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We've had an unusual warm streak from a little before christmas to just last night actually. With the previous 80 degree weather a lot of our early usual 'spring time' fishing targets showed up quite early. We had quite a few days with great tarpon fishing around the Islamorada area as well as back in the everglades national park. Most fish we landed were in the 80 to 150 lb range, the big winter time spawners that often show up under such conditions. We could spot them 'free jumping' off some of the banks, channels, and beaches. Huge black mullet were all over the place, taking the place of the traditional silver mullets we find in the spring and summer time. Fishing the incoming tides we had decent action out of the tarpon, often having to put a little time in but you could usually get a few bites with some patience. Our best day we had 4 bites with huge tarpon going airborne in about an hour and a half - that is great fishing even in the height of tarpon season! Along with tarpon we had a variety of sharks such as big black tips, lemons, bulls, and even a hammerhead one day. We also landed some nice cobia as well which was a pleasant surprise. Right now things are cooling down again as we experience another cold front, typical for January. This should be good for the redfish, black drum, sheepshead, and snook fishing which is the more common target in the everglades for the winter. We've still had tremendous spanish mackerel fishing to keep the light rods bent, along with some nice tripletail further out in the gulf. On the patch reefs, there has been great variety with hogfish, porgy, snapper, and grouper. Looks to be warming up again quite soon, so I think early February and March we should have great tarpon fishing. The last few years it has been pretty good early. Get in touch with me if your looking to come to Islamorada fishing, late winter and spring is a fantastic time to come as you can tell!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
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Just the thought of warmer weather makes me wanna get out of the panhandle and head south. If i can hook up with a tarpon then thats just a bonus!
 
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