We are unfortunately closed due to the COVID-19 issues around our area, we decided to close March 23rd this past Monday. However, we are still seeing some great fishing around the area and were still fishing when we can escape to be alone and get some fresh air outside.
We are seeing a lot of the mackerel through our inshore areas right now. Especially around the passes, jetties and just off the beaches. However, there are good numbers around the bait schools up in the bays too. Unfortunately, the skyway fishing piers are currently closed along with fort de soto piers and big pier 60 due to COVID-19 but there’s still local jetties and seawalls you can find to cast for these fun to catch fish. If you have your own boat fishing around the skyway, or local passes is a great way to target these fish.
Trout bite has been hot this past week around the area. They love those soft plastics around the edges of the flats, mangrove shorelines and residential docks during the day. At night, great spots to target them are the dock lights or bridge lighters where you can find the bait. They will eat some live shrimp or white bait if you don’t like to use the lures to catch em. Keep in mind though, snook, redfish and trout are all still catch and release only in our area. There were rumors going around that FWC suspended this rule during this COVID-19 pandemic but those are totally untrue so don’t get caught trying to harvest fish that are closed.
Redfish bite was also pretty steady this past week around the residential docks, oyster bars, mangrove shorelines and even the grass flats too. They love those soft plastics, gold spoons, or suspended twitch baits for lure choices. However, they will eat live shrimp, white bait or small pinfish if you prefer live bait options. Most have been caught around the docks this past week.
Snook bite has been pretty good as of late too but not quite as good as the trout or redfish action. However, we have seen pretty good numbers of them around the passes lately staging up for their summertime move onto the beaches to spawn near shore. There’s even been a few caught from the beaches as the water continues to warm this will become more and more common. However, they haven’t been super cooperative unless your using ultra-light tackle and that can be problematic when they are sitting right next to the dock pilings in the passes. The best chances for snook have been around the bridges using around 40lb test and sending a live pinfish to the bottom around the bases of the bridge structures around the passes. Especially early morning or around dusk on an outgoing tide. Dock lights of the residential docks have been holding cooperative snook at night as well. Essentially lower light allows for heavier tackle to be utilized and a great chance to catch these guys before a quick release.
Sheepshead are still biting very well through the area and these guys are able to be kept so more anglers are targeting them right now to try and catch something to take home to eat. The local bridges and docks and seawalls are all great areas to target the sheepies. I like to target bridges or larger dock structures if I am going after sheepshead. The bridges closer to the passes work well or the ones up in the bay near the bayous will hold em if there’s water moving. Small piece of shrimp and around a 1ot hook and 20lb leader and the lightest weight possible is my favorite method. However, cut clams or oysters will work well too.
Pompano are still out on the beaches right now too. The jetties are open on many of the passes to target pompano but unfortunately with the beaches closed it makes it more difficult to target these guys. You can find them around bridges too near the passes working the sandy drop offs along the edges of the bridge channels.
Flounder are around right now biting decently on the sandy potholes on the flats or the sandy drop offs adjacent to the flats. We are seeing a few around the docks in passes or around the bridges on sandy bottom areas where they can lie in wait for passing prey to ambush that are seeking safe haven on the structures. They are typically on the down tide side of the structures if your fishing around the bridges or docks of the passes right on the bottom ready to hit passing baits.
Near Shore –
Right now we are currently closed due to the COVID-19 issue around the area so we haven’t been near shore fishing since Monday. We chose to close early to try and help flatten the curve in our area. However, we did have some awesome near shore action this past weekend when we were running super limited capacity trips on our large boats where we were able to space out guests to comply with CDC regulations.
The kingfish bite is definitely the big news near shore right now with tons of kingfish showing up in our area from around 30-90 foot of water. They are becoming more prolific and aggressive by the day and were looking forward to being able to re-open to target these fish hopefully April 7th. They love to go after live white bait or smaller blue runners on those kingfish stinger rigs. If you’d like to learn how to tie up one of these kingfish rigs with wire, we have a great fishing tips page on our site with a how to video on how to make up this rig. Here’s the link to that page -> https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/fishing-tips/
We are seeing lots of mackerel mixed in around the kingfish too and they have been pretty large for the most part. Kingfish in the area are averaging a little smaller in the 8-15lb range but occasionally a few monster 30-45lb fish are caught.
