Inshore- Sheepshead bite is HOT right now throughout the bay and around the passes. They love the structure like the skyway fishing piers or really any pier. Bridges are holding plenty along with local docks and jetties. Great time to get some sheepshead even during this adverse weather condition. As I am writing this report I am watching some anglers landing them from our docks at Hubbard’s Marina. Small pieces of live shrimp cut clams or oysters and fiddler crabs are my favorite baits to target them. Small hook around 1ot is all you need with around 15-20lb leaders and just enough weight to keep your bait along the structures is what you need to catch plenty.
Black drum will often be mixed in around the sheepshead in the same areas, especially around the passes and bridges or deeper water docks. The love crabs or large shrimp weighted to the bottom and sometimes you can find some real big fish too! Smaller black drum make great table fare, but once they get large they are not recommended for food due to worms and buildup of mercury.
Trout action is great around the deeper water grass flats or the edges of the shallower flats. Look for potholes, edges, pockets or gullies around the areas you are fishing where trout can congregate to ambush passing prey items. They love live shrimp or artificial shrimp lures, my favorite is a DOA shrimp.
Whiting are thick around the channels and beaches right now on the sandy bottom hitting live shrimp or soft plastics right along or on the bottom. These guys are great eating fish and are fun to catch on lighter tackle with the family.
Pompano are starting to move north, but they are mostly biting best on the south side of Tampa Bay and around the Fort De Soto and bunces pass areas. The Skyway bridge approaches are working well for the pompano too. Pompano jigs are my favorite way to target these great eating fish like the Doc’s jigs.
Redfish bite is going well around the dock lines, oyster bars, or grass flat edges. Look for wind protected mangrove shorelines or points in the mangrove areas that will hold the redfish. Soft plastics moving slow, gold spoons, or live shrimp are working well for these guys this past week. Cut bait will also work well for the redfish especially after this cold front as water temps dip down further.
Snook bite is going well up around the creeks, river mouths, bayous or other bay back mangrove shoreline areas. We are still seeing some around the passes and outer bay areas but they are holding on the dock lines and are typically a little smaller sized fish. Larger live shrimp or pinfish seem to be the ticket this past week, but if you use an artificial bait mimicking these prey items is best and remember to present it naturally and move it slowly as these fish are as cold as you and I are!
Near Shore – Snook bite is going well up around the creeks, river mouths, bayous or other bay back mangrove shoreline areas. We are still seeing some around the passes and outer bay areas but they are holding on the dock lines and are typically a little smaller sized fish. Larger live shrimp or pinfish seem to be the ticket this past week, but if you use an artificial bait mimicking these prey items is best and remember to present it naturally and move it slowly as these fish are as cold as you and I are!
Lane snapper and a few mangrove snappers have been found while targeting the hogfish along with the occasional red grouper. We aren’t seeing a ton of the red grouper lately but there are a few around ready to eat.
Offshore- Unfortunately, due to weather we have not seen an opportunity to get offshore lately at Hubbard’s Marina our 39 hour last weekend and our 44 hour this weekend were both canceled due to weather and our smaller charter boats haven’t made it out there either. The big news offshore right now is that deep water closure of the shallow water grouper complex. Make sure to keep this in mind when offshore fishing for the months of February and March. You cannot harvest any of the shallow water groupers past the 20 fathom closure line, or 120ft of water. We often will fish in the closed areas deeper than the line to catch snapper and other species before moving back into the open area shallower to target and harvest the grouper species before heading home. Make sure you know and your friends know about this short two month ‘closure’ for red grouper and scamp grouper outside the 20 fathom line!
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