Right now, inshore we have seen again more and more snook piling into the passes and some onto the beaches as they move into their summertime patterns. However, there is still plenty of snook around the flats, mangrove shorelines, islands and dock lines of the bay. We are seeing the fish around the passes most active at night around bridge or dock lights but plenty of these fish are moving around feeding during the day when the water is moving. Lately the incoming tide at night has been producing really well around the passes. During the day look for these guys stacked up in areas they can make easy meals or foraging for food at high tide around the mangroves or docks. Live shrimp, pinfish or greenbacks are all great options for them live bait wise. For artificials many are utilizing that popular soft plastic paddle tail or the swim baits. However, at night around the passes the bucktails like the flairhawks are super prominent among anglers.
Redfish are also very active right now as well along with the snook. We are seeing them in the bay mostly around the mangroves and oyster bars and some on the flats. However, dock lines are still holding them too. In the passes we have seen very active redfish especially when that water is moving they are devouring live shrimp or cut bait on the bottom. Some larger redfish even being caught on live pinfish. Look for action stirring up the bottom and you will see plenty of redfish eating well. Often, when our boats pull in and out and kick up the plentiful sand the anglers on the docks will all hook up with these redfish. Plus, we see the same thing in the flats around those big schools of mullet. The mullet will kick up the mud and disturb the flats as the big schools actively forage which causes the redfish action to really pick up and they will often follow these schools of mullet for this reason.
We have seen the mangrove snapper get more and more active, prolific and concentrated around the area over the past few weeks as waters warm. In the pass right now were in the upper 70’s this week around 78 degrees. This warming trend has the mangroves excited as the larger fish are leaving the estuaries to gorge themselves for their move into the near shore waters. Mangroves start their larval stage offshore and move inshore with the tides and from less than inch to around 8-12 inches they hangout inshore and then once larger venture to deeper waters nearshore and then offshore to spawn eventually. This is the process we see in the spring many of the more mature larger mangroves exiting the estuaries to migrate offshore and along the way virtually any seawall, rock pile, dock or bridge will hold large concentrations of these aggressive and good eating fish.
Pompano action along our beaches still going well too. They are little fewer and further between especially with the wind making them harder to target. However, those wind protected shorelines around those sandy passes and around the bridges over sandy bottom have been producing this past week. Live shrimp or fresh dead shrimp is a great approach but most will utilize the pompano jigs to target these fish like the crazy jigs, eurpro jigs, or the custom ones we have in our shop. Even the Nekid ball jigz are great options for the pompano and really what they started out being designed for too!
Trout action has been steady if you can find a little wind protected area to target. We have seen plenty of trout around the dock lights and bridge lights at night around the moving waters where bait congregates. We have seem them hanging around the potholes, cuts and edges of the flats. Plus, during the day dock lines will hold them too. Live bait wise shrimp or greenbacks are a great option. For artificials, I like the DOA shrimp but the soft plastics are great options of any variety really.
Flounder action has slowed a bit inshore as many are moving near shore to spawn. However, we are still seeing them around the bridges, docks, and edges of the flats. They love sandy bottom areas adjacent to structures or flats that will hold bait. Some have been caught along the beaches by those targeting the snook.
Black drum still around the docks, bridges and moving up the beaches. Great time to get out there and soak some crustaceans on the bottom for a chance at one of these fun to fight fish. Plus, the smaller drum are great eating.
Triple tail are around the dock lines, bridges and floating debris too. We have seen many around the markers and bridges of Tampa bay. Plus, whenever cruising between areas if you spot anything floating there’s a great shot you may spot a triple tail underneath it. Plus, some dock lights near the passes will hold triple tail at night.
Near Shore & Offshore-
This past week has been a rough one to say the least with the steady east winds from this stagnant high pressure making it really tough to even get near shore let alone offshore. We have ran some very close to shore trips in 40ft of water or less but haven’t really made it offshore or near shore of any depth recently. However, we don’t expect much to change in the coming weeks just more of the same excitement with the pelagic action heating up. Bottom action staying steady with red grouper, mangroves, lanes and vermillions. Plus, red snapper is about to open up June first for the fed for hire guys and June 4th for the private rec anglers. Gag grouper open up June first too for everyone. Amberjack and triggerfish will both be closing June 1st but we will have new species to target anyways.
The amberjack bite overall is pretty tough right now just because we don’t have a lot of those fish in the area. We have been lucky a few times on some long range trips to get a big knot of them but overall its been tricky to find the keeper sized fish. When we do we are seeing the biggest ones coming up on the largest live baits and the big tackle with conventional reels. Those fishing spinning reels on a party boat for these big jacks will often just cause tangles and a huge mess. On smaller boats with less people on board often you can chum them up to the surface where lighter tackle and spinning reels are a viable option.
We have seen the mahi mahi return to the deepest near shore waters and into the offshore waters. Now the water temps are right we are seeing not only the kingfish and a few mackerel still but also the blackfin tuna bite has been great and the mahi mahi are showing up finally too. Great time of year to have the flat line out and a pitch rod ready. You may even see a cobia or wahoo out there too. Wahoo are predominately beyond 100ft of water but the second largest we have caught recently was 88lbs and it was in waters just under 100ft. Most of the time the big ones like the 96lb wahoo we caught are in waters around 180ft plus but in the summer for big gags and red snapper we often fish around that area.
Keep in mind as well, we are seeing nice mangrove snapper action too. They are biting best beyond 70-80ft of water in the deepest near shore territory but beyond in the offshore waters the mangrove bite has been picky but if you grind on them you can put together a great catch of some nice large quality fish.
Hogfish action near shore has been tough but we saw it pick up quite a bit on our last few trips prior to this high. We are hoping once this wind finally backs down they will be chewing for us like they were into the end of last week and into the week around 40-70ft we are seeing the best action on the hogfish using light tackle and live shrimp.
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… 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 last week to be June 4th until July 28th, but remember anything announced from FWC on red snapper DOES NOT APPLY TO US**
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