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Richard Stanczyk

February Backcountry Florida Keys Report

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Well we've been on a warming trend here in Islamorada and that means big fish are not far behind in the backcountry everglades. Lately we've had some good action with a variety of sharks, goliath grouper, cobia, sea monsters, and even seeing some tarpon. As march draws nearer the action will be getting more and more consistent. This week we tangled with several big fish on the last couple of trips I made. One day we got a big sea monster of 300 lbs or so, plus a 150 lb goliath grouper, and a nice undersized but fun cobia. Also got plenty of blacktip sharks that day. Today we had more blacktip sharks, had one tarpon bust a bait early in the morning but miss it... unfortunately that was it on the tarpon action though we saw more around throughout the day. We did get another big sea monster and a nice 45 lb cobia off his back, and about a 100 lb hammerhead shark which was really cool. What we do on a lot of these trips is start out early in the morning catching stuff for bait.. mostly ladyfish is what we are after for that. But in the mix you get nice trout, pompano, spanish mackerel, bluefish, and jack crevalle. Then we fish those cut on the bottom or live on top, or both! Some days the action is hot and heavy, other days you have to wait, but we fish a variety of channels and holes to give us the best shot at getting a good mix of big guys to pull on! In March once the weather and temperatures stabilize the tarpon fishing will be much more consistent, so if your interested in that it is time in a few more weeks!!!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk







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