Hubbard’s Marina Fishing Report 11-22-19

 Fishing report

Inshore – Lately we are noticing since the local waters have cooled down the best inshore bites have occurred in afternoon once it warms up a bit. Also, the Residential docks and canals, mouths of the rivers or upper bays holding fish well now that the local area is cooling off. Early morning the fish get a little lethargic from the long more chilly night time periods, you can get em chewing but it’s a big more difficult. Also, keep in mind that as the waters cool the fish move more slowly so you want to slow down the retrieve of any of your artificial lures as well. They become more opportunistic and lazy when the water is cooler.

Snook we have been seeing around the docks, with a few in the pass, and around edges of the mangrove shorelines in shallower water trying to stay warm. Most of them have already moved further back into the bays and coastlines trying to find the shallower more regulated water temperature areas to stay warm during our brief wintertime here in Florida. Look for them in the early afternoon in the shallower water along the shorelines or around the docks trying to sun themselves. Soft plastics or live bait are great options for these shallower water more spooky fish.

Redfish are around the flats following schools of mullet, towards the mouth of the rivers and bayous, around the residential canal docks and mangrove shorelines too similar to the snook. This time of year, they seem to love the cut dead bait as it requires less energy for them to eat and hunt. Everything becomes more opportunistic and slower as the water cools off in our area.  The big schools of mullet around the flats will become more and more common and you can cast some cut mullet in the school and as they pass often a big redfish will be ready to eat your bait that’s waiting for them. Finger mullet are great options, pinfish, big threadfins or ladyfish all work well for the cut bait options on the flats for these redfish.

Trout are hanging around the edges of the flats and mangrove shorelines and moving up around the rivers with redfish and snook. The trout bite lately has been really good and as the waters cool, they seem to cooperate better and better. Great time to get out there and go catch and release some of these fun to catch fish. They only require some very light tackle and they are typically congregated so once you find one you can find more easily on the live shrimp or greenbacks for live bait. On artificials you can use soft plastics or mirror lures or the DOA shrimp.

Mackerel have been pretty active along the piers and on the beaches this past week. Especially when the waters are clear and bait is present you can find mackerel and great numbers. Plus, along with the mackerel lots of bluefish have moved into our area which are unique looking fish and are very aggressive schooled up feeders that take pretty much anything fast moving like the mackerel so you can target them and catch them in the same manner easily while catching the mackerel.

Triple tail are thick around the buoys along the beach and around the mouth of Tampa Bay. Lots of them can be found easily hiding under the crab trap buoys along our beaches. We have seen even some very large ones come out from under the crab trap buoys or the markers around the mouth of Tampa Bay. Great time of year to cruise the floating debris, markers, buoys or anything along the surface to target these prehistoric looking and great eating fish!

Sheepshead have showed up in force along the docks, bridges and piers, and really any structure around the area will have these guys ready to eat. The are going to get more and more prolific and aggressive and aggregated as the local waters continue to cool. Plus, when the water is murky and stirred up behind the fronts these guys even feed better. Cut oysters or clams are great bait for them but so are those fiddler crabs. Also, in a pinch you can make small pieces of shrimp great sheepshead bait too. The mangrove snapper that have been thick around these same structures from the spring through the summer are definitely thinning out and being overrun by these sheepshead. Most of the larger mangroves will swim into the near shore waters while smaller fish will retreat to the shallow mangrove shorelines to hide out through the winter until they are large enough to head out into the gulf.

Flounder are around the flats, sandy drop offs or potholes around the flats and they love to ambush passing lures or baits that venture too close tot heir sandy hide out. They will nearly cover themselves up with sand and lie in wait for passing prey items. The trick with these guys if finding the sandy bottom that will hold these guys then presenting your bait naturally too them just on or near the bottom. My favorite is a soft plastic or DOA lure retrieved very slowly bounced along the bottom at the edge of the flats or in the sandy areas up on the flats.

Near shore-

Hogfish bite is HOT lately with lots of the hogfish around 40-70ft of water loving the live shrimp on our 10hr all day, near shore private fishing charters or the 5 hour half days too. Great time to get out there and target these unique looking and great eating fish while they are chewing well. The best time is always pre-front so this early part of the weekend looks great for some hogfish action near shore. They love hard bottom areas with smaller ledges, or even flat hard bottom with the seafans they love to hide behind. You can find them on the near shore artificial areas too but sometimes they are a little harder to get on hook and line at these areas because there’s so many other aggressive fish around ready to eat your live shrimp.

