1/20/18 January key largo tarpon fishing report

Got out for a 3/4 day with Ray and his son Jeff down from Maryland for a January key largo fishing charter.  The weather had warmed up some from the cold front but the water was still pretty cold out back in the high 50 degree range.  Chilly ride but not near as bad as the past couple days before.  It was very busy out there with 20 or so boats fishing the area where we were… Luckily we were able to get on the spot I wanted too!  Not a red hot bite, but when it gets that cold in key largo bait fishing is your best bet but can take some patience.  Eventually we hooked a nice 12 lb snook that Jeff landed, woohoo!  After that it was quiet again for a little bit, then Ray got a nice snook of near the same size.  It never got red hot, but every 5 or 10 minutes we’d get a good bite, and all the fish were quality size!  Eventually a few black drums came into the mix and we caught a couple, Ray got a small tarpon later which was very cool.  Tarpon in january in Key Largo are rare, they just don’t like the typical cold weather we have and a cold front makes that even more likely.  But it happened!  I had my fingers crossed Ray would get a redfish at some point to complete his backcountry SLAM and sure enough one of the last fish he caught was a red drum.  Awesome!  We caught a few more snook and a sheesphead after that.  The last hour things slowed down considerably we didn’t catch much and there were too many boats to try and jump around anywhere, but we had a stellar day catching what we did.  I think we had around a dozne snook, mostly all 10-15 lbs, a couple drum, a redfish, a tarpon, and a sheepshead.  I told the guys catching one or two snook like that in a day, you’ve already had a great day, and they agreed.  The ride home was nice and the wind had laid down even more.  This coming week I’m very busy and then out of town next sunday for a week to go skiing.  I’ll be back for some key largo February fishing charters after that, I have days open during that month if you are looking to go fishing!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing

Author: Capt. Rick Stanczyk

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