Inshore– We are seeing lots of pompano, sheepshead, and a few mackerel around the pass. Plus, there’s the occasional trout and snook too! The pompano have been biting on the docs goofy jigs with a pink teaser or the ½ ounce Nekid ball jigs bounced just 6-8 inches above the sandy bottom along the beaches or at the tips of the jetties. The best tides for the pompano have been the start of either incoming or outgoing. Eileen Kivlin, from Upstate New York, has been crushing pompano daily using the methods above and even got one nearly 20 inches this past week from the western tip of the north jetty of Johns Pass! John Koslosky, from Chicago, was fishing with his son catching nice speckled trout just past the drop off of along the middle of the north jetty of Johns pass using light weight around the start of the incoming tide. Doug Bryan, a St Pete local, has been fishing quite a bit around the pass catching lots of sheepshead from under the south side of the Johns Pass Bridge around the rocks. Plus, Doug confirmed that the pompano bite has been off the chain this past week around the beaches. Finally, Doug caught around a 31 inch snook using ultra-light tackle in the upper Boca Ceiga bay around the bay pines VA hospital. The white bait is still thick around the pass right now especially around the middle of the bridge in the deeper faster moving waters.
Near shore– The kingfish are definitely still the highlight near shore right now with tons of them coming up on the troll and the flat line too! We are seeing a few hogfish around the 40-60ft of water areas on live shrimp or fiddler crabs along with the plentiful kingfish. The snapper bite has been decent near shore too, especially around the deeper near shore waters the mangroves have been biting well but due to the clearer waters they have been a little more leader shy as of late. We are still seeing some lane snapper action and also the sheepshead are still spawning near shore on the artificial wrecks so fiddler crabs on a super light knocker rig on shallow 20-40ft structure can catch you some monster sheepies. The mackerel have been super thick too around the bait schools around 1-10 miles from the beaches, trolling the smaller 2-4inch spoons behind a #1 or #2 planner has been the best option for catching tons of mackerel or the smaller magnum 20 rapala xrap lures.
Offshore – The 12 hour extreme trips have been our only deep water offshore public trips as of late, but we have had some offshore private fishing charters too! The bite for red grouper has really improved inside the 20fathom closed area which has been a great sign for the deeper water offshore trips. Plus, we have seen a huge uptick in the mangrove snapper action from 100-120 foot of water. They are biting best with around 40-50lb test since the water is so clear they are a bit more leader shy. Keep in mind after april first that 20 fathom closure on grouper harvest ends and we will once again be able to keep grouper past 120 foot of water. We are really looking forward to that this coming week so we can get deep again and hammer lots of big triggerfish, scamp grouper and monster red grouper too. Right now were a little handicapped since we can get out to 140-180 foot where we see those monster triggers and scamp too. The kingfish action continues offshore too, from the beach to as far as we fish the kingfish are thick nearly everywhere and offshore past 100 foot is where we are catching the true monster kings in the 30-50lb range! Plus, out there past 100 foot we are seeing the blackfin tuna too which is a great bonus to the killer bottom fishing we have had as of late.
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
We have another great Bass Pro Shops seminar coming up April 13th at 2pm if you want to join Capt Dylan for a chance to win FREE FISHING TRIPS! The fishing seminar or fishing conversation will be about an hour long of fishing conversation, tips, tricks and more! Plus, at the end of each seminar Capt Dylan gives away a FREE 10 hour all day for two guests and a FREE 5 hour half day for two guests to two lucky winners of the FREE raffle. To be entered in the raffle you just have to show up just before 2 pm and stay for the hour seminar. Check out the Facebook event for this upcoming seminar here – https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/bass-pro-fishing-seminars/
You can also view all the past bass pro shops seminars at this page too!
LIGHT 39 HOUR TRIPS COMING UP -> In April we have THREE super light 39 hour trips one is Tuesday April 16th (only around 13 booked) and the other two are Friday trips April 12th (only 19 people booked) and then April 26th (only 6 booked right now) FOR MORE INFO, or to book your 39 hour NOW click this link: https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/39hr-overnight-fishing-trip/
BAD NEWS: We have some seriously shortened seasons on the horizon for 2019, Amberjack’s May season will NOT BE OPENED! Jacks will only be open August-October 2019 and not include the spring May season. Triggerfish will also be closing sometime in May and NOT RE-OPENING anytime in 2019! This comes as a huge surprise and is super frustrating, the whole idea of the new amberjack season was to have at least some spring component. However, since the fishing year opens August first and ends May the following calendar year our August, September and October 2018 fishing year landed the full quota so may 2019 will not be re-opening. However, August first 2019 we will for sure open because it’s the start of a NEW fishing year for amberjack thus we start with a brand new full quota and HOPEFULLY that will allow for a spring MAY 2020 season!