Mangrove snapper action has also been pretty darn good near shore lately a little deeper around 60-100ft of water. We catch plenty of these guys while trying to target the hogfish but I like to catch them best with the double snell rig and chunk of threadfin with 30-40lb test and 4-5ot hooks. Many anglers prefer the spinning reels for these guys buy I like my high speed conventional reels myself. The trick is having a very light, sensitive and strong fishing rod to give you the sensitivity needed to set the hook quickly as you can when you feel these guys start to chew your baits. However, so often I see people trying to set the hook like they would on the flats inshore. Once your past 30-40ft of water this doesn’t work at all you got to simply reel and reel quickly and fast while lifting up on your rod to set the hook by retrieving line into your reel. This is the best method near  shore and offshore to make sure you don’t miss the bites and catch more fish.


The grouper bite is also picking up quite a bit near shore even in the shallower waters were starting to see the gag action start heating up. They require some serious tackle though with at least 60lb to start while more like 80lb is recommended if you can get them to eat on heavier tackle that’s even better. These shallow water cooler weather gags are very aggressive and very fast to break you off or rock you up. You got to be paying attention and ready while targeting these guys because its so very important to start gaining line and lifting as quickly as you can when they hit. Even the most experience guys will loose a few of these guys to the bottom when they are super aggressive like this. However, you have to pay attention and be prepared for the best chance of success. Big live baits like pigfish, pinfish or squirrel fish work well. Also, big dead baits too like big threadfins or even double hooked threadfins or bonita strips are great options. Also, butterflied big live baits that died work well too. Just keep in mind with the big dead baits especially the double threadfins you got to drop those to the bottom extra slowly to prevent them from spinning on the way down and tangling up your leader which will prevent any gag from taking your bait.



Gag grouper are biting very well offshore right now, the trick is finding weather that allows you to get offshore to the great bite we are seeing in the 120-200ft range right now. The big tackle is better out here with 100lb leader and big 9-10ot hooks with the biggest most frisky live baits or big butterflied dead baits or bonita strips. The trick like near shore grouper fishing is being prepared with big bait, big tackle and big patience so when you finally get that big bite you will be ready to put the hammer down and throw down your most aggressive and explosive power to get that reel turning and the rod lifting and that big aggressive gag grouper off the hard bottom ledge or rock pile you found him on. I cannot tell you how often a bite gets shut down when a big gag is broken off or rocked up. They sit down there and grunt and will shut the bite down in the entire area if you aren’t careful. Make sure while fishing that anyone dropping a big bait whether live or dead is prepared for the fight with the appropriate tackle and mental mind state of battle time! These fish don’t play and its all about getting them off the bottom and into the box as quickly as you can. Mono is best for grouper fishing, if you have braid on your reel make sure to add a big top shop you don’t want these fish to spit your hook once you get them halfway up because your braid allows them too. Nothing is more heart breaking than winning the battle getting them off the bottom for the fish to simply come unbuttoned near the surface and 9 out of 10 times this occurs its because braided line was used to catch em.

Mangrove snapper have been cooperating very nicely for us out there in the deeper offshore waters too very much like near shore fishing but they are just larger the deeper you get offshore. We have seen some 8-9lb mangroves as of late and were expecting this trend to continue for now and were looking forward to a killer 39hr overnight fishing trips for the next few weeks targeting the big gag grouper and these larger more aggressive mangrove snapper. We are also seeing plenty of the heads and tails like vermillion, porgies and even a few lanes out there too.

Blackfin tuna are the most common pelagic fish out there in the offshore waters lately and typically through our ‘wintertime’ period we see these guys the most often. You can get them trolling the rapala xraps or flat line fishing too. Sometimes when your fishing a spot awhile or chumming hard you can get them up and around the boat to hit vertical jigs and sometimes even surface lures this time of year. We are also seeing some kingfish out there and you never know but this time of year a surprise sailfish or two can sometimes be found.

Want to watch Capt Dylan Hubbard’s Daily video reports? Check out the Hubbard’s Marina YouTube channel and don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE! – Hubbard’s Marina daily fishing & boating report


Upcoming up at Hubbard’s Marina

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. PLUS, we have completely re designed our website too, make sure to check out the new site and let us know how we did. Any issues, comments, feedback or anything in relation to the website redesign please email me at and remember if you have visited our site often you may have to clear your cache before getting the full new site to show up. You can do this easily via computer by hitting CTRL and then F5 while holding the control key, once the cache clears the site will refresh with all the new updates!

