What an awesome first month of the year!
January 26, 2023 Cudjoe Key 6 photos

Trip Summary

This January has offered some awesome fishing in the back country. With mild weather and sunny days The water temperature was often reading above 80°. Weather like this has the potential for producing a grand slam kind of day. Today, we are getting over a bit of a cold snap chilling the keys to the 60s. Due to that cooler weather I recommend my customers to book a trip in the evening. Sunset fishing has been best, it seems a full Day of sunshine brings our water temperatures up 3° or 4° higher than it was in the morning and that can really make a difference for fish biting. When things slow down due to cooler temperatures I often use smaller Baits in slightly deeper water. As the temperature begins to rise I start looking for dark muddy bottom or turtle grass on the south facing sides of mangroves that get the most sunlight. The night fishing has been phenomenal, as always. I’ve been successful with fishing resort dock lights and bridges as the current flowing rather fast, best at the top of falling tide. On night trips, with decent weather and tide conditions it’s almost guaranteed that everyone catches a tarpon. Fly fisherman are also able to spank a few with a black tarpon toad! Don’t let these windy days get you down. I find that we catch the biggest and most fish in dirty water when the wind is cranking beyond 15 mph. The dirty water allows me to use heavier tackle without spooking the fish. When that wind isn’t blowing so hard I like to hit our patch reefs and nearshore wreaks catching mutton snapper, yellow jacks, cero and king Mackerel. It’s a great way to catch dinner What Great news it is to see that our Snook population here in the Florida Keys is skyrocketing! It’s great to see our efforts in conservation are being rewarded with big, often Beyond 30” Snook… Everywhere!
Craig Clopper
Cudjoe-key, Florida, United States
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Welcome to Goliath Charters, your gateway to the fishing paradise of the Florida Keys. Led by Captain Craig Clopper, an experienced US Navy Veteran and certified captain, our 25ft Seavee boat is equipped to handle nearly any sea conditions. With a reliabl...

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November is the finest month to fish the
November is the finest month to fish the
November 8, 2023
November fishing in Key West is off the charts! I would say it’s quite possibly my favorite month overall! I have given up Whitetail hunting to do this for the rest of my life, and that’s saying a lot! The flats are teeming with delicious pilchards, and my trusty cast net will scoop them up by the hundreds - the ultimate bait for attracting big game like snook, tarpon, redfish, and goliath grouper. But the action doesn't stop inshore. In the offshore waters, these baitfish drive fish absolutely batshit crazy! The magnificent backcountry, a paradise teeming with a diverse array of fish such as redfish, snook, tarpon, goliath grouper, and sharks. Its intricate network of channels, mangrove-lined shores, and tidal creeks serve as a natural nursery for young marine life and a prime feeding ground for the older ones. If you're up for the ultimate fishing challenge and want to reel in some impressive catches, the backcountry is the perfect destination for you. Get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey as I silently navigate you through the crystal clear waters in my 17-foot Maverick poling skiff, specially designed for shallow water fishing. Another great option is my 14 foot Live Paddleboard to venture deep back in the mangrove channels for some fish that are always willing to bite. Now, I know that finding big tarpon may be a bit trickier during this season, they are still around just not nearly the same numbers as the spring migration. Don't worry because there are still some impressive catches waiting for you. Those little guys, the juvenile tarpon, are hiding out in almost every mangrove and they're not picky - they'll chow down on any fly or lure that comes their way. Enjoy their nonstop acrobatic show that the big girls don’t hold a candle to! If you're feeling up for a challenge, take a shot at the elusive bonefish and permit on the flats. It takes patience and precision, but if you're up for it, you just might hook into one of those lightning-fast creatures. Step aboard our brand new Seavee and join us on an unforgettable November voyage to the reef and wrecks. I guarantee you won't want to miss out on the exciting blackfin tuna sunset bite. And here's the secret to our success: the pilchards, known as fish crack. These shimmering little creatures are the key to stirring up those tuna and getting them ready for a fierce battle. Our chumming and live bait skills are next level, so prepare yourself for an adrenaline-pumping experience as we take on these feisty and agile fish like never before. Our reef trips also offer an up-close and personal experience with the majestic sailfish. Watch in awe as they strike with lightning speed and perform breathtaking acrobatics as they feed and slash through schools of ballyhoo. For the thrill-seekers, we also target wahoo, king, and cero mackerel. These toothy predators with their sharp teeth and lightning-fast strikes will put your skills and tackle to the test. And for a more laid-back yet equally rewarding adventure, we have yellowtail snapper fishing. Using our expert chum slick technique, we entice these delicious reef dwellers to the surface for an exciting catch. You never know, we might even snag a smorgasbord of other tasty reef fish along the way. Plus, I'll recommend a few restaurants to cook up these tasty morsels for dinner! November in the Florida Keys is a quiet, serene paradise for those lucky enough to charter a boat. And the best part? You won't have to deal with the usual hoards of tourists that flood the area in the following months. This means more room to fish and less competition for those prized catches. Plus, hotel prices are wallet-friendly during this time - a real bonus for any angler looking to save some cash. So why wait? Book your charter in November and experience the true beauty of the Keys without the crowds and stress.
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Pilchards are the secret sauce!
Pilchards are the secret sauce!
November 16, 2022
At Goliath Charters Key West, we hold the key to a magnificent secret that unlocks the power of pilchards, setting ablaze a frenzy of feeding that captivates both the fish and our clients. These plentiful little baitfish grace the shallows during the fall, winter, and early spring, their presence a gift from the sea. When fortune favors us with an abundance of pilchards, we seize the opportunity to unleash their full potential. Our tried and tested technique involves utilizing these enchanting baitfish as live chum. Anchored or drifting over our chosen fishing grounds, we skillfully gather a handful of pilchards and release them with a graceful arc behind our vessel. This elegant display creates a symphony of scent and commotion, beckoning fish from far and wide. Witness the spectacle! As the pilchards dance upon the surface, a tempest of activity ensues, as if the very soul of the ocean awakens with fervor. This is the moment, the perfect juncture, to present your baited hook or artful fly to the frenzy. The fish, enraptured by the spectacle, strike with abandon, their focus unwavering amidst the chaos. Such circumstances bestow upon our clients a greater chance of reeling in a triumphant catch. The power of pilchards extends far beyond mere attraction; it creates an ambiance of exhilaration and dynamism, transforming the act of fishing into an extraordinary experience. To witness the feeding frenzy firsthand is to glimpse into the heart of nature's marvels, where excitement and thrill intertwine seamlessly. It is no surprise that pilchards reign supreme as our bait of choice, for they orchestrate a tumultuous symphony of feeding frenzies around the Goliath Charters Key West vessel. So, if you yearn for an adventure steeped in action, join us at Goliath Charters Key West. Embrace the power of pilchards as we weave their magic into a feeding frenzy that promises an indelible day upon the water. May your lines remain taut, and your spirits soar, Capt. Craig Clopper
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