Inshore– We’ve got crabs at Hubbard’s Marina and the sheepshead are loving it! Fiddle crabs are being sold at the Marina bait shop now and they make a killer sheepshead candy, plus they work super well offshore for some hog fishing too! Yesterday our half day crew showed up early and Will McClure, Paul Early, Jason Boyle and Dusty Peterson were tearing up the hogs with half day rental rods they were so thick. Dusty even captured a video of Will catching a sheep on a fiddler in less than 15 seconds, that’s dropping the bait to the time the fish hit the deck! Needless to say, the bite is on fire inside Johns Pass. Even commercial boats are flocking to the pass for fiddlers and huge amounts of sheepshead. The spawn is on and they are foaming along the bridge, jetties, and docks of Boca Ceiga bay. Also, mackerel are making a comeback to the area bait is getting thicker and more common. The spring fishery is around the corner if the weather continue to stay gorgeous. Snook should start heading into the passes out of the bayous and rivers soon, nothing beats their spring push to the beaches that makes snook fishing in the passes more like catch and you can find the MONSTER snook using the right bait or lure.
Near shore– First kingfish of the year in near shore waters was caught yesterday aboard our PM half day by Oulay Champosouk, a local Clearwater angler from the Tampa Bay Fishing Club! We’re starting to see the bait near shore from 30-50 foot of water and the mackerel are showing up to work the bait. Kings are just now starting to dribble in but the next full moon should bring a pile of macks and kings and the spring run should be starting the begging of March. I would guestimate about two weeks from now they should over run our near shore waters if this weather pattern holds true. Hogfish bite is going well too, a little slower than last week due to this stagnant high barometric pressure causing a bit of lock jaw near shore and offshore but if you work for them you can find a pocket or two of cooperative fish in the 30-60 foot range.
Offshore– The bite offshore has been a little slow the past week to week and a half due to the static high barometer, but we have put together some respectable catches despite the weather. The 39 hour this past weekend did much better than the last one, but overall still a fairly slower than average bite. We got some nice mangroves, yellowtail and porgies along with some lesser amberjacks biting decently. They even saw two large hogfish on the 39 believe it or not on cut threadfin fishing for mangroves! Plus, there’s nearly a dozen big red grouper. The red grouper are definitely out deeper where we can’t keep them right now until April First. Don’t forget about the deepwater grouper closure of the shallow water grouper complex. This means you can’t keep scamp grouper, red grouper, and others past 20 fathoms or 120 foot. What we are typically doing on our 12 hour extreme and 39 hour trips is fishing past this ‘fence’ for the mangroves and other snapper and then ducking inside the fence to keep some red grouper. However, once you have red grouper on the boat you cannot go past the ‘fence’ once again. This fence were referring to is laid out by NOAAs NMFS on their website. The tuna bite is still going well out there, but they are definitely spread out right now. First huge kingfish in a long time was caught this past weekend on the 39 hour, Jig head Ed caught him reeling in his flat line as the boat was pulling anchor.
Want to read the past reports? Check out this link: https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/hubbards-marina-fishing-reports/
Captain Jack’s dolphin corner
This past weekend we had a cleanup at Egmont key with the Egmont key alliance group. It was great to see so many nice volunteers dedicating their time to keep our local island rookeries clean. We donate the ride out and back to the island to facilitate their cleanup efforts and feel very blessed to be a part of this great service to the community and our local ecosystem.
Local seabirds have started to really show up around the pass and with the changing weather they are becoming more and more active as the warm summer approaches food becomes more and more readily available. This means the dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour with Hubbard’s Marina becomes more and more eventful as the spring sets in the area.
The baby birds are really showing up in force at the bird nesting island inside Boca Ceiga bay, and our dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour is the best way to get an upfront view of this gorgeous local island rookery. We have baby blue herons, baby egrets, and even baby pelicans on the way!
Shelling is awesome this time of year at the Island thanks to the cold fronts and winter weather it stirs up the bottom of the gulf and pushes plenty of fresh shells, sharks teeth and more onto our beautiful gulf beaches. Great time of year to visit Egmont key, plus the weather allows for enjoyable exploration in the interior of the island without the chance of any type of bugs to bother you.
Hubbard’s Marina Sea Adventures, Tampa bay ferry and taxi, and the Madeira beach water taxi are all now proudly power by Honda Marine! If you come visit us for a dolphin tour, sunset cruise, Egmont key island trip, snorkeling, shelling, water taxi ride or any type of ferry or pleasure cruise trip then you will be riding a boat powered by Honda Marine! These new motors look great, are super quiet and are great on fuel economy! It was tough to get four boats re-powered with new engines but it was well worth the change and were very happy! Hope you get a chance to see these brand new super cool engines at work on board one of our pleasure cruise and ferry boats! To learn more about Honda Marine engines for your boat, check out their website: https://marine.honda.com/ They have the best warranty in the industry right now, you get a full 5 years and you just can’t beat that!
Upcoming up at Hubbard’s Marina
We have a super light 44 hour full moon overnight fishing trip coming up at Hubbard’s Marina on Friday March 2nd! This trip gives you around 25 hours fishing time plus tons of trolling on the ride out for the kingfish, mackerel, tuna and more. We leave 10am Friday and you start fishing around 8-10pm that night and fish through until around 7-9pm Saturday night. You can troll the whole ride out allowing tons of fishing time. Keep in mind on our 39, 44 and 63 hour trips you can get a two day bag limit or twice the fish you normally can keep on a day trip.
If you a last minute type of angler, we have tons of room on tomorrow’s 39 hour overnight fishing trip with us at Hubbard’s Marina. Should only be around 20 people on board this trip and the weather is looking good again. NOAA’s offshore report has been way off and too much of a estimated wide area report. Windfinder is much more accurate and has only shown around a three and a half foot wave on the ride out subsiding to just over two foot during the fishing trip Saturday coming back to three foot for the ride in. This means another beautiful weekend ahead offshore and as this warming trend continues the bite should be hot out there and hopefully tuna still biting well too!
NEW SEMINAR DATE – Want to win a FREE 10 hour all day or FREE 5 hour half day at Hubbard’s Marina? Join Captain Dylan Hubbard (https://www.facebook.com/CaptainDylanHubbard/) for a great seminar at Bass Pro Shops Tampa Saturday February 17th at 2pm! For more information, check out the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2033606443521616/
If you want to do a customized private fishing charter with the ORIGINAL and longest running private charter fishing fleet in Florida, Hubbard’s Marina is the place to be! We do all types of unique private charter fishing options, plus were the only ones in the area that can accommodate larger groups of 7 or more on our private charter fishing trips out of Johns Pass Madeira beach. We have four custom built private charter fishing vessels at Hubbard’s Marina that can be privately chartered for you and your group’s fishing adventure.
We have changed around a lot of stuff on our website, you should check out the added material on our FAQs page to further explain bait options, best spots on the boat, rod rental options and lots more helpful information to hopefully help first time anglers with us have a more quality experience. To see the changes, check out the FAQs: https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/faqs/
Gag grouper also open up June first and remain open until the end of 2017 so get ready for some big grouper fishing action with us at Hubbard’s Marina.
PLEASE sign up for the 2018 clubs or renew your 2017 membership ASAP, we are doing our end of year cleaning of the club and your membership will be changed to inactive if you don’t renew soon!
Don’t let your membership laps and loose seniority, call us today and get set up for the 2018 regular’s club membership!
Remember, this is a loyalty program not a discount program so you got to go fishing often to make it worth it for yourself.
Captains Mark and Dylan Hubbard
Vice president and Regular’s club manager Hubbard’s Marina
(727)393-1947 ext 306