Capt. Rick Stanczyk fished Larry and Sherri Kasperek today for a 3/4 day of florida keys fishing! We headed out back into the everglades around 7:30 am and it was an absolutely gorgeous day - almost flat calm with a slight breeze out of the west. This is usually not ideal for fishing in our area, though today it didn't seem to bother things much. We caught plenty of trout, several nice ones in the 17-20 inch range. Plus lots of big ladyfish which were jumping all over, a few snappers, mackerel, and a pompano - good mix of fish for drifting around randomly in the bay! They wanted to catch something big like a shark too, so I headed over to one of my favorite spots nearby and put the big rods out with some dead baits on the bottom. A couple other boats were anchored nearby, Capt. Jim Willcox and Capt. Jeff Beeler. Last week I had gotten a bad batch of circle hooks, straightened the circle hooks on two tarpon in a row with my anglers doing everything right! Also straightened one out on a big 'sea monster' that was locked on the bottom after only pulling on him for about 10 minutes, so I know it had to be the hooks. So we went old school with a traditional J-hook as I've second guessed myself out of using them! Not much action at first, Capt. Jim had hooked a few small blacktips that he caught, then we had something big grab the bait and start swimming across the stern. I locked it up and reeled the line tight and handed the rod to Sherri. Then a big 100 lb tarpon came blasting out of the water, jumping 4 or 5 times behind the boat. I had Sherri point the rod at the fish to keep from pulling the hook and she did a great job, we tossed our anchor ball and raced after him. He jumped himself out and we caught up with him, snapping a few pictures and releasing him for another day unharmed! Sherri said it was the biggest fish she ever caught and one of the most exciting things she'd ever done! We fished the last hour there without much of anything happening, Capt. Jeff hooked and caught a larger blacktip near us. Then the other guys headed to another spot and we made our way home as the tide was starting to die and it was time to head in anyways. Well another successful day with some florida tarpon fishing! Thinking about some florida tarpon fishing here in Islamorada? Make arrangements soon the fish are here and the weather is getting just right!!!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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