Inshore– The Mangrove snapper are thick around Johns Pass this past week, especially around the rocks on the south side of the pass under the bridge and around the docks of Johns Pass too. Especially on the tail end of a clear incoming tide these large schools of mangrove snapper are ready to feed on 10-20lb floro and a Size 1 hook with a piece of shrimp for bait. We’re seeing lots of snook being caught inside the pass lately, yesterday Morning John Coger our Hubbard’s Marina dock master caught a half dozen of them using a 60lb hand line and a tail hooked pinfish for bait on the tail end of the outgoing tide just before sunrise. There’s also plenty of snook being caught at night anytime the water is moving, but the outgoing tide seems to remain the best tide to target the snook! Whiting are biting well along our beaches especially on the south end of Madeira beach on live shrimp weighted to the bottom. Sal peters from Milwaukee has been catching lots of the yummy whiting using this method this past week on his vacation to the area, the whiting bite best right in the troughs that run parallel with the beaches.
Near shore– Were seeing some nice hogfish caught lately near shore at Hubbard’s Marina especially on the HUB or Flying HUB 2 private fishing charters. However, we are seeing some nice hogfish caught aboard our 10 hour all day fishing trips too and a couple on the 5 hour half days. The hogs are a little spotty compared to earlier in the spring, however, were still getting them especially on the lighter tackle and live shrimp or fiddlers. It helps when you anchor on a ledge or rock pile and have the time and guests have the patience to fish down the other more aggressive species then that allows you to target the hogs once the other more aggressive fish slow down and stop biting. You can always cheat and chum the spot too to get the more aggressive fish to slow down their feeding. We love to use ‘super shrimps’ chum from Aquatic nutrition sport fishing chum for the hogfish chum, it’s a quick sinking shrimp pellet that really fires them up and feeds the other more aggressive fish slowing down their bite allowing us to get into the hogs more quickly. Remember, hogfish have harems so where there’s a small female there’s a big male in the mix too! We still have some good numbers of kingfish and mackerel in the near shore waters too however, the size to the kingfish is much smaller near shore vs offshore.
Offshore- The tuna bite has been stellar around sunrise or sunset offshore in the deeper waters, we have been catching them trolling the Rapala xrap magnum 30’s or 40’s especially the blue sardine or red head white body color patterns. Plus, were getting them vertical jigging and flat line fishing out there on our long range trips. The recent 39 hour had a ton of tuna action at sunrise and trolling action for tuna at sunset on the way offshore. Red grouper bite is much better offshore than anywhere else, anything past 130ft with hard bottom and a bait show is going to hold some red grouper but they are difficult this year forcing you to keep sticking and moving on the bait shows and hard bottom relief. The vermillion snapper are biting well and out deeper past 140-150 foot the vermillion bite is going very well and they are extra large! Plus, were seeing a handful of nice mangroves and very active yellowtail snapper bite out deeper than 110foot of water or more. The Yellowtail are big and active and they love the small strips of squid, live shrimp, or small pieces of cut threadfin.
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Captain Jack’s dolphin corner
Spring has sprung for sure, and summer is on it’s way! This makes our local dolphin population very active and right now were finding large herds of active dolphin grouped together. Male dolphins are traveling in pairs trying to attract a mate and they are working hard to show off with aerial displays and hunting displays to attract possible mates. There’s sometimes 2-3 pairs working single females so it’s a great time to get out dolphin watching to see the aerial displays and acrobatics. For more info on our guaranteed dolphin sightings tour check out this informational link with some great Madeira beach dolphin tours info – https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/dolphin-watching-cruises/
We also have three newborn dolphins in the area all born between the middle of April and beginning of May! These young dolphin are even sporting the fetal folds look right now and they are slowly disappearing so make sure to get out on the water with us soon for a chance to spot our newest local dolphins!
We’re seeing TONS of manatees right now from our dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour boat, water taxi boats, and even our island ferry rides! This is a great sign showing the local manatee population is exploding and our local grass beds are healthy and thriving.
We still have baby birds out on dog leg key, some of them are getting bigger but we still have a handful of the smaller sea birds waiting to learn to leave the nest and hunt on their own. Get out to dog leg key aboard the big blue boat on a dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour soon to spot some baby birds before they get big and leave their nests. For more info on our guaranteed dolphin sightings tour check out this informational link with some great Madeira beach dolphin tours info – https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/dolphin-watching-cruises/
Sea turtle nesting season is almost here, that means it’s time to be very cautious walking along our beaches and shorelines of our gorgeous gulf beaches. As these sea turtles come to shore around the full moons to dig nests for the turtle eggs and the moon phases mark the great exodus of baby turtles to the water lines trying to dodge the predators that will be lying in wait. Great time of year to spot the adult turtles along our near shore water and beaches too!
