The full moon has had the inshore waters moving and we have had some great fishing around these tidal flows. The water moving gets bait moving and fish feeding well. We have had some negative tides which help to congregate fish and further increase ease of targeting a variety of species.
The snook fishing has been incredible this week with multitudes of snook stacked up in the passes through the nighttime periods. Before sunrise around Johns Pass the docks are just choked with snook ambushing passing shrimp, crabs or white bait being pushed in or out of the pass in the tides. Also, most any pass in the area has this same situation going on simply different areas the fish will stack up. The snook will find an area to hangout where they are out of the current and can chill but still can ambush passing baits! They are super smart opportunistic feeders, look for areas that naturally eddy or slow and that’s where they will be stacked up and if you work your lure with the current and present it naturally you will have a great shot at catching one of these snook. We are doing well with soft plastic artificials, hard swim baits, or the lipped plugs. My favorite lately has been the Mirror Lure MirroDine XL I caught a few snook on them this week alone just fishing a few minutes before we open our offices. The daytime action has mostly been around the beaches or back bay grass flats or mangrove shorelines. However, the dock lines are still holding snook especially those adjacent to the flats, mangroves or passes. The full moon lower tides have congregated fish around the deeper parts of the docks making it easy to target the fish. However, the trick has been slower moving soft plastics bouncing just along the bottom without getting hung up on the structures. The flats have been holding lots of hungry snook loving live white bait or pinfish for live baits or the same artificials that are working at night around the passes.
Mangrove snapper continue to flourish around the area’s structures like docks, piers, jetties, rock piles and bridges. We are seeing them thick around these local structures feeding very actively especially at times where the current is moving a little more slowly allowing them to scavenge around the area freely. When the currents slow, they come out of hiding and really go to work looking for any food sources. Light chum and light tackle with small pieces of shrimp or cut up white bait is a great option to catch plenty of these mangrove snapper. These guys unlike snook, redfish and trout can be kept for dinner and they are great eating too! They must be ten inches long to keep and you are only allowed up to 5 per person.
Flounder action is steady, a little picky but some nice ones have been found. They love hanging on sandy bottom areas adjacent to structures or grass flats where they can ambush passing baits moving on and off the flats or structures. Lately the full moon tides have been congregating these guys around the docks in a smaller area and working the dock lines at lower tide with slow moving soft plastics around the bottom have produced some nice flounder. You can also find them around the local bridges too! Grass flats they spread out a bit, but they always are around the potholes or sandy edges of the flats waiting for bait to swim off the flat.
Redfish action was a little better this week around the local dock lines and docks around the passes. We are seeing them up in the bay around the flats and mangrove shorelines too. Live shrimp or pinfish or cut pinfish on the bottom seem to be working best on the redfish. Some anglers are getting lucky and landing these guys while targeting the mangrove snapper with shrimp at the bottom around the local docks and bridges.
Trout fishing continues to be steady throughout the area on the dock lights and bridge lights at night. During the day, the flats are the best areas to find them, but you can get lucky around the bridges and docks that are holding bait. Slower moving bait is key with light tackle or free lining live shrimp or green backs. Chumming with some white bait has been an easy way around the flats to get em chewing well. Here is a link to a great in-depth tip video from salt strong on how to chum up plenty of trout locally. They have tons of public tips and tricks on their YouTube channel -> https://youtu.be/_KonUvrwBsU
The near shore fishing has been a little hit and miss lately closer to shore with the extremely hot waters we have along our beaches. However, further out past around 40-50ft you can overcome this slower fishing. We are finding some great action around that depth out to the deepest near shore waters around 100ft. Remember, “near shore” is defined as just off the beaches to around 100ft of water or 20 miles from shore.
The red grouper bite lately has been steady around 60-100ft of water. We are seeing them better a little deeper, but you can find em anywhere in that range of depth. Live pinfish, squid strips, or larger cut bait work well for those red grouper. Around 40-60lb floro leader and a 5-6ot circle hook is what I would use when going after one of these fish. You may run into a gag or two near shore right now, but in our area the water is pretty hot and most of those guys are still out deep until our cold fronts begin in October which will start to bring them in more and more with each front.
Snapper species are feeding well right now near shore. They do not mind the warmer water temps for the most part as long as there is bait around and water moving a little. We have been seeing lane snapper, vermillion snapper, and a few mangrove snapper around 60-100ft of water. Inside of that, you can find some lanes but the vermillion and mangroves like it a little deeper. The hogfish bite has been tougher in the warmer waters, but we are still picking up a few here and there around 40-80ft of water. Live shrimp are best for hogfish, chunks of threadfin or sardines work well for lanes, vermillion and the mangroves especially and finally chunks of squid will catch your lanes or vermillion. Lighter tackle around 30lb floro is key for these leader shy and smart snapper species and hogfish with smaller 3-4ot hooks.
The pelagic action near shore is pretty nonexistent due to the extremely warm surface temps of the water. Most of the pelagics like tuna, kingfish, mahi, wahoo and others are out deeper right now past 100ft of water where surface temps are in a more acceptable range in the low 80’s to mid 70’s.
The offshore fishing has been good to us if the weather has allowed us the opportunity to get out there. While the weather is clear and not so overcast or bumpy, we have had some killer trolling action too! The only negative thing we are seeing out there right now is a trickier and picky mangrove snapper bite.
