Inshore- Warming waters have brought the return of the mackerel! Plus, we have this full moon moving lots of water and helping to get those mackerel excited even more with bait concentrating around local fishing piers. This is early for those mackerel to show up in such good numbers but were seeing plenty around the skyway, beaches and the passes are starting to get decent numbers too. Looks like an even warmer weekend ahead so these guys could be around even more through the next week biting aggressively on fast moving flashy lures, or free lined white bait. I like those long shank 1ot hooks to keep them from biting through my 20lb floro leaders.
We have also seen a great bite of snook around the area lately too. Many of these fish are leaving those bayous, river mouths and creeks they have taken refuge in through our ‘wintertime’ cooling period. These guys are flooding the flats and even making moves back to the passes. We have seen some great numbers of snook starting to show back up in the passes around the dock and bridge lights.
Redfish action has been steady through the area with good numbers still around local residential docks and commercial dock structures even out to the passes. These redfish are also in good numbers around the flats, oyster bars and mangrove shorelines hanging in good concentrations. They love those soft plastics moving slowly on or just above the bottom, or live shrimp or white bait make great options for the redfish too.
The pompano are starting to show up in better and better numbers around ana maria, Fort De Soto, Egmont Key and Shell key. Hoping they get more prolific through the weekend with warming waters and great weather. These guys love hunting those sand fleas, shrimp, and other small crustaceans around that sandy bottom of our local area. Using the nekid ball jigz, Doc’s goofy jigs or the pompano jigs are all great artificial options, but you can catch em using live shrimp, fiddlers or sand fleas for live bait options too! These guys move around a lot and you must find that clear water around those sandy edges near the mouth of Tampa Bay right now.
Sheepshead still biting very well around the area despite the warming trend. We are seeing great numbers lately around the rock piles and structures of the bay area. Many anglers are catching great numbers of these fish around bridges and docks using fiddler crabs or small pieces of shrimp. Great time to go catch the end of their big spawning numbers before it continues to warm and spread these fish out for the summer.
Black drum are continuing to bite well around some local bridges but were seeing some real big boys cruising the flats too. They will bite a variety of baits, but the live shrimp or crabs are a favorite bait of theirs.
DON’T FORGET today the FWC is discussing the EO for snook, redfish and trout and we could possibly see a vote to remove that order at the end of May! Snook would remain closed until their season opened but perhaps you may be able to start keeping redfish and trout again this summer. Going to be an interesting meeting today and you can listen in and even call in and give comment if you want to be heard by the commission. Here is the link to the agenda and more about today’s FWC commission meeting – https://myfwc.com/about/commission/commission-meetings/february-2021/
Near Shore & Offshore-
Hogfish action improved for us this week with the improving weather and it looks like a gorgeous stretch ahead too. We continue to see these guys biting best around 40-60ft of water, but you can see them as shallow as 30ft and as deep as 80 fairly consistently if you can find those good smaller ledges and quality hard bottom with plenty of sea fans and bait for these fish to scavenge. They love cruising just above the bottom looking for crustaceans like fiddler crabs, sandfleas, rock shrimp, and especially the typical live shrimp. They are the last to bite though so using live shrimp causes you to sort through many of the more aggressive fish first before having a shot at the hogfish.
We are seeing lots of the lane snapper near shore right now up to the shallower offshore waters while we are targeting hogfish and those red grouper inside the closure line. These lanes love a variety of bait and were seeing an exceptionally large average size closer to around 16 inches lately too. They are great eating and fun to catch especially with the lighter tackle we use to target the hogfish near shore.
Mangrove snapper are consistent near shore but biting best deeper offshore around 120-160ft of water. We are fishing beyond the closure for grouper at night on our long-range trips to capitalize on those great mangrove bite then moving inside the closure area during the day to hunt those red grouper, scamp, and hinds.
Red grouper bite is going well for us just inside the closure and were having some nice catches of decent sized fished around 100-120ft of water. Inside that, in the near shore areas we are catching a few red grouper here and there but the bite is more sporadic. These fish love big dead baits like chunks of bonita, whole threadfins, or the strips of squid for bait.
The blackfin tuna action has picked up a bit this past week offshore around 120ft plus is where we are seeing them most, but you can find a few as shallow as 100ft from time to time. They love that flat line or knocker rig action, but you can pick them up trolling plugs between spots too.
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