DON’T SHOOT THE MESSENGER, we just wanted our anglers to know ASAP before the final announcement is made in a few days! I will be attending the April gulf council meeting in Biloxi, MS to voice our disdain for this 3 month fishing season for jacks and lack of a spring component!
We have entered our busy spring break season here at Hubbard’s Marina. Due to that, we want to encourage all our guests to make sure you book your trips ahead of time and arrive a little earlier for your trips. Especially if you have a trip leaving between 11am-7pm since the traffic and parking all takes a little longer this time of year. When your leaving after your morning trips you will have to deal with this type of traffic congestion on you way home too. Please be advised our beaches are filling up due to the gorgeous weather and all the fun in the sun options we have around Johns Pass, Madeira Beach here at Hubbard’s Marina.
Our 12 hour night snapper trips started up, and the next one is April 12th if you want a chance to join us for some night time snapper fishing action for mangrove snapper, vermillion snapper, lane snapper, porgies and more! These are great trips with plenty of night fishing time 25-35 miles from Johns Pass for around 7-8 hours fishing time and only for $129 but book now because these trips do fill fast especially around the full moon. We only offer them on the quarter and full moon phases Friday nights from 7p to 7a Saturday! Here’s all the information on these special night time snapper fishing trips – https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/12hr-night-fishing-trip/
April 7th is next LIVE SHOW the March 31st live show is going to be canceled due to Capt Dylan’s trip to the National marine fisheries meeting in Mississippi. However, if you Want to learn more about fishing locally and WIN FREE FISHING TRIPS without leaving your house? Don’t forget we have the Weekly fishing conversation or seminar by Capt Dylan Hubbard LIVE on the Hubbard’s Marina Facebook & YouTube page if you don’t want to leave your house to catch a seminar! This is weekly on Sunday nights from 8:30pm until 9:30pm, check out the event page and PLEASE LIKE AND SHARE the event if you have a Facebook page, and invite your friends as well! Here’s the page to find the Facebook event link, and view all the past LIVE Q&A fishing shows – https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/past-qanda-live-streams/
2019 TRIPS FILLING FAST Book your 2019 10,12, 39 or 44 hour trip TODAY while there’s still tons of open room, these trips will fill quickly so book NOW. Last year red snapper trips were filled up by end of January, so don’t miss your chance at securing your favorite trip TODAY. Here’s the link for all your 2019 12,39 and 44 hour trips – https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/specialty-fishing-trip/
Captain Jack’s dolphin corner
SUPER Clear water right now in and around Johns Pass and upper Boca Ceiga bay, making it a great time to go cruising on our dolphin cruise or sunset tour! Especially between the cold fronts, right behind a wind event the water gets a little stirred up but a few days later the water clears back up beautifully.
Our local resident dolphins are back in the area and with the beautiful spring conditions we are seeing huge pods of dolphins grouped up together feeding and playing and teaching their young juvenile dolphins more about hunting and using their sonar by playing ‘catch’ with the plentiful jacks and sheepshead.
Last year’s newborn dolphins are now juveniles and we are seeing them play together often in the back bays and getting very active at the surface while even showing off some of their acrobatic displays.
The dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour has been spotting lots of manatees as of late recently too. It’s a little early in the year for manatees, but the clear waters help us to spot them easily and they have been in big groups which make it easier to find them too. This past week during one cruise we spotted a group of nine manatees cruising the back bay waters. However, these guys can hold their breathe nearly 10 minutes and they only come out of the water with their snouts and sometimes their tails too so it makes is very difficult to spot them and when you do its difficult to follow them around. This makes it a very unique treat to spot them during our cruises and this time of year is a great time for them as they return to the area from their winter vacation. Here’s all the information on our dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour – https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/dolphin-watching-cruises/
It’s the beginning of bird nesting season at dog leg key our local sea bird rookery. We cruise by this island on every dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour and also during some of our sunset cruises too. We are seeing baby pelicans and baby egrets at the island currently, plus we are seeing nesting pairs of Roseate spoonbills and the great news is the fact that we are seeing more and more of these unique pink birds every year the past 4-5 years.
