckily you can always sneak out to do something here in our area. Business is good, looks like I'll be fishing every day this month, and starting the night trips a month early since the big tarpon are here now. It's a great time to be a fishing guide in Islamorada!


Capt. Rick Stanczyk



Islamorada Fishing







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