February Tarpon Fishing in the Florida Keys
February has been super warm and the tarpon fishing has been really good for this early in the year! We really have had no cold weather to speak of just some gusty days which has made the fishing a little tougher, but as good as you can want for this early. The last two days I fished a larger corporate group out of Bud n' Mary's. Yesterday I had Butch and Cody, and today I had Jay and Dustin. None of the crew had caught a tarpon before. Yesterday the winds were really laid out nicely with just a slight 5 mph breeze most of the day. We found good fish in some of the channels where they had regularly been the last few weeks. Cody hooked a 100 lber about 20 seconds after we put his bait out! We landed that one quickly and got nice pictures! The fish were rolling all around us and I thought it was really going to be a hot bite, but we didn't get another tarpon bite the next couple hours. Though we did catch a few sharks including a big bull shark and some large blacktips. We moved on and found another area where there were some tarpon. Took a little looking around and I was almost about to bail but they gave away their location. The tide was turned and coming in hard here. We had a little flurry of action and missed one tarpon and then caught two more. So Butch got his tarpon too and Cody caught another one! We also had shots at a couple triple tail but they were just out of casting range and we were focused on tarpon so didn't chase them. Today I had Jay and Dustin and the winds kicked up a bit yesterday afternoon and were still blowing... nothing crazy though just a steady 15 mph easterly. We caught bait early and then realized we couldn't get out where we wanted to go due to the passing showers. So we stayed local and bent the light rods with some jacks and big ladyfish for a while. After the rain cleared we ran out back. We fished a different area where I heard some more tarpon had shown up. They were there but similar to the day before they weren't real happy with the falling tide. We caught some sharks and then when the tide turned we got a nice 20 lb cobia! We then had what I thought was a sting ray on, and while Dustin fought that Jay jumped a tarpon in the rod holder. He had held the rod for a couple hours and of course as soon as he put it down - wham! there is mr. tarpon! Oh well but to our surprise Dustins ray ended up jumping and turned out to be a tarpon, so we almost had a double header! We caught his fish and got some pictures, a nice 80 lber. Later on Jay got a second chance and landed a nice 90 lb tarpon that we fought for a while that didn't want to give up. So great tarpon fishing for february 5 tarpon in two days all during daylight hours, plus several other species. Looks like the winds will be kicking up for a few days, that has been the only thing hampering the tarpon bite so I imagine it might be tougher until things let up a little more. But no cold fronts in site so things should stay warm and tarpon should stick around. If you are here or planning on coming down, get out their tarpon fishing it's an early start to the season!
Capt. Rick Stanczyk
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