Inshore– Randy Moores, from Maine, was catching flounder and jack crevalle on squid under the Johns Pass Bridge early this past week. He reported his best bites were on the incoming tide but he said as long as the water was moving the action was good. Jerry Green, from Charlotte North Carolina, was catching sheepshead and whiting inside Blinds Pass just south of Johns Pass on live shrimp. He felt that blinds pass has cleaner water and less boat traffic so he felt the bites were better there and it was easier to fish that pass, however more water goes through Johns Pass so that means more bait and predators do as well. James Miller, from Largo, was catch pompano and permit from the Johns Pass jetty this past week using live shrimp around sunset on the end of the incoming tide when we had lots of clean water inside the pass. He said that a small split shot was best paired with a live shrimp on a 15lb fluorocarbon leader. Angelo Rivera, from Seminole, also reported the pompano and flounder bite has been going well inside the pass just yesterday around 4-6pm he caught a nice flounder and his limit of pompano using a quarter ounce gulp soft plastic.
Near shore– The red grouper bite just does not want to turn on hot for us yet, but we are getting a few each trip. This past Sunday’s all day trip was a great success on the red grouper, mangroves, hogfish, yellowtail, lanes and more. Tuesday’s trip was a bit slower bite but was still very good and way above average. Today’s trip hasn’t returned yet but were hoping for another great pile of nice fish. The mangrove snapper and hogs are tearing up the live shrimp and on the past Sunday’s trip they were even hitting the shrimp before you landed on the bottom making for a very exciting trip and a great haul. The gag grouper are biting very well still so they make a great trophy photo for now, and we will be back for them when their season opens in July. This past week our biggest gag was nearly 35 inches on the all day trip, but offshore we caught some true monsters out in the deeper waters.
Offshore– The offshore fishing at Hubbard’s Marina has become even more accessible with the addition of the Flying HUB fleet. We now get out past 120 foot more and more often and it’s quite the blessing. Just yesterday we were fishing in 150-180 foot of water and the African pompano were biting very well on the springs and wrecks taking dead sardines while we targeted mangrove snapper they hang above the wreck or spring so we caught the most on knocker rigs. Gag grouper were very aggressive and hard to avoid, but we did get some great amberjack as long as we kept our live baits away from the bottom not allowing the gags a chance as easily. However, the gags are so aggressive right now they were biting just as high in the water as some of the jacks were! The red snapper were also hard to avoid we must have hauled up at least twenty or more between the six anglers on board! The great news was the mangrove snapper and yellowtail bite was great on most any of the hard bottom spots we hit. They were loving cut chunks of sardines on a double snell rig with 4-5ot hooks. We even saw some big schools of Mahi Mahi to the south while running down a weed line but they spooked easily before we could get the chum and our baits to the school. The cobia bite is still sporadic but we have been lucky to land a few this past week while fishing the deep offshore waters. Make sure to have your flat lines out while bottom fishing or else you will miss these passing fish.
Captain Jack’s dolphin corner
Bird watching is great this time of year on our dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour. The main reason why is due to the local seabirds starting their mating habits. Most of the birds get a very unique looking mating plumage during this time and they will roost in the trees of dog leg Key Island where we visit on every tour.
Recently at Egmont key the large pods of dolphins have been coming by often making the ferry ride more enjoyable and allowing us to show the guests more wildlife as they enjoy their day with us on the island. Also, recently a large container ship was heading into the bay as we watched from the ferry we noticed the large bow wave had attracted a big pod of dolphin that were paying in the wake jumping super high in the air as the ship heading into port. This was a very cool and unique sight for all of us!
Dolphins have been feeding heavily lately inside Johns Pass feeding on the mullet pouring out of the pass while they try to make it offshore to a near shore wreck for their spawn. The dolphins are working in large groups inside the pass and just outside the bridge too coral these big schools of mullet and eat as many as they can before they get away to the open water of the gulf.
Our sunset cruise with free beer and wine is now a daily cruise once again as the weather gets nicer! Join us sometime soon for a fun filled trip and a beautiful view of the sunset. It’s the best bar on the water guaranteed!