West winds have been making the shelling opportunities better and better along the shores of Egmont key and Shell key islands! Tampa Bay Ferry operates two different options to these islands from Fort De Soto’s county park. Plus, Hubbard’s Marina offers a 3 hour shelling trip as well from Johns Pass if you can’t make it down to Fort De Soto for the Egmont key or Shell key ferry trips by Tampa Bay Ferry. For more info on our 3 hour shelling trip to shell key from Johns Pass madeira beach check out this link – https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/florida-shelling-cruise/
Hubbard’s Marina Sea Adventures, Tampa bay ferry and taxi, and the Madeira beach water taxi are all now proudly power by Honda Marine! If you come visit us for a dolphin tour, sunset cruise, Egmont key island trip, snorkeling, shelling, water taxi ride or any type of ferry or pleasure cruise trip then you will be riding a boat powered by Honda Marine! These new motors look great, are super quiet and are great on fuel economy! It was tough to get four boats re-powered with new engines but it was well worth the change and were very happy! Hope you get a chance to see these brand new super cool engines at work on board one of our pleasure cruise and ferry boats! To learn more about Honda Marine engines for your boat, check out their website: https://marine.honda.com/ they have the best warranty in the industry right now, you get a full 5 years and you just can’t beat that!
Tampa bay ferry News
The Madeira beach water taxi by Tampa bay ferry & Hubbard’s marina is currently running 7 days a week and we have tons of pick up and drop off locations around Madeira beach, Treasure Island and western St Pete. If you want a way to avoid the beach traffic and parking fees park FREE at abc marina and catch the ferry or Jungle Prada and hop on the ferry there. Check out this like for our Madeira beach water taxi schedule by Tampa bay ferry – http://tampabayferry.com/madeira-beach-water-taxi/route-and-schedule/
Don’t forget to check out the BRAND NEW shell key ferry from Fort De Soto County Park out to the beautiful shell key preserve! This is a great way to see the island, go shelling and enjoy a day on the water with a flexible schedule. For more info on this new ferry route check out this link to the Tampa bay ferry shell key page – http://tampabayferry.com/shell-key-ferry/route-and-schedule/
The Egmont key ferry is running daily as well with multiple rides out to the island from Fort De Soto’s bay pier. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday there’s an afternoon ferry option too instead of just mid-morning. Check out the website for ferry prices and times. Plus, while on the island they offer a snorkeling trip too!
Upcoming up at Hubbard’s Marina
We have started new LIVE Q&A videos on our Hubbard’s Marina facebook occasionally Sunday-Wednesdays around 7-9pm Capt Dylan Hubbard is doing LIVE Q&A videos on the Hubbard’s Marina page giving our fans and fishing friends opportunities to ask their fishing questions, dolphin questions or anything they want LIVE with Capt Dylan Hubbard! Stay tuned to the Hubbard’s Marina page for more info and videos.
Gag grouper opening up June first along with red snapper, book your trips now as spots are filling fast! Plus, we have tons of private charter availability opening up on the brand new rebuilt Flying HUB 1 we just completely rebuilt the boat, motors and deck and it’s ready to roar for red snapper and gag season! Book your customized private fishing charter with us at Hubbard’s Marina TODAY!
Amberjack season is open and we have tons of 12 hour extreme trips and 39 hour long range overnight trips to go get them! If you want a chance for monster amberjack join us at Hubbard’s Marina before the season ends! Remember Amberjack will be open May, August, September and October.
Red snapper season has been finalized if you haven’t already seen the announcement on our Facebook page, there’s a private recreational season and for hire recreational season. When fishing at Hubbard’s Marina you will want to pay attention to the 51 day for hire recreational season starting June first and running through July 22nd at 12:01am making July 21st the last day to land your red snapper with us at Hubbard’s Marina if you are confused or questioning the red snapper season at all check out this video Capt Dylan Hubbard made to explain the ins and outs of the season – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAb9Yj3tr_A
We have TWO seminar events coming up with chances to win FREE fishing trips at each one, hope to see you at both!
- May 26th at 2pm we have another special Bass Pro shops seminar, we will be giving away free fishing tips and tricks plus some trips too – https://www.facebook.com/events/620375458307350/
- May 29th we have a 7pm fishing conversation with Capt Mike Anderson from the Reel Animals fishing time at Maus Nissan in New Port Ritchey come join us for awesome prizes, raffles and FREE FISHING trips – https://www.facebook.com/events/620375458307350/
If you want to do a customized private fishing charter with the ORIGINAL and longest running private charter fishing fleet in Florida, Hubbard’s Marina is the place to be! We do all types of unique private charter fishing options, plus were the only ones in the area that can accommodate larger groups of 7 or more on our private charter fishing trips out of Johns Pass Madeira beach. We have four custom built private charter fishing vessels at Hubbard’s Marina that can be privately chartered for you and your group’s fishing adventure.
If you haven’t signed up for the 2018 regular’s club yet, call today as signups will be closing soon for the remainder of the 2018 year. Also, if you were a member and haven’t renewed you don’t have much time before you lose seniority and have to pay the first time signup fee when you decide to finally renew.
Captains Mark and Dylan Hubbard
Vice president and Regular’s club manager Hubbard’s Marina
(727)393-1947 ext 306