Call: (305) 791-7263


Florida Keys Fishing Calendar

Lower Florida Keys Fishing Calendar and Seasons

There is never a bad month of fishing in the Florida Keys and Key West. Yellow Jacks make a tasty ceviche year round and while most people don’t know this, but Tarpon can be caught all year!

Aggressive Jack Crevalle are always fun to target and let’s not forget Goliath Grouper, have to keep eating to keep up that body mass! Read on to learn which months are the best for the type of fishing you’d like to experience on our Lower Keys or Key West fishing trip.


Flats: Giant Barracuda make their way up onto the flats of the Lower Florida Keys, chasing Mullet and anything else they can get their jaws on. At the same time, massive schools of Jack Crevalle, sometimes weighing in over 25 lbs, can be seen blitzing schools of Bally Hoo in the shallows.

Backcountry: The January North winds make for fantastic, comfortable days fishing in the Lower Keys backcountry with little to no bugs. And if staying out of the wind is the goal, there’s no better way than fishing the backcountry for tailing Redfish, delicious Speckled Sea Trout, Snook, juvenile Tarpon and as always – Goliath Grouper are willing to bite.

Reef: In January, there is excellent reef fishing in the Lower Keys and waters surrounding Key West including: Yellow Tail, Snapper, King Mackerel, Cero Mackerel, Cobia, Mutton Snapper

Offshore: The Wahoo action is off the charts and Blackfin Tuna can be caught vertical jigging or live chumming without much effort!

capt craig clopper with jack crevalle
goliath grouper key west


Flats: As lower Keys and Key West water temperatures begin to rise above 75 degrees, Permit cruise the flats. Bonefish start showing up once the water temps stay up there consistently. The big Sharks and Barracudas do not disappoint this time of year.

Back Country: Early Spring Tarpon fishing is legendary in the Florida Keys, holding great numbers of juvenile fish from 1-30 lbs. The smaller Tarpon are always up for a memorable performance as they are the most acrobatic. When cooler temperatures roll in, Redfish can be found tailing close to the mangroves and Speckled Sea Trout in the grassy 5-10 ft depths. AND…of course our favorite – Goliath Grouper are plentiful!

Reef: In February, Cobia show up thick in the Lower Keys, often riding on the backs of hungry Bull Sharks waiting for an easy fresh cut meal. On the reef large numbers of Permit can often be caught. Yellow Tail fishing is also great table fare and can be caught in large numbers this time of year.

Offshore: Hard fighting, toothy Kingfish are caught on the regular. Wahoo often show up and Dolphin can be found close to floating debris this time of year.


Flats: Let’s face it, the tropical Lower Florida Keys is where everyone wants to be after a long winter, including the Permit! The big boys show up on the flats this time of year – ready for Spring Break! On the warmer days, some Bonefish can be found cruising the Lower Keys and Key West flats. On colder days Sharks and Barracuda are plentiful on the flats and will keep you occupied with rod bending action.

Backcountry: Juvenile Tarpon are always on the hit list and of course our favorites are ready and willing to play – GOLIATH GROUPER!

Reef: The Cobia catch is at its finest.

Offshore: Blackfin Tuna are scoping the edge of the reef. It’s a great time of year to catch Sailfish.

florida keys tarpon
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From half to full-day fishing charters & adventure tours on the waters of the Lower Florida Keys – We’ve got you covered!

call (305) 791-7263



Ryan W.

Google Reviews
“Captain Craig with Goliath Charters is the premier captain of the keys! Every trip out with his charter has been an absolute blast. Bucket list catches , drag screaming action, and expert knowledge are what makes Captain Craig the gold standard of Charter Captains.”

Matt C.

Google Reviews
“I am still buzzing from an absolutely amazing guided trip with an extremely knowledgeable and personable captain that offers the coolest experience in catching dinosaurs. if you’re interested in fishing the florida keys in the most memorable way do not hesitate to book Capt Craig Clopper!”