Inshore- Weather has warmed up quite a bit this past week and we are starting to see the signs of spring in the area as the snook gear up to swim back into the passes and the white bait shows up to get chased by mackerel and the pompano bite picks up as the sheepshead bite slows a bit. We haven’t seen our first Johns Pass mackerel but Freddie Remante, from Tampa, did catch some at the skyway this past week and it shouldn’t be too much longer until we see them around the pass if the weather continues on this early warming trend. Pompano action around the pass has picked up slightly with Joe banes, from Illinois, catching a few nice ones using live shrimp from the north jetty of Johns Pass around sunrise early this past week. The snook are not as prevalent in the pass due to the cooler water but we are starting to see them once again, and hopefully they will start chewing well for us again in the pass. However, the bite on the smaller more aggressive male snook in the back bays on the flats has been good using the DOA shrimp for bait or live shrimp free lined reports Dave Wienman, our local kayak expert angler. Sheepshead are still biting well for now around the pass with plenty caught this past week from the docks using fiddler crabs for bait. We had a huge order of fiddler crabs come in so it’s a great time to come pick them up and get after those ‘convicts’ while you can and enjoy that great eating sheepshead!
Near shore- The bite this week on the half day was a little tough with the full moon early in the week but it improved as we got further from the new moon with sheepshead and hogfish biting well and the grey snapper bite picking up and filling the gaps. However, early in the week hogfish would not cooperate in the shallower near shore waters but we were able to get them all week on the private fishing charters and ten hour all days in deeper near shore waters further from shore, but all areas improved on the backside of that recent full moon. Typically, the full moon can make the day time fishing a bit slow near shore during the peak days of the moonlight allowing the fish to feed 24 hours a day instead of limiting their feeding to the daytime. We are looking forward to the return of mackerel and kingfish to the near shore waters, typically this doesn’t happen till mid to late march but with the warming trends recently we may see that much earlier this year unless the cold fronts start back up in our area.
Offshore – We had a great 44-hour full moon trip this past weekend at Hubbard’s Marina! The red grouper really cooperated well for us along with a big pile of mangrove snapper, yellowtail snapper, vermillion snapper, porgies and a few cobia and a kingfish too! The tuna were absent during the 44 hour full moon trip but we did see a great push of cobia two times during the trip which made up for the lack of tuna. The weather was perfect during this trip too with warm temps and nearly flat calm conditions compared to what we had become accustomed too in the last few trips. The vermillion snapper were coming up huge in the 2-3lb range with some 5-7lb mangrove snapper coming up too. The big mangrove snapper love to eat the live pinfish, here’s some tips and tricks to improve the size of your mangrove snapper while using pinfish for bait. Generally, Mangrove Snapper like to kill their bait before they eat it. This means they rarely “Hog” it. As a result, many anglers reel too soon and end up either having their bait ripped off or they wind up a Pinfish in tatters. If I am consistently using live bait I go with a single hook rig instead of the typical double snell rig. It is OK to use the double snell rig but just use the bottom hook. Never put both hooks in a live bait as this limits their movement and defeats the purpose of live bait. I hook them under the chin and out the nose. The main difference between live bait and dead is when to crank. When using a dead bait you need to crank as soon as you feel them hit, but with live bait they will “Pop” it a couple of times and then swallow it. In order to hook up, you must wait for the hard pull before you wind. It also helps sometimes to feed them a little line when they pop the bait to let em eat, and over time you will master this technique!
The 12 hour extreme trip is doing well on big mangrove snapper and nice red grouper too, most of the trips are averaging over a dozen big red grouper and plenty of mangroves with some yellowtails and porgies mixed in. Plus, after March first all these longer trips will be keeping some big triggerfish!
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Upcoming up at Hubbard’s Marina
We have gorgeous weather this weekend and into early next week, great time to come out and join us for some fishing, cruising, shelling, or sunset touring at Hubbard’s Marina! Keep in mind we are coming into our spring break time of year so trips are filling very fast and we highly recommend advanced reservations and always give yourself some extra time when you plan to arrive if your coming for an afternoon trip! Book your trip today at our website – https://HubbardsMarina.com or call us at (727)393-1947
Our 12 hour night snapper trips start up Friday March first if you want a chance to join us for some night time snapper fishing action for mangrove snapper, vermillion snapper, lane snapper, porgies and more! These are great trips with plenty of night fishing time 25-35 miles from Johns Pass for around 7-8 hours fishing time and only for $129 but book now because these trips do fill fast especially around the full moon. We only offer them on the quarter and full moon phases Friday nights from 7p to 7a Saturday! Here’s all the information on these special night time snapper fishing trips – https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/12hr-night-fishing-trip/
We have another great Bass Pro Shops seminar coming up Saturday March 16th at 2pm if you want to join Capt Dylan for a chance to win FREE FISHING TRIPS! The fishing seminar or fishing conversation will be about an hour long of fishing conversation, tips, tricks and more! Plus, at the end of each seminar Capt Dylan gives away a FREE 10 hour all day for two guests and a FREE 5 hour half day for two guests to two lucky winners of the FREE raffle. To be entered in the raffle you just have to show up around 2:30 pm and stay for the hour seminar. Check out the Facebook event for this upcoming seminar here – https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/bass-pro-fishing-seminars/ You can also view all the past bass pro shops seminars at this page too!