The roseate spoonbills are back at dog leg key our local island rookery inside Johns Pass. These pink birds get mistaken for flamingos often but they are not actually pink they are white birds that eat a type of crustaceans that causes their feathers to get a pink hue to them.
The local great American egrets have started to sport their mating plumage again so the pelicans aren’t the only seabirds gearing up for the spring mating season. These egret’s mating plumage nearly caused their extinction in the 1920’s and 30’s when the long wispy feathers along the bird’s back became super popular in lady’s hats causing hunters to nearly drive these great American egrets to extinction. They became the first seabirds protected by the national autobahn society after this nearly complete wipe out of their population.
Unfortunately the weather has become too cold for our local manatee population. This means they have moved north to the natural springs for the winter or to the local power plant outflows where the water stays 72 degrees or higher all year around. Since manatees are marine mammals its important they stay in waters above 72 to help them regulate their body temperatures.
Upcoming up at Hubbard’s Marina
Want to go night fishing? Our 12 hour night snapper trips start up in March! These night trips offer 8-9 hours of fishing time in 70-120 foot of water 15-35 miles from shore targeting mangrove snapper, porgies, vermillion, yellowtail and more! The 12 hour specialty trips are $129 per angler, to find out more: https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/12hr-night-fishing-trip/
Ready for big jacks? The 12 hour day trip is starting up in March too! These special 12 hour day trips are completely different than the night 12 hours. The day trip goes 40-60 miles to hunt the super deep water for fat AJ’s, big red grouper, and mangroves! Due to the long run you don’t get a bunch of fishing time, but you do get to fish 120+ foot of water during a day trip. This trip is for advanced anglers only since were fishing for large hard fighting fish is super deep depths. This 12 hour trip is the same price as the night trip, its $129 per angler. For more information on the trip: https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/12hr-day-fishing-trip/
Want to do some ‘reel’ fishing? Try our 39 hour overnight fishing trip to the middle grounds and surround areas. We have three of these long range trips in March on the 4th, 11th and 15th. This trip offers around 20 hours of bottom fishing time and around 14 hours of trolling time as well! Not only do you get the weekend on the water, but you also get to take home a two day bag limit too or double what you could keep during a typical day trip. The 39 hour trips are $329 per angler and to find out more: https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/39hr-overnight-fishing-trip/
The Mrs. Hub and the Flying HUB 1 are finally ready for bookings, call Angela fitting if you are ready for a unique fishing opportunity with our expanded private charter fishing fleet at Hubbard’s Marina. If you want to see every boat we offer for charters and more info on them check out the BRAND NEW charter page at our new site, this new page gives you all eight boat’s and their photos so you can choose the boat you want to charter and find out more info about it!
Want more night fishing time? Try our unique 44 hour full moon trip that offers a full night of fishing on a full moon rather than the partial night of fishing time the 39 hour offers. This trip gives you around 25-26 hours bottom fishing time and tons of daytime trolling on the way out to the bottom fishing areas. This 44 hour offers two day bag limit much like the 39 hour offers. The next 44 hour is coming up April 22nd.
Our first 63 hour deep drop pelagic trip of 2016 will be April 28th! These trips offer tons of fishing time in the 300-1,200 foot range and plenty of trolling time for the pelagic fish as well. We also have two more schedule before dry dock in September check out the specialty trip schedule to see all the 63 hour dates in 2016. To see more about these trips, check out the video on our new 63 hour deep drop pelagic trip page on the brand new website.
Keep in mind that 44 hours and 63 hour trips must be booked via phone, and cannot be booked via our online reservation system. We will be addressing this issue soon when we re do our online reservations system. Once this is done you will be able to book every trip through that system
Regular’s club signups are coming to an end. If you fish more than 5, 10, 15 times a year or know someone who does let’s talk about getting you or your friends into the club before we close the ranks until 2017 club signups. Typically we do this around May each year so if you want to get someone signed up for discounts on the trips and other great benefits for fishing multiples times throughout the year then call Dylan Hubbard or email him today!
Vice president and Regular’s club manager Hubbard’s Marina
(727)393-1947 ext 306
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