Sheepshead bite is impressive right now around any local structure! They are biting well in good numbers on a variety of baits but the best bet are those fiddler crabs, or cut clams or oysters but even a small piece of shrimp works well on some light tackle and a small hook. Getting minimal or no weight is best, but you do sometimes need a splitshot or two to keep the bait right against the bridge or dock or pier pilings you are fishing on. The sheepshead will even cruise local seawalls too, and it’s a great time of year to get plenty of them!
The trout action is going well right now too. We are seeing the silver trout around the passes and along the beaches and even the sandy areas around the bridges. The speckeled trout are biting well on the flats and around the dock and bridge lights at night. Slow moving soft plastics or free lined shrimp or white bait are great options for these guys.
The black drum are thick right now along the beaches and local bridges. We are seeing plenty of these guys caught along the surf line of the beach mixed in with whiting, silver trout and the occasional redfish. Plus, lots of bonnet head sharks along the beaches right now too.
Snook action has slowed down to a crawl in the passes but were still catching a few at night around the bridge and dock lights. There are more snook moving up into the bays right now for their winter time stay. Look for them on those dark mud flats adjacent to mangrove or oyster bar areas waiting for bait to venture out of the cover. The flats still have plenty of juvenile snook feeding well too.
Redfish action is going well around the flats, mangrove shore lines, dock lines, oyster bars and even around the passes. Pretty much anywhere you can find a good area there will be some hungry and active redfish. These guys hang right on or along the bottom looking for small live bait, crustaceans, or slow moving soft plastics. Behind these fronts when the water is more murky the dead cut bait is a great option too.
Flounder love this cooler weather and were seeing some good action on the flounder if you can find those sandy spots on the flats or next to the flats, shorelines or structures. They hang on the bottom waiting to ambush passing baits that are on or near the bottom.
Mackerel are still pretty heavy around the mouth of the bay, around the passes and along the bridges if there’s bait around. They are also around the deeper edges of the grass flats. Great time to go get you a few fun to catch mackerel before they thin out as the water cools.
Near Shore & Offshore–
The hogfish bite right now is super hot! We are seeing these guys from around 30ft up to around 80ft of water. Mostly on live shrimp and lighter tackle, but you can get them on fiddler crabs, sandfleas, and even rock shrimp. Around 20-30lb floro leader and about a 3-4ot hook is best. They are the more timid smart and leadershy fish around so they are one of the last ones to bite on a spot so it takes a lot of patience and practice to get them dialed in. However, once they start to bite typically you have a narrow window of a few more biting too before the bite shuts down and you gotta adjust areas and get them chewing again!
The gag grouper are still fired up and this is your last chance to get them before they close at the end of the month. We are seeing them from tampa bay all the way offshore biting well around those ledges, rock piles, bridges and even some docks. The guys in tampa bay are having great catches free lining pinfish over the rock piles adjacent to the shipping channel and skyway. Near shore we are seeing them best around 50-80ft of water. Offshore the big boys are biting around 120ft plus. We saw some 30-40lb gag grouper on our last 39 hour and were going again the Tuesday after Christmas to get some more!
Red grouper bite is steady right now from around 70-140ft of water. These guys will be our focus after the gags close and we will move deeper to target the scamp and the red grouper out there around 160-200ft of water where the fat red grouper roam. Big cut baits like large strips of squid or bonita are my favorite red grouper options.
Mangrove snapper are biting well around 80-140ft of water right now on those cut threadfin chunks with double snell rigs. We are seeing them really get fired up and were coming up on that full moon which should have them feeding even better too.
The pelagic action on blackfin tuna should really heat up as the water continues to cool off. We are seeing them best around those new and full moon cycles and right around sunrise and sunset is the best time for them for sure on the free lined tail hooked pinfish or the free lined threadfins.
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 TEN HOUR ALL DAY ADDED for MONDAY after Christmas December 28th! We are pumped to get some more hogfish and possibly a gag grouper or two and we have some great weather at the start of the week so we have added a NEW ten hour all day in if you want a chance to get out there, BOOK NOW!
READY FOR 2021 BOOKINGS? Our ENTIRE 2021 schedule is now OPEN for bookings! If you want to book your fishing or shelling or cruising adventures for next year you are all set! Remember, book early and often to get the premium dates and trips you want before they fill up quickly!
12 hour extreme, 39 hour, 44 hour & all Specialty trip dates for 2021 are listed under the ‘specialty trips’ tab of our website. To see all the dates for those trips click this link and BOOK NOW FOR 2021!
Want to learn more about fishing & have a chance to WIN FREE TRIPS! Don’t forget to join Capt Dylan Hubbard each Sunday night at 8:30pm for the LIVE Q&A fishing show on the Hubbard’s Marina Facebook channel! We normally live stream to YouTube too but unfortunately, we are not able too until mid to late January due to some issues. Here’s a link to the past live shows on our site if you want to see past shows and learn more now -> https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/live-q-and-a-fishing-shows/
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
We are completely done calling and emailing our active members to renew. If You are a past member for 2020 please make sure to renew before the end of the year if possible!
We have started NEW MEMBER sign up and have already signed up quite a few new guests to the clubs. If you are thinking about joining now is the time to call or email me to get the info! The best way to get all the info is to text me your email or reach out via email then I can send it all over and we can talk on the phone after you have had a chance to get an idea of what club you want to join!
This loyalty program is a great way to make fishing more affordable if you are fishing more than 10,15 or 20 times a year!
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