Join us for one of our special live stream fishing shows Sunday nights at 8:30pm, we have a special episode coming up this Sunday November 3rd! I will have Capt Frank Bacheler on the show with me this Sunday night and perhaps we will have Smokey joining us too! We will be giving away tons of fishing tips, tricks, techniques and he will be answering your questions LIVE during the show! Plus, there’s plenty of FREE FISHING TRIPS to win as well! The shows last for about an hour, and you can find them on the Hubbard’s Marina Facebook page or the Hubbard’s Marina YouTube page. We recommend following the Facebook event link for show info including what’s being discussed, who the guests are, and any changes! Check out the past shows on this page, and find the Facebook event link on this page too ->

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 ->

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:



Captain Jack’s dolphin corner

Great time to join us for some relaxing time on the water during our Dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour at Hubbard’s Marina inside Johns Pass aboard our big blue boat closest to the Johns Pass bridge! The mullet are flushing out of the back bays slowly and that’s causing our local dolphins to group up into large groups to feed on these unsuspecting fish as they swim into the passes to stage up for their near shore spawn. Plus, when these large groups get together typically they tend to really show off to each other and work together to school up these fish. These large actively feeding pods are tons of fun to watch and spot while on our cruises.

Also, due to the awesome temps its nice and cool and not so hot on the water. However, for us Floridians it maybe a little chilly so make sure to have a light jacket if you are a local with friends attending our on the water adventures!

Lots of seabird activity at our local bird nesting islands. Lots of Juvenile birds have become young adults and they are still goofy and uncoordinated so its fun to cruise by the island and watch their antics as they play together and learn their socialization skills.

We have a good number of bald eagles returning to the area from up north to stay warm for the winter. Great time to spot lots of these majestic large birds of prey while on the water with us at Hubbard’s Marina!

This time of year is our favorite time of year for amazing sunsets unlike any other! Great time to join us for one of our sunset cruises at Hubbard’s Marian because the weather is making some outstanding colorful views for the lucky visitors and locals who join us for our daily sunset cruise that offers FREE beer and wine every night around 7pm.

Call us today to book your dolphin tour at (727)393-1947 and get more information on this trip at our website here ->



Tampa bay ferry News

Great time to head out to the islands with us at Tampa bay ferry by Hubbard’s Marina from Fort De Soto Park! We have two ferry options right now, the Egmont key ferry from the fort De Soto bay pier then also the shell key ferry from the fort De Soto boat ramp.

The sharks teeth have been the highlight lately out at the islands with some very large teeth found out at Egmont key and a few at shell key recently. Behind the cold fronts the islands get fresh rounds of great shells and a few of these sharks teeth too!

We are seeing lots of active seabirds around the islands with the cooler temps some of our norther friends like bald eagles come down to join us on our beautiful beaches as well!

Plus, the dolphins have been very active as of late adding a special bonus to our ferry guests as they ride from Fort De Soto out to Egmont key or Shell Key islands!

The Egmont key ferry from Fort De Soto offers 11am ferry rides to the island Tuesday- Sunday this time of year out to Egmont Key Island! You get three hours on the island after around a 20-30 minute ride out and back to the island. Plus, we often see dolphins, seabirds and sometimes even sea turtles on the ride out and back thus the ride time can fluctuate a bit depending on what we spot during the cruise out to your island oasis! For more info on the Egmont key ferry, visit this page of the Hubbard’s Marina website –

Our Shell key ferry trips are a great way to spend the day and offer more flexible schedules compared to the rigid Egmont key schedule! We offer these trips Firday through Monday until the end of November from the boat ramp at Fort De Soto County Park and they run at 10am, noon and 2pm and the final return time is 4pm! You have much more flexibility during the shell key trips compared to our Egmont key ferry because you get to choose the time you return to fort de Soto from Shell key! If you’re looking for plenty of time on the island and great shelling opportunities then the shell key ferry trip is your best bet! Check out all the information on this special ferry ride at this link –


Regular’s club

We have finished our regular’s club renewals for 2020. We have officially called and emailed all the guests who were active members this year to see if they are ready to renew. If you are an active member and have not renewed, there is no big rush but it helps a lot to get resigned up for next year sooner than later.

If you are not a regular’s club member but would like to sign up make sure to reach out to me so I can get you on the 2020 sign up list. Starting this coming Monday I will be calling those who have reached out who are already on my list to start getting them signed up to be a new 2020 club member. Once you get a call you can sign up then over the phone, come in and see me to sign up, or you can wait and sign up next time you are here. I will also follow up with an email too letting you know I have reached your name and you are ready to sign up whenever you are ready!

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

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We have been FISHING and CRUISING local waters since 1928, and 4 generations later we are still Family Owned and Operated. Don’t be fooled by the imitation, come out with the Best!

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