HM Fishing Report 9-15-23

“Hey, guys. Captain Dylan Hubbard here at Hubbard’s Marina with a quick fishing report and weather update for our weekly email newsletter. Hopefully, everybody’s having a great week, and you’re excited about the beautiful weekend ahead. Initially, we expected moderate winds and seas at the beginning of the workweek, but now the weather is gorgeous. The weather is beautiful, fishing is hot, and the loads are super light. This is a great time to come out and join us at Hubbard’s Marina or head out on your own boat to take advantage of these private red snapper weekends.

Remember that Hubbard’s Marina is federally permitted for hire, so we cannot fish during these red snapper weekends. However, if you have your own boat or a friend’s boat and you’re fishing without any exchange of consideration, you’re able to catch those red snapper on the weekends. Currently, we’re catching plenty of gag grouper. The gag grouper bite is excellent right now, along with lots of yellowtails and impressive numbers of big mutton snapper. We’re also catching other species like big vermilion snapper and mangroves in the harbor. The near-shore fishing has picked up significantly.

Now, let’s discuss the weather. Currently, we’re on a new moon, which means we have a lot of moving water, tidal fluctuations, and some excellent fishing inshore, particularly behind the pass in the Back Bay. We’re seeing a lot of redfish action thanks to the new moon’s flushing effect. While there’s still some fresh water moving around, things are starting to clean up. The water is becoming clearer at high tide, and this new moon should continue to flush and stabilize our fishing conditions.

The transition into fall is happening a bit earlier and more rapidly this year due to the drop in water temperature and shorter daylight hours. The influx of fresh water from the estuarine systems has also impacted our fishing. In summary, the current weather looks beautiful with moderate winds and seas, and the oppressive heat has subsided. Fishing is outstanding.

We’re experiencing some overlaps in fishing patterns as we transition from summer to fall. For example, we’re still seeing sheepshead on the beaches and in the passes, while Snook are transitioning more to the Back Bay. Redfish are also becoming more aggressive, with many spotted around John’s Pass. It’s a great time to take advantage of these overlaps and target a variety of species. Additionally, with fewer people around after Labor Day, it’s an excellent opportunity to enjoy great fishing and beautiful weather.

Near-shore, the hogfish bite has picked up, and we’re catching plenty of lanes, mangroves, and some pelagic species like blackfin tuna. Offshore, the gag grouper bite is surprisingly good for this time of year, with some trips averaging around 40 gag grouper. The yellowtail bite has been impressive, along with an abundance of mutton snapper. It’s a fantastic time to fish with light loads and large catches of various species.

For gag grouper, we recommend using big cut bait, especially blue runners, which have been effective. As for mangrove snapper, cut threadfin or pieces of fish are working well. When targeting mangroves, consider using slightly heavier leaders, such as 50 to 80 pounds, due to the presence of gags.

Don’t forget to check out our fishing tips and tricks page for more information on techniques, tackle, and recommended baits for hogfish and other species. We have several speaking engagements and events coming up, so be sure to join us if you’re interested in fishing conversations and tips.

We hope to see you at Hubbard’s Marina soon, where you can enjoy excellent fishing and discover why we’re rated as the number one fishing charter in the entire country. Remember, if you’re too busy to go fishing, you’re just too darn busy.