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!
Snook have been biting really well this past week around the passes, jetties and beaches. Plus, we have seen some great action with the snook around the flats and mangrove shorelines as well. These guys seem excited with the fluctuating weather and pressure changes. The wind and weather has made it a little difficult to get out there to target them but the anglers from shore around the passes have done very well in the early morning hours and just around sunrise with soft plastics, flairhawks, and jerk baits targeting passing snook. Live white bait or soft plastics seem to be the popular bite on the flats or mangrove shorelines for snook. Great time to get out on the water and catch and release a few snook. Remember that snook, redfish and trout remain catch and release only for our central west Florida area until end of May 2021.
Redfish action has been steady this past week again around the flats, mangrove shorelines, and especially docks. Flipping a soft plastic white paddletail under a dock with a 1/8th oz jig head retrieving slow with the occasional pop and pause has worked really well to produce some good redfish action. These fish love hanging adjacent to structures like oyster bars, docks, shorelines, or natural cover on the flats like potholes or drop offs. There seems to be lots of bait around right now, so they are fired up feeding hard.
Trout bite continues to be impressive this past week with some real monsters coming up along the flats, beaches, passes and docks. One of the largest trout I have seen was caught this past week just past the surf on the beach using a live greenback for bait and super light tackle by a family having some fun fishing on their private slice of beach. Also, some happy anglers around the area are seeing some big speckled trout around the bridges and docks of the passes this past week too! The nighttime trout action in the lights of the bridges and docks has been really good with them tearing up all the bait that’s been hanging in the passes.
Black drum have been biting pretty well around the local docks and bridges. These guys are similar to sheepshead in that they hang on the structures and they like crustaceans like big shrimp or crabs. Typically, they are right on the bottom feeding opportunistically on what makes an easy meal and they can get really big too!
Mackerel action has been really good around the passes, mouth of the bay and along our beaches. These guys are fun to catch and are good eating if you bleed them and eat them fresh. You can find them easily by looking for the bait which is easy to spot from the birds actively feeding on them. Plus, all you need is a flashy lure retrieved quickly on the edges of the bait school for a few nice hookups and big runs.
Pompano have been pretty prolific around the sandy areas of the local passes and along our beaches. Docs goofy jigs, nekid ball jigz or pompano jigs are great options for these fish. You can catch em using live sand fleas and occasionally small to medium sized shrimp too. They move around a lot and can be difficult to stay on top of, but they are great eating fish!
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.
Kingfish action has been great near shore lately and there is plenty of mackerel around too mixed in among the kings. From the Skyway all the way out of the shipping channel is a great spot to start looking for the bait schools. However, simply trolling around the channel will work well to produce plenty of mackerel and some nice kingfish too. I like trolling a few planners and spoons and then a few of the rapala Xrap magnum 20’s and 30’s with maybe one or two top water skirted plugs in the mix as well. However, often once you find em the action is so quick and so chaotic you only need a few lines out to get plenty of fish coming into the boat. Around 40-90 foot is a great depth to start looking for them. Also, do not forget to have your flat line out while your bottom fishing for grouper and snapper to have a shot at a kingfish or big mackerel that happens upon your boat.
Hogfish bites have slowed quite a bit bug some nice ones are still ready to eat if your able to get out there to them around 40-80ft of water. Live shrimp and light tackle on smaller ledges, hard rock bottom or structures similar to this is a great place to look for the hogfish. As the water continues to warm, they will get more picky so get out while you can to get your shot a great eating hogfish.
Snapper fishing has been great lately for lane snapper, mangrove snapper and the occasional vermillion from around 60-100ft of water. Mangrove snapper are biting well on the threadfin plugs and around 30-40lb test and 4-5ot hooks near shore. I always utilize the double snell rig when targeting snapper with dead bait. Also, higher gear ratio conventional reels make it easy to ensure you don’t miss the bite. Keep in mind most spinning reels are already high gear ratio and if your snapper fishing these will work well too. I don’t prefer them for bigger fish because of their high gear ratio that means you have less power. When you need to pull up a big grouper, I prefer a mid to low gear ratio heavy duty conventional reel with 35-40lbs of drag or more near shore.
Grouper fishing has been going pretty well near shore, not quite as good as it is offshore but were seeing some nice red grouper action around 80-100ft of water in the furthest near shore waters.
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!
Snapper action is great this time of year offshore. Now that were past the full moon were starting to see some good day time snapper action, plus this week’s overcast conditions definitely help the daytime snapper bite. Around 120-180 foot of water is a great place to target some big mangrove snapper, lanes and perhaps a yellowtail or two this time of year on the double snell rigs with threadfin plugs. I like to use around 5-6ot hooks and around 40lb test for offshore snapper fishing.
Grouper action has been good offshore around 120-200ft of water. The scamp grouper cooperate better and are bigger the deeper you go but you have a shot at one as shallow as 100ft of water. The red grouper bite has been steady all throughout the offshore waters with some big boys being caught lately on the potholes, ledges, and flat hard bottom. Live bait or big dead bait with medium gear ratio conventional reels and around 60lb test and 7ot hooks is what I would be using this time of year for the grouper.
Triggerfish are still open for a few more weeks before they close May 2nd. It’s a great time to go get some of these incredible eating fish while the weather is good before their short season closes down. Its difficult to go out and specifically target them but it can be done on some quality hardbottom areas using small strips of squid or small cut threadfin plugs. Often, I happen across these guys while fishing for snapper on those 5-6ot double snell rigs and lighter tackle set ups. Also, the deeper you go the bigger the triggerfish will be so around 150-250ft is a great area to find these guys with some big snapper and grouper around too!
Pelagic action has been incredibly good offshore as of late with plenty of kingfish, steady blackfin tuna and the occasional sailfish or perhaps wahoo! Definitely kingfish are most common but there’s lots of blackfins around as well. The wahoo are typically deeper around 200ft or more. The sailfish you could see as shallow as 60-80ft near shore or all the way offshore in the deepest waters we bottom fish which is why it’s so important to have that flat line out and a pitch rod close by rigged and ready.
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