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, that hasn’t stopped the fishing from being hot throughout our area!
The sheepshead are still biting pretty well in our area this past week. Plus, this light cold front we just had blow past us should have them excited over the weekend with the cooler temps and a little more stirred up waters. They love the docks, bridges, jetties and any structure around our area holding oysters or barnacles. Small pieces of shrimp, oysters, or clams are my favorite baits to target these sheepshead, However, a live fiddler crab is awesome bait. Joe and Luke Simonds from salt strong have been experimenting with a small artificial crab to mimic a fiddler and have been catching sheepshead with great success. Typically, you only get them on the cut bait, live crabs or barnacles but there’s some new sheepshead specific crab lures that seem to be working well.
The Snook action has really picked up recently throughout our area. They are still catch and release only with the trout and redfish, but they are thick around the flats, passes, and even on the beaches. Pretty much wherever you look you can find some cooperative and aggressive snook right now. Most of what is being caught are the smaller 20-26 inch schoolie sized fish but its still a lot of fun to catch them on light tackle. The flats this past week around fort de Soto, south shore of Tampa bay, and Pinellas point have all been producing lots of hungry snook that are feeding on big schools of minnows out on the flats. The passes are also starting to see huge numbers of snook, but definitely more action happens at night for snook in the passes. Look for lights where water is moving, and you will find them working the edges of the light lines. Snook love soft plastics, live white bait, pigfish and suspended jerk baits.
The trout action has remained steady through the area. At night they are pretty thick around the passes in the lights of docks and bridges. Residential docks with lights around the passes are holding plenty of trout through the night too. During the day the flats, mangrove shorelines and docks are holding actively feeding trout too. As the water continues to warm the trout bite will slack a bit, but for now they are still full tilt. I love to target them on the edges of the flats, or look for the natural ambush points you would be hiding if you were an opportunistic predator. Remember, once you catch one there’s often a few more in that same general area.
The redfish bite has been good around the area this past week as well, more snook and trout action for sure but the occasional big redfish was caught too. They are staying a bit shallower on the mangrove shorelines, docks or oyster bars. Typically redfish love a live pinfish, white bait, or soft plastic lure. One of my favorite inshore lures for a variety of fish is a DOA shrimp moving slowly just above the grass or sandy bottom areas around the flats or docks for redfish and others. Remember, the key with working an artificial shrimp lure is to make it resemble a shrimp so you must retrieve it extremely slowly like a shrimp would typically be moving which takes some practice.
Pompano action was great along the beaches before they closed down the beaches due to the virus, but still a few are being caught from the jetties and most from boats drifting the passes and adjacent beach areas. Fort de soto area, pass a grille, bunces pass and blinds pass are all some of my favorite areas to drift through for pompano bouncing a doc’s goofy jig or pompano jig along the sandy bottom areas.
Mackerel action is extremely good throughout the area along the passes, beaches and mouth of the bay. Look for bait schools around the passes, beaches or bridges and you will find the hungry and aggressive mackerel exploding on fast moving shiny lures.
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 1st but time will tell. However, that hasn’t stopped the fishing from being hot throughout our area! The near shore action is going very well right now and it’s killing me not to be sending out trips to capitalize on this awesome bite we are seeing.
The big news near shore right now are all the kingfish and mackerel that are being caught from along the beaches out to the deeper near shore waters. If I was to go out after them, I would start around 30-40ft and work up to around 90ft or so looking for birds which means bait is below. The Egmont key shipping channel or ship anchorage just to the north side of the channels end are great areas to start looking. Also, our near shore artificial reefs and big ledges are all holding bait which is in turn holding kingfish and mackerel. You can even catch them while bottom fishing if you got your flat lines out and pitch rods ready. However, most people will go out to target them specifically by either trolling or finding the fish and anchoring up and chumming them up to the boat. This past week one lucky angler named Kevin Carlan caught a 66lb kingfish around the Egmont key channel trolling with family on board! What a monster fish for sure especially for Father and his two happy young anglers that caught him trolling in only around 40ft of water.
Besides the kingfish and mackerel, we are still seeing a nice push of hogfish near shore in around 30-80ft of water. They are not biting quite as well as they were early march but still seeing some caught in this range on the live shrimp. Plus, the lane snapper and mangrove snapper action has been picking up around 70-1o0ft of water on the live shrimp or threadfin plugs. Red grouper fishing seems to be improving a bit as well. Many of our captains and crew are out fishing on private boats during this closure doing well on the red grouper about that same depth as the snapper.
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. Luckily, we are still seeing some great catches offshore from friends and other charters.
The deepwater closure of grouper is now over effective April first. This means you can now harvest any grouper species besides gag grouper which is closed in any depth of water! If we were heading out right now on a 39 hour trip we would be fishing around 150-250 ft of water looking for fat red grouper, bigger scamp grouper, fat triggerfish and large mangrove snapper. Plus, we would have the flat lines and pitch rods ready for the pelagics. There’s lots of kingfish and tuna out there beyond 100ft of water right now and there’s the occasional wahoo or sailfish too!
Triggerfish are only open until May 2nd so that would be our focus on nice ledges with hopefully lots of snapper, scamp a few red grouper mixed in with he inevitable break offs from big gags along the way. Fishing lighter tackle around 40-60lb right now would be the best idea since gags are closed and the other species won’t rock you up quite as badly. Plus, lighter tackle will help entice the snapper and more leader-shy fish to cooperate.
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
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