There was a sailfish or two caught this past week in near shore waters in our area so make sure to have a pitch rod ready if your out there near shore fishing right now. This springtime weather is a great opportunity to spot one of these unique billfish. I like to use around 40lb floro and about a 5ot circle hook on a big spinning reel with lots of 20lb braid to give me max line capacity or even better like a 4ot conventional filled with light braid for even more line capacity. However, a spinning reel is easier for almost everyone to accurately pitch live baits out to passing fish. Most of the time a large threadfin or small blue runner works best but they will even take a tail hooked pinfish if they are hungry enough. We have even caught a few on dead threadfins when we didn’t have live bait available.
The hogfish bite is still going well near shore too but we have seen it slow down a little lately. Hoping they will still cooperate for us through April like they normally do once we are re-open to go fishing. Around 40-70ft is typically best for these guys. However, as the water warms they become even less aggressive and more leadershy and thus, harder to catch consistently. We do catch em all year, we just see them more in cooler months.
Right now, we are currently closed due to the COVID-19 issue around the area, so we haven’t been near shore fishing since Monday. We chose to close early to try and help flatten the curve in our area. However, we did have some awesome 39 hour long range fishing action this past weekend when we were running super limited capacity on our large boat where we were able to space out guests to comply with CDC regulations. We only had 23 people on the Florida fisherman on this last 39 hour and that boat can legally take 120 people so we were easily able to spread out and have some fun catching plenty of fish out deep before we closed.
Luckily the mangrove snapper bite was off the chain this past weekend for us around 120ft of water. We saw some big mangroves through the night biting well and even in the daytime we still picked em fairly consistently. The largest mangrove we caught was around the 9lb range which is quite a monster mangrove snapper. They loved lighter tackle since the water clarity is so great right now, they definitely were preferring the 30-40lb leaders and the double snelled 5-6ot hooks and chunk of the threadfin plug. While targeting the mangroves like this we also caught plenty of large vermillion snapper, some big porgies, a few almaco jacks, and even some of the grouper too like the red grouper, scamp grouper, and those yummy strawberry groupers. We even had a 2.76lb red hind or strawberry grouper. This doesn’t sound like a monster but when most are 8-14 inches a nearly 22inch nearly 3lb one is a gigantic fish!
The pelagic action was going well during this recent 39 hour trip too we saw some monster kingfish, some nice blackfin tuna and we even had around a 80lb wahoo swim up to our boat and do some circles. Unfortunately, that wahoo wasn’t ready to eat anything. We threw lures, live baits, dead baits and everything but the kitchen sink at him but nothing was enticing him to chew. Still a great sight and a good sign of what is to come when we re-open to go out deep sea fishing once again April 7th.
For more fishing reports, photos, videos and more check out Hubbard’s Marina on facebook, Instagram, Youtube or SnapChat just simply search @HubbardsMarina and don’t 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
Corona virus & Hubbard’s Marina: Unfortunately, we have made the tough call to entirely shut down due to the virus, we plan to re-open Tuesday April 7th. However, while were closed you can go on our site and book trips, buy gift cards or find tons of info in the meantime. We hope to see you once we re-open!
HOWEVER, WE HAVE 20% OFF GIFT CERTIFICATES right now online on our site with coupon code ‘Hubbards’ during our closure due to COVID-19. If you would like, you can get up to $1,000 in gift cards per person at 20% off if you use coupon code ‘Hubbards’ and buy them NOW online via our site at this link -> https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/gift-certificates/
However, make sure to note the policies and also that they are for future trip fare only. You can use these discounter certificates for a future 39 hour, 44hour, dolphin tour, sunset cruise, island trips OR ANY FUTURE TRIP fare you take with us at Hubbard’s Marina. Plus, this tremendously helps our family’s business during these tough times and as a thank you were able to offer the discount. Keep in mind, when you book online or buy a gift certificate online there is a 6% fee charged by our booking company. Normally you can avoid their fees by calling us or coming in to book or buy certificates but since we are closed there’s only the online option so it’s still a discount but if you equate in this 6% fee charged by another company its only a 14% discount but still a great deal!
Trigger fish opened up march first and will stay open until May 2nd! You don’t have much time to get out there on a 12hour extreme, 39 hour or 44 hour trip to go deep for some great eating triggerfish!
Red snapper season 2020 has been FINALIZED for the federal for hire recreational anglers! We will have red snapper season open for our boats at Hubbard’s marina starting June first until midnight August 1st! This is a 62 day season exactly like what we had last year for the 2019 red snapper season. Were looking forward to plenty of great 12 hour extreme, 39 hour or 44 hour trips for red snapper.
FWC did announce the private recreational red snapper season for PRIVATE anglers meaning those fishing on their own boats or a boat with friends where no money changes hands. This season will start June 11th and will continue through July 25th with a possible fall extension if quota isn’t filled in the 45 day season in the summer time.
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