Sheepshead continue to bite well around our area. We recently got a big order in of fiddler crabs and that has only helped us to catch more of these great eating fish around the docks, bridges, and jetties around our area too. They love fiddler crabs, small but strong hooks and light leaders with minimal weight. These sheepshead will continue to bite well for a few more weeks so get them while they are thick now! As the water warms up, they will spread out and become harder to find, but they do bite continuously through the year. Right now, there is a good number of them around the rock piles of Tampa bay too, but most are caught and targeted around bridges and docks of the bay, canals and passes.
Spanish mackerel showed back up this past week around our local fishing piers and along our beaches. The water warmed up a bit and these guys are really pretty early but a welcome sight to many anglers who enjoy fishing those beach piers and jetties. They love chasing fast moving flashy lures like the casting spoons behind a casting weight or those gotcha plugs retrieved quickly through or around those bait schools hanging by structure like the piers or jetties.
Whiting and silver trout are also biting well around the beaches and passes and beach piers as well. These guys can be found from the beach just past the surf, along the local jetties, and from those piers along the beach like big pier 60, Fort De Soto’s gulf pier, the Ana maria pier, or the Cortez beach pier!
Snook action is going well along the flats, residential canals, and mangrove shorelines this past week. With the recent warm up they were really biting in more of a springtime pattern and moving away from that wintertime dock line pattern, but were still seeing them in both areas. They also showed back up in the passes and many did well around the docks and bridges of local passes too. Even witnessed a nice thirty-two inch snook caught from our dock while our bait guy brian was targeting sheepshead with a fiddler crab!
Redfish action is going well around the area too and they continue to be super active. These guys are in rather good concentrations around the bays especially along those grass flats and mangrove shorelines in around 2-4ft of water. The cut bait worked well this past week for the redfish, but as always, the slower moving soft plastics are a crowd favorite to target redfish.
Trout action remains incredibly good this time of year in the bay and along the intercoastal all the way through the passes. We are seeing plenty of these fish around dock lights and bridge lights at night. During the day the flats, mangroves, dock lines and even passes are all holding trout. Greenbacks and live shrimp are go to live baits for trout on light tackle and the soft plastic shrimp or paddle tails are great artificial baits. However, one of my favorite methods is early morning or dusk a top water lure on the shallower flats using a top pup mirror lure for some top water action. Top water action is always best around first or last light or during very overcast days. If the water is clean and there is plenty of light the topwater game is awfully slow to produce.
Snook, redfish, and trout remain catch and release only through end of May 2021 in our area. However, at the upcoming FWC commission meeting on February 25th and 26th the commission will be discussing the staff’s recommendation on removing this mandatory catch and release for these three inshore species in our area. This is some great news to many anglers as the species populations are showing huge increases locally. If you would like to give comment on this issue you can attend this meeting and speak publicly during the agenda item discussion which should occur Friday morning, or you can submit advanced written comment by 5pm on Friday February 19th. Here’s the link to the agenda and the advanced comment submission link is at the top of the agenda. Link to FWC commission agenda for upcoming Feb 25-26th meeting -> https://myfwc.com/about/commission/commission-meetings/february-2021/
Pompano action has really picked up around our area this past week. We are seeing them from the east side of upper tampa bay to the beaches. These guys love fiddler crabs, sand fleas or live shrimp on the bottom around those sandy edges of the flats or channels. If you prefer artificials the small bucktails with the ‘feathers’ or ‘hair’ trimmed back just behind the apex of the hook or the doc’s goofy jigs are best for the pompano action. These fish are incredibly good eating but harder to really target as they move around so much. Local bridges, jetties, and along the beaches would be my go to areas to try and catch one of these fish and the bite should only improve over the next few weeks.
