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Mac attack

As we start the first day of autumn tomorrow we look forwards to our return to the Florida Keys and start the of the winter/autumn sessions of our fishing holidays.  As the hurricane season tails off we get a much more pleasant climate in the Keys, winter is our dry season and the temps drop off to a much more pleasant high 70’s and mid 80’s nearly all winter long. One of my favorites is the arrival of our mackerel spanish, cero and kings all reach peak numbers in the winter and Florida Bay can just be so full it is hard to get any bait back without a mac attack. With most of Florida bay less than 10 ft deep you can catch them any way you want fly, lure or bait as they say what ever floats your boat. Often when we are sharking mackerel is the best bait but it is hard sometimes to stop getting bait catching mackerel can be so much fun.




Spanish mackerel are our smallest most the low pounds but on a light fly rod they don’t half pull, some times going to doubles but this is rare and the Florida record is just 12 lbs.  Cero mackerel are just a bit bigger often we get doubles and the Florida record is over 17 lbs but I know of 20 lb fish being taken but not claiming the record as they thought it was bigger.  Our biggest mackerel is the king and the Florida record is 90 lb that must have been a stunning fish, we have had them near 40 lb and even at that weight they kill the anglers 200 + yd runs are common just check you have enough line before you target a king.  Kings also like a bait on the kite just such a cool way to fish and if you have the bait right the take on the surface can just be an explosion !  Eating wise the spanish and kings smoke the best and cero is the better in my opinion also we take out the sushi kit as raw cero is right up there with tuna.


Split charters

It has been brought to my attention that it is often hard to get a party up of four like minded anglers up who have the means and time to come on a fishing holiday in the Florida Keys. It must be even harder to take advantage of offers like the current one where the price has dropped to just £ 77 per person per day. With all this in mind I am now offering a service to join up single anglers or small groups to get up to the number of four. Whilst the boat is licensed for 8 anglers, four just work so well and the accommodation is also sett up for four so if you are a fisherman and have always dreamed about having a holiday in the Florida Keys just get in touch. Please call whilst I am in the UK 01668 216173 or email on and let me try and put you guys together.





What we will do is try and give everyone a fair crack at the whip so at the morning planing meeting ” Helen’s famous Florida fry ” all suggestion for the day will be discussed and people can take turns with their favorite method or target fish. We are so lucky in the Florida Keys with so far 116 different species to the boat and any type of fishing that you like and any water you like as well. In all fairness I think, and have been told many times it is the reason why our holidays work and people come back many times.  Fishing when you want, for as long as you want and for what you want, just my job to tick as many of your boxes I can.

Very special offer

Sometimes we are a victim of our own success some times people are having to book their fishing holidays in the Florida Keys up to two years in advance if they special tides and dates and a lot can happen in two years. The other day some regular customers had to cancel their holiday this autumn two of the guys lost their jobs and are still out of work. It does mean as I have taken deposits and it is short notice we can offer a deep discount of 33 % off so instead of  £ 3420 for a party of 4 for a weeks fishing,  B + B waterside villa , free car rental it will be just  £ 2147 or if you like  £ 77 a day per person per day.  The week is 16 th Nov to 23 rd Nov a cracking time of the year in the Florida keys end of the hurricane season and the start of our less humid and a bit cooler dry season.  So what fish will you catch in November well a lot we will have everything on offer except those 100 lb + tarpon so no mad 3 am starts unless we go to the tuna and seeing the sunrise on the tuna grounds will live with you for a long time.




In fact it was in November the base record of 55 species for the week was done so if you put the work in there are lots to catch.  November is normally the start of our main mackerel season and last year the biggest mackerel was 42 lbs and with the mackerel are hoards of hungry shark.  The monster grouper are always there just how much pain do you want but if you put a nearly 10 lb bait down it will not be a small fish that takes it still love to see the look on the angler’s face when a bit bait is taken.  So please get in touch with me if you are interested and you don’t need four anglers ones and two get in touch as well.

Rodney Goodship  01668 216173

UK Shark

About two years ago whilst reading a local forum here in the North East, the Whitby sea anglers forum I came across a guy who was getting a passion for shark fishing here in the North Sea. His name is Rupert Dury and with local charter boat out of Whitby, Shy-Torque started catching porbeagle shark. After seeing free swimming shark in 2005 skipper Rich with Rupert decided to have a go and now yearly catch shark all summer, have a look at his web site and if you want a UK shark Rich has now had them over 300 lb. Over lots of emails and phone call Rupert and I tried last year we had a drift of Whitby but we were not far enough out Rupert did get me my PB tope 63 lbs and on the same day he had a 71 lb fish but no porbeagle.  Again this year our trip on Shy-Torque was blown off the joys of the North Sea then last week a email from Rupert ” tomorrow looks good fancy a go in my boat ”  Well nearly 30 miles out in the North Sea in a 16.5 ft boat not for the faint hearted but Shy-Torque was going to be there as well so a buddy boat not far away. No fresh bait on the way out but normally you get mackerel in the chum slick so we kept going and soon came up to Rich who  gave us some bait so about half a mile from him pick went down and the long wait started. Not like the Florida Keys were we are spoilt for shark and have all sorts of fun in the chum slick but then we saw Rich drop of the anchor and he was into a shark. His fish was a good one and he had it on for over an hour when we were hoping if lady luck would come over to us as well then it all went off, fish on !