GIVING AWAY OVER $500 IN FREE FISHING TRIPS this Sunday during our weekly live stream fishing conversation Q&A show! Want to learn more about fishing locally and WIN FREE FISHING TRIPS without leaving your house? Don’t forget we have the Weekly fishing conversation or seminar by Capt Dylan Hubbard LIVE on the Hubbard’s Marina Facebook & YouTube page if you don’t want to leave your house to catch a seminar! This is weekly on Sunday nights from 8:30pm until 9:30pm, check out the event page and PLEASE LIKE AND SHARE the event if you have a Facebook page, and invite your friends as well! Here’s the page to find the Facebook event link, and view all the past LIVE Q&A fishing shows – https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/past-qanda-live-streams/
2019 TRIPS FILLING FAST Book your 2019 10,12, 39 or 44 hour trip TODAY while there’s still tons of open room, these trips will fill quickly so book NOW. Last year red snapper trips were filled up by end of January, so don’t miss your chance at securing your favorite trip TODAY. Here’s the link for all your 2019 12,39 and 44 hour trips – https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/specialty-fishing-trip/
Captain Jack’s dolphin corner
Water is super clear right now in our back bay waters thanks to the super nice and calm weather we have been having and light winds. The water is not stirred up in the slightest and the cooler temps keeps the algae down which allows for some of the clearest water conditions of the year in our ‘spring time’ when water temps are in the mid 60’s to mid 70’s and the weather is nice this time of year it gets crystal clear in the bays and along the passes and on the beaches making it a great time to do a dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour with us or our famous sunset cruise that offers FREE beer and wine!
The dolphins are in very large pods right now hunting the plentiful sheepshead, black drum and mullet so it’s a great time to catch a relaxing cruise and enjoy the playful groups of dolphins and super clear back bay waters around Johns Pass at Hubbard’s Marina. Here’s all the information on our dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour – https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/dolphin-watching-cruises/
Along with the playful large groups of dolphins, we have our local bird nesting island called dog leg key which we cruise past during our dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour is a beautiful sight this time of year as our local seabird population starts to dawn their mating plumage. As the local seabirds prepare for mating season they get very colorful and decorative plumage or feathers and it makes for a super special viewing experience this time of year aboard our dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour!
Our sunset cruise is starting to ramp up in its availability! We normally run our sunset cruise on weekends only in our ‘winter’ season but now as we approach the spring the weather is so nice, the sunsets are so colorful and the people are starting to show up so we are starting to offer the sunset cruise more regularly so call us today to book a relaxing hour and a half sunset cruise with Hubbard’s Marina! It’s a bit more of a party atmosphere compared to our dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour, and it doesn’t offer the full narration like the dolphin tour but there’s great music and some great jokes. Plus, the sunset cruise takes you down the beautiful gulf beaches at the golden hour with the sunset to your left and the beautiful beaches to your right. Plus, we often spot pods of the dolphins cruising the beaches too while enjoying the free beer and wine offered aboard our sunset cruise at Hubbard’s Marina inside Johns Pass Madeira Beach. To learn more about the fun filled sunset cruise with free beer and wine check out this link – https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/sunset-cruise/
Hubbard’s Marina Sea Adventures and Tampa Bay ferry are both proudly power by Honda Marine! If you come visit us for a dolphin tour, sunset cruise, Egmont key island trip, snorkeling, shelling, water taxi ride or any type of ferry or pleasure cruise trip then you will be riding a boat powered by Honda Marine! These new motors look great, are super quiet and are great on fuel economy! It was tough to get four boats re-powered with new engines but it was well worth the change and were very happy! Hope you get a chance to see these brand new super cool engines at work on board one of our pleasure cruise and ferry boats! To learn more about Honda Marine engines for your boat, check out their website: https://marine.honda.com/ they have the best warranty in the industry right now, you get a full 5 years and you just can’t beat that!
Tampa bay ferry News
You have to get out to Egmont key island sometime soon with us at Hubbard’s Marina! The weather has been spectacular lately and since its still a little cooler at night and not so bad during the day it’s a great time to explore the island and see the plentiful gopher tortoise that are easy to spot out sunning themselves each morning. Plus the waters around the island is super clear right now thanks to the super calm waters and winds we have had lately. The shelling is great this time of year as well thanks to the cooler conditions keeping island traffic low and the occasional cold front stirring up new shells onto our local islands! The Tampa bay ferry by Hubbard’s Marina offers 11am ferry rides to the island Wednesday through Sunday this time of year. You get two 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 – https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/egmont-key-ferry-cruise/
The Shell key ferry trip is not running or offered this time of year due to the low amount of interest in the area. However, it will resume this spring starting in March with daily rides out to shell Key Island multiple times per day! For now, the only option is a day out at Egmont key with the Tampa Bay Ferry by Hubbard’s Marina.
We have finished 2019 regular’s club renewals and we are starting on signing up NEW MEMBERS, if you are interested in becoming a 2019 regular’s club loyalty program member please reach out to Capt. Dylan Hubbard by sending him your name and cell number via email to CaptHubbard@HubbardsMarina.com. He will be in touch in the coming few weeks about the loyalty program that offers discounted trips if you fish more than 10,15 or 20 times a year with us at Hubbard’s Marina. It also comes with some free gifts and other benefits too besides discounted trips, but it’s NOT simply a discount program. It’s a loyalty program and it requires fishing often and being a model Hubbard’s Marina guest and showing the passion shared by all of us at Hubbard’s Marina for fishing and our fellow anglers.
PAST AND PRESENT MEMBERS: be sure to renew your membership before 2019 ends!
Captain Dylan Hubbard
Vice president and Co-Owner
(727)393-1947 ext. 306
UPDATED Coupon information
Penn rod and reel combos and select Penn reels 50% off when you talk with Amanda Rain bolt 10a-4p any day except Tuesday or Wednesday!
NEW Bull Bay and Hubbard’s Marina Custom rod and reels 10% off when you buy a reel to match them!
Discounts cannot be combined
While supplies last