Inshore-We are coming up on a particularly important FWC meeting yet again this coming May 12th and 13th. This upcoming meeting will be discussing Goliath grouper regulations and perhaps an extremely limited season on them, shark issues and interactions with fisherman, and finally the issue on snook, redfish, and trout and perhaps re opening these species. Remember, anyone can attend these meetings and you even have a chance to speak during the meeting if you so choose by following the prompts given during the meeting. However, if you do not feel comfortable talking on the issues or you won’t have time to attend the meeting. You can always write in with public comment letters ahead of the meeting too. On the agenda page you will find a link to the public comment form that allows you to write in your comments to the commission prior to the meeting. Remember, you have to do so about 4-6 days prior typically, but no date has been set yet for this deadline. You can view the agenda, reports, and make advanced written public comment on these items by visiting this link: https://myfwc.com/about/commission/commission-meetings/may-2021/
The redfish have been hot this past week with a great bite of red fish at night around the passes and also during the day around the flats, mangroves, oyster bars, and also around the docks of the passes and bridges. The soft plastic paddle tails remain the go to artificial bait while live shrimp is working well around the docks with small pinfish. On the flats the white bait is a go to for most anglers’ live bait wise, but the big ones love those medium live pinfish.
Snook action only getting better at night around the passes on the bridge lights and dock lights. More and more snook are showing up in the passes as the water warms up. However, the continued fronts are really keeping the fish spread across the area and prolific most anywhere you target. It is a great time to take advantage of the active snook bite around the area. At night in the passes the flairhawk jig is a popular option, while during the day a lot of people utilize that soft plastic paddle tail for all around artificial.
Pompano along the beach are biting well but around those sandy cuts of the passes and local bridges and jetties were seeing plenty too. Great time to get out there and bounce those pompano jigs along the sandy bottom areas for a great chance at these good eating fish.
Trout action remains steady this past week around the area. Seeing plenty of these fish around the bridge lights and dock lights of the area. During the day, the flats have been producing well along with those points, pocket, and cuts of the bay adjacent to areas holding bait. Trout will stack in areas they can feed easily on passing prey items.
Mackerel have been active around the mouth of the bay up to the upper bay and along the beaches. Many local fishing piers are seeing plentiful mackerel in the early part of the day. The bait schools will attract in these fish to virtually any area adjacent to the deeper moving waters. Fast moving flashy baits are key to attracting these aggressive fast-moving fish. Look for them using the gotcha plugs or casting spoons around those birds feeding on the bait the mackerel are pushing to the surface.
Near Shore & Offshore-
We have seen some turbulent weather this past week and over the past weekend but were coming up on a full moon and we are going to try to capitalize on that the best we can this weekend on our 44-hour full moon trip despite the weather conditions.
We have seen some great red grouper action out in the deeper waters when weather has permitted us to make it out to these fish. Especially beyond around 150ft of water looking for them on the potholes and smaller ledges. Even up to 250ft of water we have pushed out to find exceptionally large and highly active red grouper. This past week we got one nearly 18lbs out there in the deeper water. Live pinfish have been working well but also larger dead baits like squid wing strips, 6-9 inch octopus, threadfins, and bonita strips all great options when fishing deep for red grouper. Closer to shore in the near shore areas we are seeing the red grouper occasionally, but it’s been much pickier and more spread out compared to the bite out deep for these red grouper. Start looking for them around 60-80ft and start expecting bigger more consistent action beyond around 150ft of water for the red grouper.
While fishing deep for fat red grouper we are seeing some big scamp grouper. Some as large as 10-14lbs lately have been seen while fishing beyond 150ft of water. The deeper we go the more we see these great eating fish. However, you have a chance to start finding scamp grouper in keeper sizes around 80-100ft of water. Scamp love those medium sized pinfish with around 60lb test and about a 6-7ot hook. Also, the smaller hammered diamond jig in the 4-6oz range bounced right along the bottom is a great option to find the aggressive scamp while fishing deeper beyond 100ft of water. Casting this jig out as far as you can and working it back to the boat at the very start of each spot is a great way to try and target any hungry scamp around the spot.
