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Hubbard’s Marina Fishing Report 5-17-19

Fishing report

Inshore– The snook are loading up the passes right now from Pass a grille, to Blinds Pass to Johns pass the snook are choking up in the passes gearing up or ‘staging’ for their summertime near shore and beaches spawn. This week in the wee hours of the mornings you can spot huge schools of school hanging around the dock lights inside the passes. Thursday morning at Hubbard’s Marina as the 39-hour backed into the dock around 5:30am it sent white bait and snook in a frenzy as the prop wash stirred up the calm and still waters inside the pass and along the dock lines. John Sasser and Angelo Rivera were fishing this past week in very early morning well before sunrise working flairhawk style lures in the passes catching some nice snook. Working these lures on a heavy spinning rod with a reel with serious drag capacity and the capacity to hold plenty of 50-60lb braid is the best idea. Using a 60lb floro leader tied onto the end of the braid then to the lure is the best method for utilizing theses unique lures and the pink and chartreuse or just Chartreuse colors seem to be the high producers lately in the 1oz range. You want to cast these long around the jetties, piers and passes and slowly retrieve them over the bottom and then you will feel the thud of a lifetime as you hook up to one of these massive snook. Keep in mind however, snook, redfish and trout are all catch and release in our area until end of May 2020 so be sure to release them quickly and efficiently reducing any possible damage these fish may suffer. The trout bite inside the pass and along the beaches continues to impress with many speckled trout following the flushing bait schools out of the pass to feed while they can. Mostly on the deep water drop offs inside the passes and the sandy gulleys that parallel the beaches and Live shrimp, or a DOA shrimp is a great bait to go after these speckled sea trout. Redfish or red drum have been a little fewer and further between around the pass lately, but we are seeing some caught at night around the dock lights in the pass right along the bottom slow retrieving soft plastic swim baits or zman style soft plastics with a light jig head. The mackerel are still around the passes and on the beaches a bit too but they are definitely starting to thin out in the Johns Pass area as the waters continue to warm up and clear up. Tarpon are showing up in droves inside and around the passes eating ladyfish, big pass crabs, and even finger mullet as they flush through the passes. The big full moon tides this weekend should have the tarpon feeding very well this weekend as the big hill tides flush out all their natural prey from the passes. Early morning or around sunset at the mouth of the passes is a great place to target these ‘silver kings’ or drifting these live baits free lined around your boat as you drift through the pass is a great way to target them too! Tarpon seem to feed well at night too, many local guys catch them while targeting sharks when they aren’t using heavy wire or shark gear that is over sized and big dead baits on the bottom. They are opportunistic and they won’t shy away from big chunks of dead ladyfish, mullet and even fish carcasses each year we see a few of them hooked around our boats at Hubbard’s Marina when using carcasses for bait for the summertime lazy snook.

Near shore– We are seeing great action this week on the 10 hour all day in the deeper near shore waters, but on the half day and closer to shore near shore waters the fishing was much tougher this past week especially as the week drew to a close due to super clear waters and the full moon. We have a full moon this weekend and each night we have nearly no clouds in the sky which allows that moon light to hit the water in all its glory and because the near shore waters from thirty five to nearly seventy foot are clear enough you can see the bottom that moonlight can penetrate deeply giving the bottom fish enough light to very actively feed at night. This lead to a slower than normal day time bite at the end of this past week in that super clear water, but out deeper the day time fishing was great! Yesterday’s 10 hour all day had nearly a boat limit of vermillion and lane snapper with lots of nice mangrove snapper and even some nice keeper red grouper too. The red grouper bite overall is very slow but were starting to see them come back into the near shore waters after their deep-water spawn in the spring, especially in the deepest near shore waters past 80 foot of water. The mackerel seem to be nearly gone near shore not seeing many on the trollers this week, while last week it seemed they were kind of coming back for us which is a bit strange. Also, there’s a ton of the sargassum weed near shore right now and that makes trolling hardware for the mackerel very tedious to avoid getting totally enveloped in the floating grass. The 12-hour night snapper trip this past weekend did very well on the mangrove snapper, vermillion snapper and even caught some yellowtails. It was a steady pick but by the end of the trip the box was looking good with a good pile of snapper after a slow start it was a welcomed change when they saw a little squall line pass by that brought some rain and winds but behind the squall the bite turned on and the fish were hungry all of a sudden. We are expecting this weekend’s full moon 12 hour night snapper to do very well since the night time bite has been so epic as of the past few days. Hogfish have been a little tough lately not seeing many of those guys but we are still catching one here and there, just very tough lately with the super clear water those fish are too smart when the water gets super clear they just are too leader shy to get going it seems.

