Weather this past week has been a little rough and chilly for most of the week. This created a difficult fishing time, but there are still some nice catches especially before the front came through over the weekend. We were on the full moon and the water was moving around getting those fish eating well until Sunday when the weather and full moon combined to slow the bite down a bit. Once the weather moved in Sunday night the fishing was tough through Wednesday. However, this coming week it looks like we get a great weather window showing up for a few days during the work week that should provide some stellar fishing opportunities we are looking forward to!
Trout action remains steady through the area despite the weather and murky conditions. We are saw some great action around the local flats, docks, jetties, mangrove islands and virtually anywhere these trout could set up and ambush the passing bait being swept by the tides. The trout love the love shrimp or greenbacks free lined on super light tackle. However, many have luck using the soft plastics for trout too and the paddle tail on a super light jig head or an artificial shrimp seem to be the favorites lately for trout. We are still seeing them at night around the bridge and dock lights too. This is a great time of year for super light tackle trout fun, but remember they are catch and release only in most of our area so make sure to handle with care and get them back in the water quickly. They are super delicate fish and it is important to wet your hands before handling and try to avoid handling them with any rags or anything besides a bare wet hand to avoid removing their slime coating. That slime coating is what protects the trout and keeps them healthy.
Redfish action was great before the front early this past weekend as well, and we saw a few caught yesterday behind the front as well. These guys were loving the live shrimp, cut bait and even some small live pinfish around the docks of the pass. They are around the flats, oyster bars and mangrove islands as well. The redfish seem steady right now and in good concentrations around the area.
Sheepshead action seems unphased by weather they are even a bit easier to catch when the water gets stirred up as it gets harder for them to see your tackle. They are a fairly leader shy fish that will really get picky from time to time, but behind a front in that sand color water they seem to be more aggressive and less picky. Fiddler crabs or other small crabs still seem to be the hot bait, but you can get em to take shrimp or cut clams & oysters too. Some use barnacles with great success but I prefer the other options listed myself. Remember they have very small strong mouths, so a small strong hook is necessary with around 15-20lb floro leader and little to no weight. Just enough weight to get that bait in their strike zone next to the structures.
Snook action is best back up in the bay around the mouths of the local creeks, rivers, and bayous. Also, around those residential dock lines near these areas or even closer to the outer bay too. Look for those docks closer to the front of the canal where water is moving right to bring those fish bait from adjacent flats, bridges, or other areas that accumulate the baitfish or shrimp. The snook will just hang around those docks to get warm in the early to late afternoon letting the baits come to them while using the dock for protection and warmth. They get super lazy when the water is cooler, so you have to remember to get your baits to them while presenting it naturally and if using artificial working it extremely slowly. Around the passes were still seeing the occasional snook along the bottom taking cut bait and live shrimp while targeting the red fish around the docks.
Black drum action is hit and miss but when they are around you can catch them consistently. They love the local docks, bridges, jetties and sometimes you can find some schooling along the beaches around the surf. These guys are looking for primarily crustaceans like shrimp or crabs and they feed right on the bottom. If you target a dock line a live shrimp on the bottom could get you a redfish, snook, trout, sheepshead or even a black drum right now!
Near Shore & Offshore-
Weather has severely interrupted our ability to get near shore and offshore this past week unfortunately. We sat at the dock for most of the week due to weather and then once we could make it out there the sand completely closed our channel and one of our boats took some severe damage to its props. However, we are blessed to get it back up and running quickly and were looking forward to next week as we see a great weather window coming Monday into Friday where we should have some stellar fishing especially around Tuesday-Thursday. We have a mid-week 39 hour with tons of room and ten hour all days Tuesday and Thursday plus the Wednesday 12 hour extreme and they should all have great opportunities for plenty of fish.
Hogfish action was great prior to this last front through the early part of this past weekend. However, the Sunday all day prior to the front struggled due in part to the front bearing down but also the pressure ridge that formed ahead of the front coupled with the intense full moon that was just finishing up. The backside of a full moon directly following the peak can sometimes make daytime fishing tough and that with the front action really made the Sunday fishing slow for us unfortunately. Then we were down for a few days and luckily it calmed down nicely yesterday, and the hogfish were hungry for some live shrimp when we got back out to them. The ten hour all day yesterday caught almost twenty nice keeper hogfish. They continue to bite best around 30-70ft with around 40-60ft being the hot zone. The live shrimp and lighter tackle is the way to go and we just made a new fishing tips and tricks video to show you some hogfish tips and tricks and the tackle and techniques we use to catch them best. Here’s the link to our fishing tips and tricks page and that NEW hogfish video is the fourth one down if you’re on mobile and second row middle if your on a computer called ‘how to catch a hogfish and what rig to use’ -> https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/fishing-tips/
Mangrove snapper near shore have been biting really well for us mixed in around the deeper hogfish areas up to the deeper near shore waters. We saw around 40 keeper mangroves and some large ones yesterday on that ten hour all day. This past weekend’s 44 hour full moon trip absolutely crushed the mangroves offshore too in deeper waters around 140-220ft offshore. The mangroves seem to be biting extremely well in a large average size right now.
Lane snapper are extremely active near shore currently from around 40-50ft up to around 120ft. These guys love those same hogfish approaches that we catch mangroves and hogs with near shore, but deeper we catch them on the double snell rig with the cut threadfins targeting the mangrove snapper. They are great eating fish and we have been seeing some great numbers in a very much larger size than historically seen. At this recent gulf council meeting we were finally able to see a tremendous catch level increase put into effect for this prolific species as we see and science agrees that their biomass is expanding, proliferating and the average size continues to increase showing an extremely healthy and abundant population.
Red grouper, Scamp grouper, and all other shallow water groupers are now protected in the ‘deep water closure’ or ’20 fathom closure’ for the months of February and March. This means you cannot keep these species and you really should avoid targeting them beyond that closure line. Inside the line, you can keep them and once you have them on board you cannot venture past the closure line further offshore. The closure line and other info can be found at this link, but the easiest way to know your in an open area is to make sure your fishing at or below 120ft of water or less than 20 fathoms -> https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/resource/map/seasonal-closure-recreational-sector-swg-fishery-management-area-map-gis-data
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