Mangrove snapper action has been a little soft for us this past week but were hoping this weekend’s start of the full moon will change that for us. We have been doing extremely well this year on our 12-hour night snappers averaging more than 100-120 of these great eating fish targeting them around 25-35 miles from Johns Pass around 90-120ft of water. On longer trips we have seen overall a bite slower of a bite on the mangroves but the plan this weekend is to start close to 250ft of water where we have caught some monster mangroves in the past and work our way in to around 160ft during our 44 hour and were hoping with the full moon on our side the mangroves are ready to eat. Threadfin plugs are a go to option for the deeper water mangrove bite especially at night when the feed best. Closer to shore, we are using mostly the live shrimp to target the mangrove snapper with knocker rigs or the jig head method on lighter tackle typically.
Kingfish and mackerel are the most active lately near shore pelagic wise, but some cobia are showing up in the mix too. Mackerel are best around the beach up to around 80ft of water on those areas holding bait like big rock piles, ledges, and artificial reefs. Kingfish will get around those areas but also roam between. Great idea to have that flat line out while bottom fishing to perhaps catch that passing kingfish who may come investigate any action. Cobia are more leader shy and typically will not bite the kingfish flat line rigged with that lighter number 3-4 wire. However, if you have a pitch rod ready with around 40-50lb leader and about a 4-5ot circle hook to tail hook a live pinfish and present that to a passing cobia you have a great shot at capturing that incredibly good eating fish. We are seeing some great blackfin tuna action lately too out deeper, but this is mainly beyond 100-120ft of water. If you are out there and spot active bait on the surface it is a great time to troll around for them or vertical jig or even flat line the similar rig you would use for cobia pitch bait fishing.
TERMS OF REFERENCE-
INSHORE – from the back bays out to the bridges and including right on the beaches
NEAR SHORE – From the beaches out to 20 miles, or up to 100ft of water
OFFSHORE – from 20 miles or 100ft and beyond
For more fishing reports, photos, videos and more check out Hubbard’s Marina on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or Snap Chat just simply search @HubbardsMarina and do not 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
RED SNAPPER 2021 FINALIZED for now… Our American red snapper season will be the same start date as past 8 years or so for federally permitted for hire vessels who are federally managed (including us). Our start date will be June first and our season will end when the quota is projected to be caught and currently that is August 3rd at 12:01am so August 2nd is the last day to legally land them before midnight…. BOOK NOW! SINCE our schedule opened up Dec 1st 2020 for our 2021 trips and many of those June, july and early august trips are filling fast! The best trips to catch red snapper would be a 12 hour extreme trip, 39 hour trip, or 44 hour trip! Plus, we have private charter options to get you a customized private trip to get out there far to those red snapper too. Remember, this is our busiest season of the year, so you want to reserve TODAY and please mind the cancelation policies. There’s TONS of other great fish to be caught in slower times of year if you want to avoid crowds of our busiest summertime season too!
**KEEP IN MIND, the FWC season for private recreational anglers HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH US, that is for private anglers fishing PRIVATE boats! That season is completely different from ours and was announced YESTERDAY to be June 4th until July 28th, but remember anything announced from FWC on red snapper DOES NOT APPLY TO US**
MAY AMBERJACK SEASON CONFIRMED! We are now 100% certain we will have greater amberjack open for harvest for the month of May. This means on 39 hour trips, 12 hour extreme trips and the 44 hour in May we will be able to target and keep Amberjack. You could also do a long range private fishing charter for them aboard the Flying HUB 2 as well!
12 hour extreme, 39 hour, 44 hour & all Specialty trip dates for 2021 are listed under the ‘specialty trips’ tab of our website. To see all the dates for those trips click this link and BOOK NOW FOR 2021!
Want to learn more about fishing & have a chance to WIN FREE TRIPS! Don’t forget to join Capt Dylan Hubbard each Sunday night at 8:30pm for the LIVE Q&A fishing show on the Hubbard’s Marina Facebook channel! We normally live stream to YouTube too but unfortunately, we are not able too until mid to late January due to some issues. Here’s a link to the past live shows on our site if you want to see past shows and learn more now -> 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
Our regular’s club is still open for people to join, but we do not pro rate memberships so likely we see little sign ups at this point in the year as you would only have around ¾ of the year long membership you would have gotten if you signed up at start of December when our membership opens. You can always wait till December of this year to sign up for our 2022 clubs then you’d get the full bang for your buck!
This loyalty program is a great way to make fishing more affordable if you are fishing more than 10,15 or 20 times a year!
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