Mackerel are thick right now around our local passes, fishing piers, and jetties. However, we are seeing them up in the bay too chasing schools of bait adjacent to structures or grass flats. They like to hang in a little deeper waters and push the bait up to the surface. They are easy to find because often their efforts to school up the bait will also attract seabirds to feed on the baits at the surface. Look for bird action and lots of surface disturbances and you will find them quickly. Flashy fast-moving lures are a great option for the mackerel. However, you can free line live greenbacks for them too with around a 1ot long shank J hook is a great set up for the mackerel.
Redfish action continues to be impressive throughout the area. We are seeing them from the passes and beaches to the upper Tampa bay areas. Look for them on the flats, around the oyster bars or mangrove shorelines in shallower waters. However, we are seeing some around the docks, bridges, and passes along the structure or drop offs too. These guys love cut dead bait on the bottom, but slow-moving soft plastics and even twitch baits are working well for the redfish action.
Sheepshead are starting to really fire up. We are seeing more and more of these guys showing up with each cold front. They love docks, bridges, piers, and jetties and they mainly will eat crustaceans, clams, oysters, barnacles, and others. Small piece of shrimp or cut oysters are my favorite options for them with minimal weight and a small hook. You can use a similar approach for sheepshead as you would use scaled up a bit further near shore for hogfish.
Snook fishing is going well in the area. Still catching a few around the passes especially on the incoming tide before sunrise. We are seeing lots of these guys moving back onto the flats and slowly moving back into the bay a bit more and more as the local waters cool down. Snook love those soft plastic paddletails, jerk baits, or artificial shrimp when your using lures. Live baits like whitebait, live shrimp or pinfish are great options too.
Trout action is picking up as the water cools. We are seeing more and more of these guys around the local dock lights at night and some with some decent size. The flats are producing trout well too especially around the potholes, cuts or edges. If you fish too close to the deeper water though often you may run into mackerel around this time of year.
Flounder bite is picking up slowly as the cooler weather settles into the area. They love those potholes or sandy patches along the grass flats or those sand drop offs adjacent to structures like bridges, docks or seawalls. Were seeing some big ones caught around the passes too. Live shrimp on the bottom or slow moving soft plastic paddletails or artificial shrimp on the bottom are all great options for these flounder.
Near Shore & Offshore-
The hogfish bite is really heating up as the local waters cool. We are seeing a big surge of these tasty fish around our local nearshore waters. They love when the water cools a bit as they get more aggressive and easier to catch hook and line. Using around 30lb floro leader with around a 3-4ot hook and about ¾-1oz egg sinker rigged up like a knocker rig with a fresh dead or live shrimp is the best way to target these guys. However, lots of people use the ball jigs with great success or even plain old jig heads tipped with shrimp. Look for the hogfish on that bottom adjacent to smaller ledges or that flat hard bottom with shell patches and fish the edges out by the seafan structures. They are the least aggressive fish around the bigger pieces of bottom and often the last to bite so you have to soak out a spot awhile to get them chewing.
Gag grouper fishing is really starting to pick up around the mouth of tampa bay and into our near shore waters. We are seeing some moving around out deep too. This time of year the cold fronts push waves of the female gag grouper in shallower and shallower to gorge on plentiful bait numbers and get nice and healthy for their early spring migrations to their spawning aggregations out in the deep waters along the shelf area of the gulf. This is an opportune time to get out there and pick some off as they move closer to shore before the season ends at the end of December. These gag grouper like big live baits and are super aggressive even in shallower waters. Typically around 50-60lb floro and some good luck with around 6-7ot hooks and a nice frisky live bait is a good way to target these gag grouper. Some are even catching them around local bridges at night using flairhawk style lures like they do for snook.
Red grouper action is going really well right now for us from around 80-120ft of water out a little deeper. These guys will take a big live bait but often we use big pieces of dead cut bait or whole threadfins with the tails cut off. Always remember to trim off the tail of your dead bait so it doesn’t spin on the way to bottom. Spinning dead baits on the descent will cause tangles and stop any grouper that may have taken your bait. Presenting that bait naturally as possible and still as possible is key to getting a grouper to take your bait.
Mangrove snapper action is going really well for us around 110-160ft of water but we are seeing decent numbers in rather large sizes as shallow as 60ft. These guys love cut chunks of dead bait but will take a small live pinfish if they are bigger snapper. Typically we use around 30-40lb near shore and up to around 40-60lb leaders offshore out deeper to target mangrove snapper as they are very smart and leadershy fish.
There are tons of mackerel along our beaches right now all the way out to around 60-80ft of water. We are seeing plentiful kingfish mixed in with the mackerel and the kingfish extend all the way offshore too! Tons of bait around make it easy to spot these fish near shore and offshore they typically are closer to the bottom hunting the bait that hang on the structures.
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
NEW 39 hour trip ADDED to the schedule coming up Tuesday Nov 17th with TONS of room! Book this trip if your looking for a lighter load gag grouper hunt this November and hopefully this will be on the backside of that bad weather with an incredible bite going NUTS behind this storm!
JOIN US TODAY FOR THE #SaveJohnsPass RALLY!! 4pm meet at the City of Madeira beach city hall to group up together to show all the elected officials, state and federal staff that shows up for the 3pm Closed meeting with Capt Dylan Hubbard about this sand issue! Hoping everyone can join us… To learn more visit the NEW website http://SaveJohnsPass.com and help us spread the word by going to the site and clicking the flyer about tomorrow’s event and that will take you to the facebook event page where you can click ‘GOING’ or ‘INTERESTED’ to help us spread the word! Plus, there’s some great info and posts on that page including this amazing video -> https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=744394379505092
39 hours resume with great gag grouper action, big mangroves & MORE! This time of year is a perfect time to get out there deep to hunt those big gag grouper and snapper and perhaps get a big pelagic or two as well. Don’t miss out on your chance to go deep and bring home some nice grouper and snapper!
Amberjack close Saturday and triggerfish just closed on the 26th but there’s still plenty of grouper and snapper to catch before the year is over!
The BEST time for gag grouper action is November and December so get out there on a 12 hour extreme or 39 hour for some grouper digging action. Just keep in mind, this time of year the weather can be treacherous with cold fronts barraging the area. However, these fronts are what excite the grouper so it’s a double edged sword.
READY FOR 2021 BOOKINGS? Some people have been asking about next years schedule. Keep in mind our 12,39 and 44 hour trips will not be available for booking in 2021 until around the start of December. Most likely Tuesday Dec 1st around 11am is when that specialty trip schedule for 2021 will be opened for bookings. We are building our 2021 schedule now for our other trips like the 5 hours, 10 hours, dolphin tours, island trips and others and those trips will be all built and open for bookings by around Mid-October!
During the week a great time to visit! If your one of those who can escape during the work week this is the time of year to visit us. We have had super light loads during the week on our 5,10 and 12 hour trips! Plus, the 39 hours are averaging only 50-60% full lately too especially during the week.
Weekends are still much less busy then they were in the summer, so either way it’s a good time of year to get out on the water!
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 getting prepped for our regular’s club renewals starting around the start of November and then our NEW regular’s club sign ups that will begin around end of Nov early Dec for our 2021 clubs.
Since the regular’s club, which is our loyalty program, expires at the end of each calendar year no matter when you are signed up it would make sense to wait until we are ready for 2021 signs ups to join us if you would like!
If you want some information on the clubs, shoot me an email or text with your email and we can send you out the club info and add you to our 2021 sign up list so when sign ups do start we will reach out to you!
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