Offshore – Right now offshore the bite is very hot, especially at night. Our mid-week super light 39 hour trip came back in this morning with one of the best mangrove snapper piles we have seen in a long time they had plenty of great eating and decent sized mangrove snapper on the boat. However, they weren’t the monsters we became accustomed too in the cooler months but they were very plentiful which was a welcomed change on this recent trip with one stop landing nearly a 100 mangrove snapper and we had plenty more great stops during the 20 hours fishing time to put together a killer mangrove snapper catch. Besides that, they also had some nice lane snapper, some yellowtail snapper, a few big red grouper, a couple scamp grouper, almaco jacks, and more! Great trip overall and lots of happy guests leaving the boat this morning. The 12 hour extreme trips are doing very well right now on the big red grouper, a few nice scamp, starting to run into Mahi Mahi, and even some big mangrove snapper. They have had super light loads too just like our 39 hour it seems everyone is holding out for two more species of fish to open and ignoring the super light loads and great action we are seeing now offshore. Granted we are excited about the opening of red snapper and gag grouper action starting June first, but at that time of year since red snapper are only open two months the trips get busy and spots get full while this time of year we enjoy very open decks and lots of room and great action on the fishing too plus a super wide assortment of fish are being caught as we do our best to avoid the plentiful and ever aggressive American red snapper until they open for us June first!

Want to watch Capt Dylan Hubbard’s Daily video reports? Check out the Hubbard’s Marina YouTube channel and don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE! – Hubbard’s Marina daily fishing & boating report.

Upcoming up at Hubbard’s Marina

We have another great Bass Pro Shops seminar coming up THIS SATURDAY May 18th at 2pm if you want to join Capt Dylan for a chance to win FREE FISHING TRIPS! The fishing seminar or fishing conversation will be about an hour long of fishing conversation, tips, tricks and more! Plus, at the end of each seminar Capt Dylan gives away a FREE 10 hour all day for two guests and a FREE 5 hour half day for two guests to two lucky winners of the FREE raffle. To be entered in the raffle you just have to show up just before 2 pm and stay for the hour seminar. Here’s the link to learn more and help us spread the word by clicking this link and click ‘going’ ->

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 8:30am to 8:40am! 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 ->

LIGHT 39 HOUR TRIPS COMING UP first one is May 21st this coming Tuesday then the following trip Friday May 24th also has a super stupid light load if you want to join us for some red grouper, scamp grouper, mangrove snapper, yellowtail snapper, porgies, vermillion, tuna, kingfish and much more! The fishing on these long range 39 hour trips have been very good and this coming week the load is light so it’s a great opportunity to join us for plenty of room on board and great fishing! FOR MORE INFO, or to book your 39 hour NOW click this link:

All our trips seem SUPER LIGHT right now around Hubbard’s Marina due to that little ‘lul’ time of year where the weather isn’t too hot yet and the crowds have relaxed a bit. It makes for a GREAT time to join us for a 5, 10, 12 or 39 hour trip before the chaos and sold out trips of the June and July months begin. We have lots of light loads on our 12 hour extreme trips, 39 hour long range overnight trips and 10 hour all day party boat trips plus lots of private fishing charter spaces opened up for bookings!

2019 RED SNAPPER TRIPS FILLING FAST Book your 2019 RED SNAPPER 12 hr extreme, 39 or 44 hour trip TODAY while there’s still some open spots! These trips will fill quickly so book NOW. Last year red snapper trips were filled up early and we had to turn lots of last minute bookings away, so don’t miss your chance at securing your favorite trip TODAY. Here’s the link for all your 2019 specialty trips –

This coming Sunday May 19th is next LIVE SHOW join us if you want to learn more about fishing locally and WIN FREE FISHING TRIPS without leaving your house! Don’t forget we have the Weekly fishing conversation or seminar by Capt Dylan Hubbard LIVE on the Hubbard’s Marina Facebook & YouTube page if you don’t want to leave your house to catch a seminar! This is weekly on Sunday nights from 8:30pm until 9:30pm, check out the event page and PLEASE LIKE AND SHARE the event if you have a Facebook page, and invite your friends as well! Here’s the page to find the Facebook event link, and view all the past LIVE Q&A fishing shows –