The mangrove snapper action is typically really good through our summertime, but they get a little tough in the dead of summer when the water is still, and it gets glassy calm. However, lately we have not really seen the banner mangrove snapper hauls we are accustomed too. We are still catching them, but light tackle and expert levels of experience are required to present the bait as naturally as possible to get them to chew. Overall, they have just been picky and extra leader shy. We are going as light offshore as we do near shore to get the mangroves chewing but then if you hook up to bigger fish you are in a pickle and end up losing them to the bottom more frequently. Around 4-5ot double snelled hooks with a smaller chunk of plugged threadfin or sardines are working best for bait for the mangrove snapper. Also, when the bite is tough sometimes a live shrimp on lighter tackle will get them to chew as well. However, in deep water its very tricky to feel the bite on those shrimp that fall off the hook so easily.
Grouper fishing has been going well out deep lately. We are seeing red grouper from around 100-180ft of water steadily on the potholes, flat hard bottom and around some smaller ledges. We are seeing the gag grouper best around 120-200ft of water around the bigger ledges, peaks, wrecks, or bigger structures. We are seeing the scamp mixed in with both from around 160ft and deeper. The red grouper love a variety of bait but the big oily, smelly dead cut bait is best in big sizes. The gag grouper love more live baits, especially the larger friskier ones. The scamp grouper like small live pinfish or smaller squid strips but will also hit 4-6oz diamond jigs bounced just along the bottom. Jigs will sometimes get you a gag or red grouper too, the trick is to be the first one down to the bottom when your able to drop down. Those jigs will rocket down and you can work em for a few minutes at the start of the spot and sometimes the big aggressive apex predator will come out and smash it to get it out of his home. Also, right towards the end of a spot once the fish are tired of the dead baits and live baits your dropping and the bite slows sometimes that jig will get one tricked into slamming your jig!
Pelagic action offshore right now is completely lit up. We are seeing tuna, wahoo, kingfish and even some mahi mahi around offshore. The trolling plugs are working best for us like the rapala Xrap magnum 30’s or 40’s but the Nomad lures have also been working very well as of late offshore too like their lipped plugs called DTX minnows or their high speed trollers called madmacs.
For more fishing reports, photos, videos and more check out Hubbard’s Marina on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Snap Chat just simply search @HubbardsMarina and don’t forget our family motto, “If You’re too busy to go fishing, You’re just too busy!” Thanks for reading and checking out our report – Capt Dylan Hubbard, Hubbard’s Marina – Call or Txt me anytime at (727)393-1947 | https://HubbardsMarina.com
Upcoming up at Hubbard’s Marina
Red snapper season is OVER, so SUPER LIGHT LOADS have begun, and we still have plenty to catch! We still have plenty of fish in the gulf left to harvest for the remainder of the year. We are still able to get Gag grouper, Red grouper, Scamp grouper, Mangrove snapper, Lane snapper, Yellowtail snapper, porgies, vermillion snapper, Amberjack, and more! Plus, the pelagic bite is going extremely well right now too. Finally, we also are carrying super light loads. We had nearly full or completely full trips now we have 40-60% full trips with tons of room around and plenty of time with the crew to dial in your techniques!
Amberjack season is OPEN NOW, come get them while you can! These guys are tricky in the warm months of August and September but were hoping they pick up for us in October before they close again at the end of October. We did get a few nice ones on our first 39 hour of August and many more could have been caught if we were targeting them heavily. Many anglers on our first trip were more focused on the grouper and snapper than the Jacks but those who were caught some nice keeper Amberjack!
WE ADDED NEW 39 HOUR TRIPS in for the end of October on Friday October 23rd and also Tuesday October 27th and the Tuesday 10/27 trip is right before the full moon as well! Hoping you guys can book it up and join us for some great chances at gag grouper, amberjack, red grouper, mangrove snapper and MORE!
Don’t forget about our brand-new system that allows you to now TEXT OUR OFFICE if you’d rather not call us! Now you can call or text us at (727)393-1947 so for quick questions or updates or anything you can reach out even easier.
Fox 13’s Good Day Tampa Bay show has picked up a fishing segment with Capt Dylan Hubbard Scheduled for every Friday morning starting around 8:15am! These segments will have tons of fishing tips, tricks, updates and more. Please tune into Fox 13 on Friday mornings to watch the show and if you are not local, you can watch it LIVE on their website -> http://www.fox13news.com/live
Enjoy learning more about fishing? Attended a seminar or watched our LIVE Q&A show Sunday nights but want to see the tips and tricks in action on the boat? We have filmed a mangrove snapper, grouper and red snapper mastery course with Salt Strong and they built me my own private page to give my fishing friends steep discounts on these crazy cool courses… PLUS, you also have the opportunity to become an insider member and join the community with great giveaways, raffles, the strike score tool, spot dissections, tons of free fishing videos and tips for inshore, near shore and offshore and MORE this is a super cool family of anglers and the positivity and openness of anglers is wild in this group… in the community people share what they caught, when the caught it, what tide they caught it, what bait or lure they caught it one and often WHERE they caught it too… you HAVE to check this out if you like fishing: https://SaltStrong.com/Hubbard
We are officially into the 2020 year and our 2020 regular’s club is solidifying. If you have not renewed your membership has become inactive and your discount is no longer working. Please make sure to call me and get set up again when you have time so that way your 2020 bookings will have your discount attached when you show up for your trips! We can sign you up via phone or in person, and it is always easier ahead of your trip.
If you are not a member, but you’d like to be we are doing our NEW member sign ups. Give me a call or email and we can talk about the clubs and get you signed up ASAP. Once you sign up your discount becomes active and stays active until December 31st, 2020!
Remember, you can now call or TEXT our main office line – (727)393-1947
Captain Dylan Hubbard
Vice president and Co-Owner
(727)393-1947 ext. 306