On top of all this great news and unique sights we are also spotting a few sea turtles cruising the back bays. It’s a little early for sea turtle nesting season but they are definitely starting to show back up in the area.
The sunset cruise right now is a great time due to the GORGEOUS spring sunsets we have been having as of late, this past week we even saw the elusive ‘green flash’ at the end of the sunset! Great time of year to join us for a sunset cruise that offers FREE BEER AND WINE, learn more here -> https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/sunset-cruise/
Hubbard’s Marina Sea Adventures and Tampa Bay ferry are both 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!
Tampa bay ferry News
The shelling around shell key and Egmont key has been out of this world as of late! The March weather has really blown up some great shells and the occasional shark’s tooth. Plus, when the weather is nice it’s a great time to spend the day having some fun in the sun on the islands!
Water temps are perfect right in in the mid 70’s to cool you down from the hot sun but not too chilly to snorkel or swim and enjoy the water too!
PLUS, the water clarity right now is INSANE around shell key and Egmont key! Join us for a ferry ride to paradise today to enjoy the crystal clear waters between the storms fronts, when a front blows by the waters get a little murky for a day or two then it clears up to gorgeous once again shortly after the waters calm down.
Snorkeling has started once again during the ferry to Egmont key, you have the option to do the snorkeling trip once on the island with us during the Ferry to Egmont key from fort De Soto with us at Hubbard’s Marina! Check out all the info here -> https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/egmont-key-ferry-cruise/
Great time to visit us for a ferry ride to Egmont key or shell key since the temps are too hot and the temps aren’t too cold to explore the island! Plus, the bugs aren’t too bad yet in the warmer summer months.
Since its still a little chilly at night, it’s also a great time of year to spot the plentiful gopher tortoise at Egmont key when they are out sunning themselves in the morning sun trying to warm up from the chilly overnight temps!
We even saw some manta rays this past week around the Shell key and Egmont key islands along with dolphins, manatees, seabirds and the occasional sea turtle! Come join us for a day at the island, more info on both ferry ride options below.
The Egmont key ferry from Fort de soto offers 10am and 11am ferry rides to the island daily this time of year, plus on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday we offer a 2pm ferry ride from Fort De soto out to Egmont key island! You get three hours on the island after around a 20-30 minute ride out and back to the island. 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/
Our Shell key ferry trips are a great way to spend the day and offer more flexible schedules compared to the rigid Egmont key schedule! We offer these trips DAILY from the boat ramp at Fort De Soto County Park and they run at 10am, noon and 2pm and the final return time is 4pm! You have much more flexibility during the shell key trips compared to our Egmont key ferry because you get to choose the time you return to fort de Soto from Shell key! If you’re looking for plenty of time on the island and great shelling opportunities then the shell key ferry trip is your best bet! Check out all the information on this special ferry ride at this link – https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/shell-key-ferry/
We have finished 2019 regular’s club renewals and we are starting on signing up NEW MEMBERS, if you are interested in becoming a 2019 regular’s club loyalty program member please reach out to Capt. Dylan Hubbard by sending him your name and cell number via email to CaptHubbard@HubbardsMarina.com. He will be in touch in the coming few weeks about the loyalty program that offers discounted trips if you fish more than 10,15 or 20 times a year with us at Hubbard’s Marina. It also comes with some free gifts and other benefits too besides discounted trips, but it’s NOT simply a discount program. It’s a loyalty program and it requires fishing often and being a model Hubbard’s Marina guest and showing the passion shared by all of us at Hubbard’s Marina for fishing and our fellow anglers.
PAST AND PRESENT MEMBERS: be sure to renew your membership before 2018 ends!
Captain Dylan Hubbard
Vice president and Co-Owner
(727)393-1947 ext. 306
Preferred partner spotlight
The Friendly Fisherman has updated their menu for spring! You have to try some of their NEW menu items listed below:
P.E.I. Mussels $10.79
Steamed in butter, white wine, lemon and garlic. Served with grilled Tandori bread.
Salmon Rockefeller $17.99
A fresh Salmon fillet broiled and topped with our own spinach mixture and hollandaise sauce.