Inshore- The sheepshead and drum should be biting even better over the next few days thanks to the muddy waters behind the front. The sheepshead spawn is in full swing for sure and the weather will only make them bite even better inside the pass. They love the fiddler crabs, pieces of shrimp, cut oysters or barnacles. Before the fronts, the snook were just starting to wander into the passes preparing for the late spring/summer stay on the beaches. This was allowing local anglers to catch some big snook on the beginning of the outgoing tide. The hot bait for the snook were large shrimp or free lined greenbacks. However, this cold front action may set the snook migration back a bit. Besides the snook and sheepshead the trout action is going well especially at night around the dock lights. Pompano will slow down a bit behind the front they love the clearer warm waters when it gets muddy and chilly they seem to be more timid and spread out.
Near shore- Kingfish and mackerel are thick near shore right now. We’re catching plenty of the schoolie sized kingfish and mackerel with a few big ones mixed it. It’s a great time of year to go trolling near shore. However, this cold front could slow things down for a few days but shouldn’t scare them off completely. It will also hold the kingfish here longer not allowing our local waters to warm up too quickly, which is what we were worried about with such early warm weather. Hogfish are still biting well too, lately the windy conditions have forced us to anchor up more often and allowed us to dial in on the hogs better on the half days too. Normally the all days get more hogs as they get more fishing time and tend to anchor more frequently but when the winds are up even the half days get good hog fishing time and opportunities especially when using live shrimp or fiddlers.
Offshore- The Flying HUB 2 private charters have been fishing offshore and doing well on the red grouper, hogfish, kings and mangroves. Hogfish we’ve caught this past week as far 50-60 miles in 120-130 foot of water! Plus, the big mangrove snapper have been pretty consistent too making the deep water fishing fun. Then we move inside the 20 fathom fence to bounce around hunting red grouper on the flat hard bottom cracks and or the potholes. However, they are very spread out and unaggressive right now so you got to work for them for sure! This past weekend’s 44 hour did well after all was said and done but it was a little slow throughout the trip, mostly due to weather. With 5 foot seas it made feeling the bite hard, plus the full moon currents added to the struggle of feeling the mangrove snapper bite. Plus, when its rough you got to move your rod tip much more to hold bottom. You never want your lead bouncing on the bottom so when it’s bumpy you got to dance with the boat in order to keep your line tight enough to feel the lead but not tight enough to disturb the lead on the bottom which spooks the fish. It was a bumpy weekend adventure, but the tuna and kings were biting well on the troll. Plus, we had lots of amberjack biting our trolling lines too which is unique but standard for this time of year as they are extra aggressive during their spawn. Lots of red snapper and gag grouper were caught and released this past week as always, but the 44 hour full moon definitely saw a pile of gags especially during the late afternoon that were all safely released after being vented properly.
Want to read the past reports? Check out this link: https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/hubbards-marina-fishing-reports/
Captain Jack’s dolphin corner
Lots of baby birds lately at the bird nesting island or local rookery named ‘dog leg key’ inside Boca Ceiga bay. We cruise by this island on every dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour at Hubbard’s Marina and it’s only $19.50 for adults and half price for kids 11 and under!
Dolphins have been quite active lately in large groups socializing the juveniles and playing ‘catch’ with large fish like redfish, mullet or snook showing the juveniles how to better utilize their sonar to hunt down their prey. The tossing and slapping on the water stuns the fish allowing the juveniles more time to hunt them down before they take off.
This past week, we spotted a juvenile green sea turtle looking like it was struggling to breathe from our dock inside Johns Pass and it appear to be struggling against the currents inside the pass as well. Due to this, our dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour crew jumped into action to rescue the green sea turtle! Then once we got it safely into a shaded flat surface we kept it moist and then contacted the Mote Marine lab to come pick-up the injured sea turtle for rehabilitation.
This past week we have spotted some monstrous Manta rays cruising along the gulf beaches, these are very unique sights to be seen and they sure bring a cool bonus to our guests blessed enough to witness these creatures cruising the local waters. We have spotted them from the 3 hour shelling tour Monday, Wednesday and Friday and also spotted them from our Egmont key ferry from Fort De Soto park!
Due the breezy weather and gorgeous conditions this time of year is a perfect time of year to join us for a 3 hour shelling trip to shell key from Hubbard’s Marina or for a ferry to Egmont key from Fort De Soto Park because the shelling is absolutely outstanding this time of year.
Our local bird nesting island and rookery named dog leg key is full of juvenile birds right now making it an awesome time of year to join us for a dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour at Hubbard’s Marina! We have baby pelicans out on the island along with some juvenile great blue herons that are growing fast. It’s very early to see the baby pelicans but it’s great to see them having their broods early.