Near Shore & Offshore-
Hogfish action continues to impress near shore right now. This past week the bite was good but a little softer than it has been overall but that has a lot to do with the turbulent weather. These guys are still biting best around 40-60ft of water, but you can find them as shallow as 30ft up to around 90ft fairly frequently. We catch them deeper, but they are most commonly targeted in shallower because it’s easier to get them to chew near shore in that 40-60ft range. Once you go deeper, there is so many more other aggressive fish around to get your bait to those leader shy and unaggressive hogfish. They are one of the last fish to eat on a spot, so it takes some patience to really dial in on these guys using hook and line. However, using lighter tackle around 30lb floro 3-4ot hook and minimal weight really helps you get a great chance at getting them to eat. Live shrimp continues to be the favorite bait for targeting hogfish but fiddler crabs, sandfleas, and rock shrimp work well too and help cut down on the bycatch.
Lane snapper are really tick near shore around 50-110ft of water and were seeing some nice ones on virtually all our near shore trips. Especially when targeting hogfish using light tackle and live shrimp were seeing some quality lane snapper caught. These guys will also take small pieces of squid or chunks of threadfin too.
Mangrove snapper action is going super well for us around 110-140ft of water offshore but were seeing some good numbers near shore and some good sizes around 50-90ft too! In shallower water using live shrimp is a great method to target the mangroves using the same knocker rig method we use for hogfish. In deeper offshore waters we prefer that threadfin plug and double snell rig approach. Both are outlined on our fishing tips and tricks page here -> https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/fishing-tips/
Red grouper action is going well around that deepest water close to the closure line. The deep-water closure or 20 fathom closure continues through the end of March but that hasn’t slowed us down from seeing some nice red grouper around 100-120ft of water. Fishing potholes, hard rock bottom and small ledges were seeing some nice hungry red grouper mixed in with steady mangrove, lane, and vermillion snapper action too.
Scamp grouper are mainly caught out deeper past the 120ft mark, but we have seen some nice fish caught lately even in the open area when fishing around 120ft for those red grouper where we can keep them! The scamp love smaller pinfish or threadfins most of the time. Also, we catch them often while targeting mangrove snapper with the double snell rig and lighter tackle.
Blackfin tuna are around right now occasionally past 100ft of water. They have not been super on fire like past years this January and February but were hoping the full moon coming up will bring us a good push of these fish. We catch them flat line fishing while bottom fishing or while trolling between spots most of the time.
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 do not 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
We are getting a live show studio location set up early February! We are super pumped to report that we have been able to secure a private studio location for our Sunday night live internet shows. These Sunday night live shows are 8:30pm eastern time each and every Sunday and we give away a TON of free stuff during the show for those who are watching and have commented one time on the Hubbard’s Marina facebook page’s live stream of the show. You can text in your questions LIVE during the show to our main office number (727)393-1947 and we will answer them live during the show and if we miss it we will follow up the next morning to answer them! This new studio will enable us to spread out and have more guests on the show and we plan to have some of YOU on the show too! Going to be a big step to really improve our live shows and we hope you will join us for our Sunday night fun! Also, don’t forget to join us as a supporter if you want to help make this possible and also get the supporters badge and access to the private supporters group with more behind the scenes information and my personal cell phone number too! Become a supporter today at this link -> https://www.facebook.com/becomesupporter/147347365309728/
Now that gags closed, were focused on Red grouper & Scamp offshore with BIG mangroves & some yellowtail! The long range trips will have extremely lighter loads in January and were going to be fishing deeper for more big scamp and fat red grouper and big mangroves. Plus, this time of year we see some big yellow tails! The last 39 hour caught a ton of yellowtail snapper with big vermillion, a mutton snapper, big scamp (one 12lbs) and lots of big fat red group! In January every weekend 39 hour has less than 25 people and the last two have less than 20! The Tuesday 39 hour in January is less than 20 people too so tons of options and plenty of room.
Also, we have the extreme trips Wednesday and Sunday and Capt Joe Drew and Capt Rich are killing the big red grouper, scamp, mangroves and even seeing some tuna!
Nearshore the hogfish bite is HOT!! Ready for a 10 hour all day or 5 hour half day with a chance for hogfish? They are biting really well right now and it’s a great time to go get them when the weather cooperates! I would suggest the 10 hours as the BEST chance for hogfish but you get a decent shot at them on the 5 hour half days too! Live shrimp and lighter tackle is key and for more hogfish tips check out the hogfish tips video on our fishing tips and tricks page -> https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/fishing-tips/
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 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