Our 12 hour night snapper trips started up, and the next one is TONIGHT May 17th and it’s a full moon night snapper adventure with GREAT chances for plentiful mangrove snapper! If you want a chance to join us for some night time snapper fishing action for mangrove snapper, vermillion snapper, lane snapper, porgies and more! These are great trips with plenty of night fishing time 25-35 miles from Johns Pass for around 7-8 hours fishing time and only for $129 but book now because these trips do fill fast especially around the full moon. We only offer them on the quarter and full moon phases Friday nights from 7p to 7a Saturday! Here’s all the information on these special night time snapper fishing trips –


Captain Jack’s dolphin corner

We just had our very first newborn dolphin of 2019 appear in our local waters and we dubbed him Dan after a regular guest who attends our trips annually and happened to be on the boat that special day this week! More newborn dolphins should appear soon as the mother’s start to give birth in this special time of year. This makes for a great time to come join us for a cruise for a chance at spotting one of our newest resident dolphins!

The sunset cruise right now is a great time due to the GORGEOUS spring sunsets we have been having as of late, this past week we even saw the elusive ‘green flash’ at the end of the sunset! Great time of year to join us for a sunset cruise that offers FREE BEER AND WINE, learn more here ->

The dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour has been spotting lots of manatees as of late recently too. It’s a little early in the year for manatees, but the clear waters help us to spot them easily and they have been in big groups which make it easier to find them too. This past week during one cruise we spotted a group of nine manatees cruising the back bay waters. However, these guys can hold their breathe nearly 10 minutes and they only come out of the water with their snouts and sometimes their tails too so it makes is very difficult to spot them and when you do its difficult to follow them around. This makes it a very unique treat to spot them during our cruises and this time of year is a great time for them as they return to the area from their winter vacation. Here’s all the information on our dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour –

On top of all this great news and unique sights we are also spotting a few sea turtles cruising the back bays. It’s a little early for sea turtle nesting season but they are definitely starting to show back up in the area.


Tampa bay ferry News

Water clarity right now is INSANE around shell key and Egmont key! Join us for a ferry ride to paradise today to enjoy the crystal clear waters between the storms fronts, when a front blows by the waters get a little murky for a day or two then it clears up to gorgeous once again shortly after the waters calm down.

Great time to visit us for a ferry ride to Egmont key or shell key before the summer time crowds start showing up in droves to pick through the best shells before you can arrive! Come join us for a relaxing day at the island and enjoy the beaches nearly to yourself during the week this time of year.

The Egmont key ferry from Fort de soto offers 10am and 11am ferry rides to the island daily this time of year, plus on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday we offer a 2pm ferry ride from Fort De soto out to Egmont key island! You get three hours on the island after around a 20-30 minute ride out and back to the island. 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 –

Our Shell key ferry trips are a great way to spend the day and offer more flexible schedules compared to the rigid Egmont key schedule! We offer these trips DAILY from the boat ramp at Fort De Soto County Park and they run at 10am, noon and 2pm and the final return time is 4pm! You have much more flexibility during the shell key trips compared to our Egmont key ferry because you get to choose the time you return to fort de Soto from Shell key! If you’re looking for plenty of time on the island and great shelling opportunities then the shell key ferry trip is your best bet! Check out all the information on this special ferry ride at this link –


Regular’s club

We have finished 2019 regular’s club renewals and we are starting on signing up NEW MEMBERS, if you are interested in becoming a 2019 regular’s club loyalty program member please reach out to Capt. Dylan Hubbard by sending him your name and cell number via email to He will be in touch in the coming few weeks about the loyalty program that offers discounted trips if you fish more than 10,15 or 20 times a year with us at Hubbard’s Marina. It also comes with some free gifts and other benefits too besides discounted trips, but it’s NOT simply a discount program. It’s a loyalty program and it requires fishing often and being a model Hubbard’s Marina guest and showing the passion shared by all of us at Hubbard’s Marina for fishing and our fellow anglers.

PAST AND PRESENT MEMBERS: be sure to renew your membership before 2018 ends!

Captain Dylan Hubbard
Vice president and Co-Owner
(727)393-1947 ext. 306

Coupon information

Hubbard’s Marina sweatshirts only $20 while supplies last!
We have a variety of sizes and colors and styles, get em’ while they last!

Expiration – when they are gone!


Preferred partner spotlight

Try one of our new menu items at the Friendly Fisherman!

Fried Oyster appetizer $11.79
Fresh Oyster fried crisp and served with a spicy Cocktail sauce.

In Shore Platter $18.49
Flounder fillet, hand breaded clam strips and crispy bay shrimp.
Served with fresh made cole slaw, corn fritter and fries. (fried only)

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We have been FISHING and CRUISING local waters since 1928, and 4 generations later we are still Family Owned and Operated. Don’t be fooled by the imitation, come out with the Best!

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