3/14/13 Key Largo Night Tarpon Fishing Report

Well last night was my first official key largo tarpon fishing charter at night.  Tarpon often feed best at or near sunrise/sunset, or after dark as they are more nocturnal feeders.  We do many evening trips from 4:00 – 8:00/8:30 to try to get you on the water at ‘peak’ time.  Yesterday evening was my first official key largo night fishing trip targetting them.  We fished the local bridges and had several kinds of bait including crabs, pinfish, big shrimp, and cigar minnows.  We had a couple bites early anchored at one of the bridges, one was surely a tarpon that we didn’t get a hookset on that ate a minnow, the other not sure of on a big shrimp but likely a tarpon as the drag screamed for a good 2-3 seconds on a BG60.  We did end up catching a big nurse shark and a would-be legal size gag grouper off the bottom there.  Key Largo grouper fishing is closed season until May 1.  Anyhow around 7:00 the tide was slowing and we ran a little further back to the end of the channel as the falling tide would last longer there.  Saw a few fish roll as we pulled up for our first drift.  Didn’t hook up immediately  but on drift number 3 around 7:30 we got a good bite on a crab and we were on!  A nice 75 lb fish we got several nice jumps and runs out of, and had boatside within 20 minutes.  Not a bad night with 3 bites considering we had breezy north winds and cool air, which is usually not a good thing when targeting tarpon, though the tides and water temperature were favorable.  Anyways if your interested in tarpon fishing key largo at night then let me know, March can be a great time.  This year so far the tarpon fishing has been off and on with the late cold fronts, but as you can see if the conditions are right the fish are here and you won’t know unless you go out there and try!  Drop me a line and I’ll give you an honest opinion and I don’t really start heavily night fishing until April so can be ready to go short notice if you don’t want to commit!  Give march key largo tarpon fishing a try!

Also today the winds were howling out of the north, 20+mph.  Not an easy day to fish in the key largo backcountry fishing.  We made it out though comfortably in my 20′ seacraft and hid around some islands.  Caught some very nice mangrove snappers all 12+ inches, including this 17 incher which for the backcountry is a very nice snapper!  Some great dinner and fun on light tackle.  We tried fishing some muds but it was difficult in the wind/chop, though we did anchor for the last 30 minutes in a mud and caught a handful of big ladyfish for something different before heading in.

Author: Capt. Rick Stanczyk

Florida Keys Fishing Captain born and raised in Islamorada, FL!