We were in 200 ft of water and this fish was using it all up and down some breaching to start with then long powerful runs and soon we had to slip the anchor as well. After about 25 mins the fish came to see us, the video clip is our first good look at the fish, then head down for another 20 mins till we got the fish to the boat and released a stunning fish near 250 lb. Have to say a massive thanks to Rupert a top guy he gave me the first fish and all his skills are spot on my biggest fish in the UK by a very long way. His reporting skills are very good as well check out his article on the forum it just goes to show with enough dedication any thing is possible.

Shark part two

There is luckily for me still a lot of anglers on their fishing holiday in the Florida Keys who love shark and a lot of them like big and in the keys we can do big shark with not a lot of problem. As I said in the last blog all shark under 100 lb we now call sporty shark all fish over 100 lb I just call pain and the big boys, how big well we have had them to over 1000 lbs, big enough ! What always comes as a big surprise to first timers is a lot of our sharking is done in less than 10 ft of water and it was in 10 ft that our grander was taken a few years ago. That fish took our big fish expert and regular Lee Jasper a full 2 hrs 23 mins and took the boat over 3 miles from the hook up one seriously ticked off hammerhead that I still think it only came to the boat to see what was chasing it. We now always take sharking rods to the tuna grounds as they say you can only catch what is there and only to often the tuna a taken by shark so now we just enjoy them. It was on a tuna trip that we were hand lining sliky shark that were coming right up to the boat that again Lee had a massive bull shark near 600 lbs. Of all the shark in the Florida Keys it is the bull shark that have an attitude problem and last year the boffins tagged a bull well over 1000 lbs very close to shore and no one even knew they got that big.



First pic not the big one next me doing a 100 lb dead lift and not getting to the first gill

It was also on a tuna trip last year we had our first mako what a stunning shark and this one just wanted to bite anything that was close even my boat took a few bites. An other big shark that always ticks the box is the tiger shark one day we even had three big tigers just a very beautiful fish. All shark are with us all year may be the bigger ones are in more numbers during tarpon season but also some of the very big ones come in to the shallow waters to give birth. Most times when we are sharking the rods are put out on the out riggers some 38 ft apart and a long way back meaning there is a large area behind the boat to enjoy general fishing and enough time to deal with the shark when they come.



Getting to old to say would you like it in for a pic !!

On a sad note one of my regulars has had to cancel his October two week trip this does mean as I have had part payment I can off one or two weeks ( the last two in October ) for a very cheap deal just get in touch 01668 216173 or Strange as I do this blog about big shark two days ago I had one of my biggest shark here in the north east of England out of Whitby next blog will be all about it just a sneak peek video clip.

Shark part one

Love them or loath them shark are a very big part of the Florida Keys and I am very lucky that most guys on our fishing holidays are more than happy to have their string pulled by a shark.  There are times when they are not welcome but a few years ago on a mill-pond sea about 1 hr into a tarpon fight Mr Shark decided he want the 100 lb + fish more than us. In just a few seconds the sea was churned up into a boil of foam and scales and half the tarpon was gone then the unhappy angler turn and said ” that sucked but was the most awesome thing I have ever seen. ” Ever year these monster 1000 lb fish haunt the bridges and have their fair share of hooked tarpon and if it wants it there is nothing you can do.  We have now had 12 different species of shark and fish over 1000 lbs and the boat PB for fish to the boat is 63, they could have had more but some of them were so tired even speech was hard.  For the blog I will break them into two, fish to 100 lbs which we now call sporty shark and fish over 100 lbs which are just pain the first hour  and the second hours sucks as well !


Fine Blacknose on very light gear


Spinner doing what they do best


Fine blacktip comes on the boat why do I do this ? The smile says it all.


Tough little fish the bonnet head’s first run nearly as good as a bone fish.

Sporty shark can if you are lucky can even be taken on very light gea,r down to 20 lb braid if you feel brave, best species is the black nose and if numbers are high freeline is the cool method. An other very hard fighting sporty is the bonnet head shark this is not a baby hammerhead but a different species often found in very shallow water even taking a bonefish jig. The black tip and spinner shark which are two different shark and are the most acrobatic of all shark the only problem being these antics can take toll on the trace and many spin-off. Locals will tell you how tasty the blacktip is but my advise is don’t bother the only one I have had not very nice at all in fact most of the bait we use would taste better. Many times we have had the chum and oil down for other fish and the men in grey coats come and over the years fishing in the Florida Keys I now know you have two choices move or enjoy!