Florida Keys Tarpon Fishing

If your looking to catch the huge Islamorada Tarpon of a lifetime, than look no further than Bud N’ Mary’s Fishing Marina for a great selection of Florida Keys Tarpon Fishing guides. Our guides collectively have close to 500 years experience Tarpon Fishing in the Florida Keys.

While Boca Grande Tarpon Fishing is widely renown, you are often fishing amongst 30+ other boats in a small area, often cutting each other off while battling a fish.  In Islamorada there is no where near the amount of pressure and there are huge areas to catch tarpon so things never get too congested on the water.

Tarpon can be caught in Islamorada almost year round as long as the water temperatures are above 70 degrees.  There are ‘local’ fish that stay year round, while many of the migratory ones show up in the spring and are here through the summer.  Usually the ‘prime time’ is April through June, however if it is warm in February tarpon fishing can be really good, and this can last through into October, with November – January being the least likely time to catch them.  However, it is still possible to catch tarpon in those months especially if it is unusually warm so don’t be too shy to ask!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk is one of our premier tarpon specialists, read his Islamorada Tarpon Fishing Blog. Updated every day whenever there is tarpon action on his trips!

Islamorada Tarpon

Most of our guides prefer to live bait fish with crabs and mullet, which is the thrill of a lifetime. They may fish dead baits at times too when the tarpon are not feeding on live ones, which can often be the case depending on conditions/time of day.  Often bait is caught before or during the trip with a cast net, or sometimes even on rod and reel and saved for later.  In April and May mullet are usually available for purchase which is how many guides obtain them. Crabs are usually available most of the time too for islamorada tarpon fishing.

The local bridges and channels near Bud N’ Mary’s are usually very productive on half day trips for Islamorada Tarpon Fishing . On full days we often fish them in the everglades while fishing for other species too! Our guides often fish the early mornings or later evenings in season as that provides the best chance for a bite depending on what the tide is doing.  So if your looking for the ‘fish of a lifetime,’ such as a Tarpon in the Keys, you are in the right place!

We feel the entire experience and area we go to fish is as much as part of the excitement as catching a tarpon, so we do not fish the tarpon in our marina basin!  These are like trained pets, so while it may appear they are all over the place as you see them in many marina basins and canals, it is often a different story when your out looking for them in the wild.

Unfortunately, we do not bring tarpon into the boat for taking pictures.  It is now against the law as tarpon are deemed a ‘sportfish’ and special rules in Florida apply.  The reason for this is lifting these fish up by the head and gills is unsafe for the fish as they are not designed to support weight in this way.  They also can become uncontrollable at times and thrash around in the boat, breaking things and injuring themselves and possibly those in the boat as well.  If you desire a picture, it is usually possible to get a ‘leader shot’ of you holding the fish alongside the boat, or in certain cases it may even be possible to jump in and hold the fish too!  Due to lessening the mortality rates of these fish, we suggest only wearing one fish down to the point of being able to get a picture and cutting the rest off once the leader is grabbed and they are considered caught.

Mounting a tarpon is a great option for those wanting to remember a ‘fish of a lifetime.’  Nowadays it does not require killing of the fish to do so, only a estimate of the fishes size and weight needs to be obtained.  We use Gray Taxidermy to produce high quality, life-like mounts of all fish and they truly do an incredible job.  They are all hand painted and molded out of fiberglass so they can last a lifetime.  Mounts can be completed and shipped often within 3 months.  Check with your captain for details! 

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