We now have started our special spring and summer trips that include our 11am dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour trip option. These 11am cruises are just like our 1 and 3pm dolphin cruises, however, they aren’t offering daily like the afternoon trip. These 11am dolphin tours are offered Tues, Thurs and Saturdays!
We also started up our 3 hour shelling trip to shell key from Hubbard’s Marina these 3 hour shelling trips run Monday, Wednesday and Fridays from 9am till noon and offer an hour of shelling time on shell key. For more info on the 3 hour shelling adventure, check out this link: https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/florida-shelling-cruise/
Hubbard’s Marina Sea Adventures, Tampa bay ferry and taxi, and the Madeira beach water taxi are all now 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!
Water taxi news
We are now running 7 days a week at the Madeira beach water taxi to accommodate the large spring break crowds! That allows more options to get around the area and avoid the beach traffic, plus you can hop on the water taxi for a relaxing cruise all day or for just a two hour loop whatever you prefer. Plus, you can bring your dog or a cooler of beer or BOTH!
The Madeira beach water taxi has been carrying huge numbers the past few weeks! We have broken record numbers of passengers multiple weeks in a row with the largest number to date this past weekend of nearly three hundred passengers in three days!
Also, the water taxi will not only be running more days but starting March 11th we will also be running later into the day. We will be running until 9pm starting after we ‘spring forward’ with day light savings.
Stop by Hubbard’s Marina, ABC marina, ROC Park, the McDonald’s/Slyce floating dock, jungle Parada or Middle grounds grill in Treasure Island for a ride on the Madeira beach water taxi! These are the six stops we are currently servicing with the water taxi and ABC marina and Jungle Parada are the two stops offering free parking. The Hubbard’s Marina stop offers $5 all day parking when you stop by the Hubbard’s Marina office for a parking ticket voucher.
Don’t forget the buy one day at full rate get a second day that same week free special will continue through the spring!
Also, if you ride our dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour boat you can ride the water taxi that same week for FREE when you present your dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour ticket and receipt when boarding the water taxi.
Upcoming up at Hubbard’s Marina
NEW MARCH SEMINAR DATE – Want to win a FREE 10 hour all day or FREE 5 hour half day at Hubbard’s Marina? Join Captain Dylan Hubbard (https://www.facebook.com/CaptainDylanHubbard/) for a great seminar at Bass Pro Shops Tampa Saturday March 24th at 2pm! For more information, check out the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/194996691250145/
The Easter bunny will also be at the bass pro shops that day if you want to bring the family out for photo opportunities with the Easter bunny!
We have a super light load on the March 13th 39 hour at Hubbard’s Marina! It is a Tuesday trip, but it will be a great opportunity for awesome mangrove snapper fishing, trigger fish, tuna, red grouper, kingfish and more! Plus, with less than two dozen people on board you will have tons of one on one time with the captain and crew!
Later in the month, Friday March 30th, we have a 44 hour full moon fishing trip with an even lighter load and on that trip the deep water closure for red grouper will be over by day break enabling us to stay out deep and capitalize on great Deepwater grouper action!
Our 12 hour night snapper fishing trips have started now and we offer these Friday nights around the new or full moons! These trips are 7pm until 7am and they offer a great shot at fishing for mangrove snapper, porgies, lane snapper, vermilions and more! We fish around 25-35 miles out for around 7-8 hours of fishing time.
We have lots of 39 hour and 44 hour fishing trips coming up with light loads, to see all our 12,39,44 and 63 hour trips and what dates they run and what fish they target you can check out the specialty trip schedule at this link: https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/specialty-fishing-trip-schedule/
If you want to do a customized private fishing charter with the ORIGINAL and longest running private charter fishing fleet in Florida, Hubbard’s Marina is the place to be! We do all types of unique private charter fishing options, plus were the only ones in the area that can accommodate larger groups of 7 or more on our private charter fishing trips out of Johns Pass Madeira beach. We have four custom built private charter fishing vessels at Hubbard’s Marina that can be privately chartered for you and your group’s fishing adventure.
We have changed around a lot of stuff on our website, you should check out the added material on our FAQs page to further explain bait options, best spots on the boat, rod rental options and lots more helpful information to hopefully help first time anglers with us have a more quality experience. To see the changes, check out the FAQs: https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/faqs/
PLEASE sign up for the 2018 clubs or renew your 2017 membership ASAP, we are doing our end of year cleaning of the club and your membership will be changed to inactive if you don’t renew soon!
Don’t let your membership laps and loose seniority, call us today and get set up for the 2018 regular’s club membership!
Remember, this is a loyalty program not a discount program so you got to go fishing often to make it worth it for yourself.
Captains Mark and Dylan Hubbard
Vice president and Regular’s club manager Hubbard’s Marina
(727)393-1947 ext 306
Hubbard’s Marina Preferred Partner Showcase:
The Friendly fisherman Restaurant has some great new menu items for 2018, check out the new options you can try on your next visit to the friendly –