Inshore– Kevin Strickland, a Pinellas county local, reports catching one of the first mackerel of the spring run. He said he caught one in the back bays inside of Johns Pass on a D.O.A. soft plastic with an eighths ounce jig head. This mackerel was hugging the structure in some strong currents ambushing the passing live baits. Alex Day and Jeff Wenzel, also local anglers, report that the sheepshead bite is strong on the inshore bridges, jetties, docks and structures eating small pieces of shrimp, fiddler crabs, oysters and barnacles. We are also getting nice sheepshead nearshore this time of year since they are heading out there to spawn before quickly heading back inshore to safety. Sebastian Leonard, from Clearwater, is doing very well on the nice snook in the back water canals and creeks. He reports the best bites near the freshwater outflows, this high pressure has the fish pushed back into the backwaters waiting to pour onto the beaches as the white bait arrives. Michael Eaker, a Pinellas local, reports the redfish bite inshore is going very well on the oyster bars and grassy edges during the incoming tide inside Boca Ceiga bay. Michael said that his best luck was using a D.O.A. paddle tail with a light jig head right along the edges of the oyster bars and grass beds.
Near shore– The big news is the mangrove snapper bite, it is only heating up more and more and it’s officially March madness in the nearshore and offshore waters when you drop a cut sardine on a double snell rig for the goozers. Not only do the Hubbard’s Marina crew and captains say the mangrove snapper bite is hot but Jeff Wenzel and Alex Day from the new Fish duel app both agree that the snapper bite is going nuts on the near shore and offshore hard bottom areas. Hogfish bite is also hot in the nearshore waters on live shrimp, were getting them on the 5 and 10 hour trips both. The Kingfish and mackerel are not far away, we are expecting them very soon as the local waters warm up to the 75-78 degree water temps they love. Cobia are around offshore and are slowly trickling into the near shore waters more and more again as the waters warm. Red grouper bite is still a little soft near shore, but it heated up for us quite a bit in the offshore waters and we hope the nearshore waters will follow this trend too.
Offshore– The offshore waters are hot right now with a great Amberjack and snapper bite. The grouper bite is also heating up, this recent 39 hour really had a great red grouper catch the first one of the year for sure. We were very excited to see the red grouper finally turning on for us, the past 4 months or more the gag grouper has been the only groupers to bite aggressively but this past 39 hour the trend changed quickly finally. The kingfish, tuna, and cobia all were prolific during the recent long range trip as well which really added some fun to the March madness mangrove snapper flurry that we had going on during the recent 39 hour overnight fishing trip at Hubbard’s Marina.
Captain Jack’s dolphin corner
It’s baby bird season at Hubbard’s Marina aboard our dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour! We are seeing the Great American white egrets giving birth to chicks and also the great blue herons are also having their latest broods. Pelicans, roseate spoonbills, and other seabirds are not too far behind. All our local seabirds are now sporting their mating plumage too so besides the baby birds you have beautiful adult birds to photograph as well!
Just the other day we got a beautiful front row seat to some of our local big bull dolphins teaching some new juvenile dolphins how to hunt better by playing monkey in the middle with a mangrove seed! This was a very cool site to see, and we hopefully will have some great photos coming soon.
The wise dolphins were ambushing big schools of mullet and sheepshead as they headed offshore in the recent flood outgoing tides. The dolphins would hide behind the jetties on the beaches then come rushing around the tips to grab unsuspecting mullet and sheepshead as they tried to make their way offshore for spawning.
We spotted the first manatee of the spring season just this past week. Every year manatees make a long pilgrimage north to hide in the natural springs for the winter weather to ensure their warm blood doesn’t get too cold during the brief cold weather period we have in Florida. Now that the weather is warming back up our local manatees will start to make their pilgrimage back home to our local areas and large local grass beds.
Our sunset cruise with free beer and wine is now a daily cruise once again as the weather gets nicer! Join us sometime soon for a fun filled trip and a beautiful view of the sunset. It’s the best bar on the water guaranteed!
The roseate spoonbills are back at dog leg key our local island rookery inside Johns Pass. These pink birds get mistaken for flamingos often but they are not actually pink they are white birds that eat a type of crustaceans that causes their feathers to get a pink hue to them.
Upcoming up at Hubbard’s Marina
Want to go night fishing? Our 12 hour night snapper trips start up in March! These night trips offer 8-9 hours of fishing time in 70-120 foot of water 15-35 miles from shore targeting mangrove snapper, porgies, vermillion, yellowtail and more! The 12 hour specialty trips are $129 per angler, to find out more: https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/12hr-night-fishing-trip/
Ready for big jacks? The 12 hour day trip is starting up in March too! These special 12 hour day trips are completely different than the night 12 hours. The day trip goes 40-60 miles to hunt the super deep water for fat AJ’s, big red grouper, and mangroves! Due to the long run you don’t get a bunch of fishing time, but you do get to fish 120+ foot of water during a day trip. This trip is for advanced anglers only since were fishing for large hard fighting fish is super deep depths. This 12 hour trip is the same price as the night trip, its $129 per angler. For more information on the trip: https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/12hr-day-fishing-trip/
Want to do some ‘reel’ fishing? Try our 39 hour overnight fishing trip to the middle grounds and surround areas. We only have one more of these special 39 hours this month, it leaves this coming Tuesday the 15th. This trip offers around 20 hours of bottom fishing time and around 14 hours of trolling time as well! Not only do you get the weekend on the water, but you also get to take home a two day bag limit too or double what you could keep during a typical day trip. The 39 hour trips are $329 per angler and to find out more: https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/39hr-overnight-fishing-trip/
The Mrs. Hub and the Flying HUB 1 are finally ready for bookings, call Angela fitting if you are ready for a unique fishing opportunity with our expanded private charter fishing fleet at Hubbard’s Marina. If you want to see every boat we offer for charters and more info on them check out the BRAND NEW charter page at our new site, this new page gives you all eight boat’s and their photos so you can choose the boat you want to charter and find out more info about it!
Want more night fishing time? Try our unique 44 hour full moon trip that offers a full night of fishing on a full moon rather than the partial night of fishing time the 39 hour offers. This trip gives you around 25-26 hours bottom fishing time and tons of daytime trolling on the way out to the bottom fishing areas. This 44 hour offers two day bag limit much like the 39 hour offers. The next 44 hour is coming up April 22nd.
Our first 63 hour deep drop pelagic trip of 2016 will be April 28th! These trips offer tons of fishing time in the 300-1,200 foot range and plenty of trolling time for the pelagic fish as well. We also have two more schedule before dry dock in September check out the specialty trip schedule to see all the 63 hour dates in 2016. To see more about these trips, check out the video on our new 63 hour deep drop pelagic trip page on the brand new website.
Keep in mind that 44 hours and 63 hour trips must be booked via phone, and cannot be booked via our online reservation system. We will be addressing this issue soon when we re do our online reservations system. Once this is done you will be able to book every trip through that system
Regular’s club signups are coming to an end. If you fish more than 5, 10, 15 times a year or know someone who does let’s talk about getting you or your friends into the club before we close the ranks until 2017 club signups. Typically we do this around May each year so if you want to get someone signed up for discounts on the trips and other great benefits for fishing multiples times throughout the year then call Dylan Hubbard or email him today!
Vice president and Regular’s club manager Hubbard’s Marina
(727)393-1947 ext 306
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