Redfish bite has been good throughout the area this past week with the warming trend it seemed to get these guys excited from the back bays to the passes and everywhere in between. Saw great action along the back bay areas on the structures like docks and oyster bars. In the passes it was similar around the docks and bridges were best for the redfish. Small pinfish, live shrimp and soft plastic paddle tails were all working well this past week with water temps approaching the 70’s once again.
Silver trout action was great after the weekend weather settled down all around the piers, jetties and passes we saw great catches of silver trout during the day and through the nighttime period on soft plastics and also the live shrimp.
Whiting are thick along the beaches and the beachside piers right now hitting live shrimp or slow moving lures along the bottom. These guys are tons of fun on light tackle for the whole family and very cooperatve feeders once you dial in on their area.
Speckled trout action was great this past week once the weather calmed from the grass flats to the passes, we saw speckled trout on live shrimp, soft plastics, and slow moving jerk baits like the mirror lures. Edges of the flats or potholes up on the flats are great areas to target the speckled trout during the day. At night around the docks, bridges and structures holding bait in their lights are great areas to catch plenty of speckled trout too.
Mackerel and bluefish were around the mouth of the bays and most of the passes this past week pretty heavily feeding. This is somewhat odd to still have decent numbers of mackerel this time of year but were having a very mild winter which may be why they are still around. The bluefish don’t mind the cold but they still showed up despite the mild winter making it a great time for the gotcha plugs around the skyway piers, fort de soto piers or big pier 60 and also in most of the passes on the outgoing tides. Bluefish have been most common during the night while mackerel or more prevalent during the day this past week.
Sheepshead are biting very well on just about any structure you can find. The warming trend this week didn’t slow them down at all which was a pleasant surprise for many local anglers. The sheepshead loved the cut clams around our docks this past week but you can get them on small pieces of shrimp, fiddlers, oysters, barnacles and even sandfleas with the lighter tackle and minimal weight to keep your bait right against the structures they feed against.
Snook bite was going well this past week as well as the warmer waters had them on the move spreading out throughout the area onto the flats and out of the river mouths and back bay hiding spots they have been calling home during the cooler weather at the end of last week. Like the redfish the structures were a good place to find them, but they did spread onto the flats at the mouth of Tampa bay especially around the Fort De Soto area.
Pompano are showing up on the south side of our area pretty well and are working their way north. Early morning along the beaches is the best time to target them with the docs jig’s or nekid ball jigs or even the small bucktail style pompano jigs. Bouncing these lures just off the sand to mimic their main prey item, the sand flea, is what works to produce the best action and the most pompano. The passes will also see these guys too, but they move around quite a bit and are tough to really dial into unless you get lucky and find the numbers.
Near Shore –
The hogfish bite has been good this past week, a little hit and miss but for the most part we had some epic days. For example, on half day trip this past week netted nearly 20 keeper hogfish. The all-day trips were close to 30 on the good days too. Plus, besides the hogfish we were seeing some nice sized mangroves, plenty of lane snapper, some vermillion snapper and even the occasional flounder on the swing or drift. Red grouper bite isn’t crazy but were seeing a few decent keeper grouper from time to time too. The all day is getting most of the action around 60-100ft of water while the half day is fishing around 40-50ft and mainly getting the hogfish and plenty of white grunts or what we call grey snapper.
The hogfish bite is best around 40-90ft of water this past week on the live shrimp and knocker rig with around 1oz lead 3-4ot hook and 15-20ft of 30lb floro on a spinning rod and reel combo with around 25-30lb braid.
Mangrove snapper, lane snapper and vermillion are mixed in with the hogfish around 60-100ft of water but the deeper you go the better the mangrove and lane snapper size and the more prolific the vermillion.
Red grouper we are seeing sporadically through the near shore waters but were seeing better consistency on keeper sized fish the deeper you get.
The 39 hour mid-week trip went well this week for us at Hubbard’s Marina. They had a great nighttime bite on snapper, tuna, and some strawberry grouper along with some heads and tails like almaco jacks, porgies and some yellowtail snapper. During the day the bite was a little pickier with the pressure changing the fishing slowed down a bit on us, but we were able to pick up some more snapper, a good handful or two of grouper and a few more tuna. Were looking forward to the light loads we have on our 39 hour trips the last two Fridays in February to target more of these large mangrove snappers, yellowtail snapper, vermillion, porgies and almaco jacks we have been seeing with some grouper species mixed in. Plenty of the big strawberry grouper, some nice red grouper and the occasional scamp were caught despite the deep water closure. Remember, as long as your fishing inside the closure line your able to harvest the grouper. The nighttime tuna bite added plenty of excitement to the trip and they do bite best around the early morning hours before sunrise.
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
WIN FREE FISHING TRIPS at our next Bass Pro Shops seminar event coming up Saturday February 22nd at 2pm! Hope you can join us for another great fishing conversation and event at the Tampa Bass Pro Shops located on Palm River road in Tampa/Brandon area. Here’s more information on the event, please check it out and click ‘going’ or ‘interested’ to help us spread the word: https://www.facebook.com/events/1231164307092844/
DON’T FORGET, YOU CAN ALSO WIN FREE FISHING TRIPS if you Join us for one of our special live stream fishing shows Sunday nights at 8:30pm! We will be giving away tons of fishing tips, tricks, techniques and 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 -> 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
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
Captain Jack’s dolphin corner
We have many visiting seabirds this time of year, our local birds are dawning their mating plumage and the dolphins are playful! Great time to join us at Hubbard’s Marina for a fun filled and relaxing hour and a half dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour through our back protected bay waters!
We have spotted some roseatte spoonbills lately around our local oyster bars in the back bays. These guys are super cool to spot and so unique looking when they get nice and pink from all the shrimp they eat.
Due to the wintertime weather up north many of the bald Eagles head south for the winter to stay warm. We have a huge number of bald eagles hanging around area now and the last few days we have had a few relaxing on the sand bars at low tide to sun themselves and rest up for more fishing fun as the water starts to flood back into the bays with the incoming tides.
White pelicans showing back up to our area for their wintertime retreat, great time to go cruising our local back bay waters to spot these beautiful and unique birds while they are in town for a short time!
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!
Call us today to book your dolphin tour at (727)393-1947 and get more information on this trip at our website here -> https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/dolphin-watching-cruises/
Tampa bay ferry News
Right now with the barrage of the cold fronts makes shelling out of this world out at Egmont key with us aboard our Egmont key ferry boat ride from Fort De Soto’s county park. We have 11am tours leaving Wednesday-Sunday this time of year that offer 2 hours out on the island after a 30 minute ride out and 30 minute ride back. 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 – https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/egmont-key-ferry-cruise/
While out on the island, you can go shelling around the perimeter or trek through the interior of the island to the western side where the shelling is even better! Plus, you have a great shot at sharks’ teeth and more. Plus, this time of year is awesome for exploring the island’s interior a bit more on your way to the gulf side of the island. There are cooler temps and hardly any bugs after the cooler weather sets in on the island.
The shark’s 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!
We are officially into the 2020 year and our 2020 regular’s club is solidifying. If you have not renewed your membership has become inactive and your discount is no longer working. Please make sure to call me and get set up again when you have time so that way your 2020 bookings will have your discount attached when you show up for your trips! We can sign you up via phone or in person, and it is always easier ahead of your trip.
If you are not a member, but you’d like to be we are doing our NEW member sign ups. Give me a call or email and we can talk about the clubs and get you signed up ASAP. Once you sign up your discount becomes active and stays active until December 31st, 2020!
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