We are unfortunately closed due to the COVID-19 issues around our area, and we will remain closed through April. Tentatively planning and hoping to Open up Friday May 1st but time will tell. However, we still have some great fishing report information from our area to share with you guys!
The redfish bite has been good this past week around our area. The full moon had currents moving pushing bait around and had the redfish feeding actively throughout the bay and intercoastal areas. Most of the redfish caught were around the docks, mangrove shorelines and oyster bars but also the flats produced some nice fish too. These guys were loving live pinfish or white bait but also the soft plastic paddletails and gold spoons.
Snook action was a little slow this past week during the day, but more fish caught at night around the passes, docks and mouth of the bay. During they day they seemed to be a bit more lethargic and harder to get chewing. However, we saw some nice snook caught around the mangroves, grass flats, passes and beaches during the day. They just weren’t as aggressive and cooperative as they have been. While at night, the full moon gave plenty of light for them to feed actively and they sure took advantage around the docks and bridges of the passes. Inside Johns pass, many anglers caught them on the flairhawk style baits, soft plastics and jerk bait artificial lures. The live bait that’s been working well is finger mullet, live pigfish or white bait for snook.
Trout have been active lately around the area. At night, you can find them on the residential dock lights or bridge lights of the passes. During the day, the edges of the grass flats or potholes of the flats is a good place to try and catch them. Trout like the soft plastics, live shrimp or live white bait most of the time. Lighter tackle and stealthy approach and presentation is key to catching plenty of trout. Also, remember they have a super soft mouth so a slower action rod with lighter drag is a much better option for targeting trout to ensure you don’t pull the hooks from their mouth at hookset or during the fight.
Sheepshead are still prolific through the area feeding pretty well despite the warmer temps. Look for these guys on the docks, bridges, piers, or jetties around the structures. They are spreading out and getting less aggressive with the warming trends we are seeing currently. Early morning is a good time to try and pull a few when the water is a bit chillier.
Mackerel seem to be everywhere at the mouth of the bay, in the passes, on the beaches and even a few around the flats. Fast moving flashy lures are best for the mackerel. Keep an eye out for bird action while out on the water you will typically find the mackerel working a bait school to the surface and frenzied feeding at the surface while the seabirds try and pick off a few baits of their own from the top of the water.
Pompano are fairly prolific right now along our beaches and inside the sandier passes of our area. They cruise the sand bottom looking for crustaceans to feed on while moving in small schools. Most people target them with the weighted lures bouncing them along the bottom. If your using a pompano jig the best idea is to cut the feathers or hairs of the jig just behind the apex of the hook shank to ensure they are just barely hiding the hook. This provides a smaller bait to ensure you don’t miss the bite when those small mouthed pompano decide to ambush your lure on the bottom.
Near Shore –
We are unfortunately closed due to the COVID-19 issues around our area, and we will remain closed through April. Tentatively planning and hoping to Open up Friday May First. Looking forward to getting back out on the water near shore for some great fishing fun. However, we still have some great info for you if your able to make it out on your own boat.
Hogfish are still biting near shore around 30-70ft of water. They have definitely slowed a bit from the cooler moths, but there’s still a decent chance of finding a few ready to eat near shore. Live shrimp, light tackle, and a nice backboned rod with a strong but super light spinning reel is a great approach for the hogfish. Target the smaller ledges and structures or look for them on that flat hard bottom area with the sea fans they love to hide around. As the water warms and more divers go out to spearfish these hogfish they get more and more leader shy and tougher to target via hook and line fishing. However, we do catch them year around in our area they are just more difficult in the late spring through early fall.
The snapper bite has been good lately near shore. That full moon had the snapper fired up the early part of this past week ahead of the moon. This weekend should get a good bite of snapper too today and tomorrow ahead of the weather coming Sunday. We are seeing some nice mangrove snapper in the near shore water along with some nice and plentiful lane snapper too. Vermillions are more common out deep but were seeing some caught in the deeper near shore waters mixed in with the mangroves and lane snapper around 70-100 foot of water.
Red grouper action has been good around the hard bottom areas. They love that swiss cheese or cracked up hardbottom along with the potholes. These guys forage over those hard bottom areas looking for just about anything that makes an easy meal. Historically the red grouper bite picks up late spring and goes well through the summer, but the last few years we haven’t seen much in the way of red grouper action. Hopefully this year will be different as we have already seen a big uptick in the number of red grouper cooperating in the deeper near shore water from around 60-100ft of water. Large squid strips, big live pinfish or large doubled up threadfin are great options for red grouper. I love a lizard fish or squirrel fish too for red grouper candy near shore or offshore.
Kingfish and Mackerel are thick near shore right now from the beaches out to the deepest near shore waters. However, I would target them around 40-80ft of water right now on those largest ledges, rock piles or artificial reefs that hold lots of bait. Always keep your eyes peeled when cruising to spot the birds feeding on bait pushed up to the surface by a school of mackerel with some kingfish peppered in. It’s a great time of year for the pelagic action near shore.
Along with the kingfish action we are seeing some nice blackfin tuna caught even near shore this time of year. Typically, they are most common past 100-120ft of water offshore but we have seen some nice ones pulled up lately from around 50-60ft and beyond. Still the best area to find steady blackfin is offshore, but its exciting to see a few near shore too!
The sailfish are here this time of year as well. Another one or two were caught this past week in our local near shore waters. Don’t ever forget your pitch rod when heading near shore to fish to ensure you don’t miss the opportunity of a lifetime to present a live bait or dead bait to a passing curious sailfish that may come check out what you are doing near shore.
We are unfortunately closed due to the COVID-19 issues around our area, and we will remain closed through April unfortunately. Were hoping to re-open May first with some 39-hour action!
The Snapper action offshore this week, like near shore, was excited by that full moon. The nighttime fishing around 1-2 days ahead of the full moon is my favorite followed by a few days behind the moon. However, fishing is just that… fishing, sometimes even if you hit it as the best time there’s other variables affecting the fish cooperating with you. The best time to go fishing is when you have the time, ability and means to do so! The big mangrove snapper around 120ft and beyond. However, this time of year I would recommend fishing as deep as you can up to around 250ft of water to try and get some behemoth mangrove snapper and some fat grouper. Anywhere from around 150-250ft on some nice ledges, peaks or rock piles will hold some nice mangrove action.
Fat red grouper are waiting for us around that deep-water area past 150ft of water. They are hungry this time of year as the weather changes, they get excited and ready to feed on those deep-water potholes and bait shows on the hard bottom.
Scamp grouper are typically deeper caught species but once you get past 150-200ft or right around it you start to have the best chance for some nice scamp grouper action. I love a small pinfish or a small vertical jig around 200-250ft on the ledges for scamp myself, but they can be tricky fish to get chewing. Around 60lb test is what I start with when targeting them because they are typically more leader shy and less aggressive than other grouper species.
Triggerfish are only open until May 2nd so get out there deep as you can from around 150-250 to get a shot at some big boy triggers. These fish love the good quality hard bottom structures. They also love to eat small pieces of squid or cut dead bait. Typically, I target them with the mangrove snapper set ups with 30-50lb leader and 5-6ot hooks.
Pelagic action is on fire offshore just like the near shore waters. However, they just seem more prolific and aggressive and larger offshore. The blackfin tuna, kingfish and sailfish are most common in that order right now, but the occasional wahoo is possible too!
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 Friday May 1st. 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!
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