Inshore- Snook are everywhere right now from the flats to the passes and out on the beaches. It is a great time to find the snook feeding actively throughout the entire area. However, at night around the passes still seems best from around midnight to first light they are super active when the tide is pushing bait out of the passes they will stack up on the down tide side of dock pilings and bridge pilings to ambush passing baits or lures. Also, dock light fishing the residential canals is producing lots of snook throughout the entire nighttime period. During the day, the beaches or the back bay flats and mangrove shorelines are the best places to look for active and aggressive snook.
Redfish biting well, especially on higher tides in the back bays around the mangroves, oyster bars and flats. We are finding them around the passes and structures on the incoming tides. Big schools of red fish are all over Tampa bay especially easy to find on the flats, around the oyster bars or mangrove shorelines. Most of the schools are made up slot size or below fish but there’s a few big bulls mixed in the groups. Cut thread fins are a premium bait on the bottom around these redfish on the flats, oyster bars or mangrove shorelines but they will take a small to medium pinfish or white bait too. The soft plastic lures are a great option too for sight fishing these big groups of reds.
Trout are very active around the deeper holes adjacent to the flats, passes, or dock lines. During the day, you can find plenty on the edges of the channels and grass flats. They are biting well at night in and around the passes on the bridge and dock lights too. We find them best using live green backs or live shrimp or with the soft plastic artificials or the artificial shrimp.
Mangrove snapper have really become active throughout the area again as the warmer waters have moved in. They really get active starting mid spring and last throughout the summer around the structures of the bay including docks, jetties, bridges and rock piles. These fish are swarming around docks and bridges near passes in deeper waters where bait is present. The trick with these guys is targeting them right at the start or end of the incoming or outgoing tide with a small piece of cut shrimp or greenbacks.
Flounder are biting on the edges of the sand holes on the flats and a few are biting
around the structures around local passes. Its been a little tougher this week with flounder, but they are less aggressive than the snapper, trout, snook and redfish that hang up higher in the water column above the flounder.
Mackerel are biting well around the mouth of the bay from the gandy bridge to the Egmont key channel and everywhere in between. Also, were seeing them along the beaches and at the mouths of the local passes too. These guys are hitting flashy fast moving artificials like gotcha plugs or casting spoons retrieved quickly through the top of the water column.
Pompano are really cooperating well this past week around the jetties, passes and bridges near the mouth of Tampa bay. These guys love sandy bottom chasing crustaceans like shrimp or sand fleas. The pompano jigs like doc’s goofy jigs, nekid ball jigs, or the small bucktails in yellow seem to be the best option for the pompano.
Cobia are around the back bay waters closer to the passes cruising the flats, bridges, piers and passes often behind schools of fish, pods of dolphins, or fevers of rays. We have seen some fairly large cobia caught inshore this past week with one over 42 inches around fort de Soto from a bridge!
Tarpon are thick from Boca Grande to clearwater pass right now. The passes see these fish rolling out in early mornings on that first outgoing tide and they move up and down the beaches during the day before returning into the back bays before sundown on the last incoming. Passes, bridges, beaches and choke points between the bay and gulf is the best places to find these guys ready to eat large threadfins, small ladyfish, pass crabs, blue crabs and other 4-12 inch baits.
Triple tail are still very active around the swim buoys, markers and floating debris around the bay and along our beautiful beaches. They love live shrimp on light tackle, and they can be super spooky, so stealthy approaches are best.
Near Shore – This past week has brought us some great near shore fishing. However, anchor fishing has been a little more difficult compared to drift fishing large areas of hard rock bottom. We have also noticed more of an afternoon bite as of late too.
Red grouper action is best around 80-100ft of water, but we are finding them as shallow as around 60-70ft of water. They love those long strips of squid, octopus, and live pinfish for bait. Around 60lb test and a 6-7ot hook is best near shore fishing for these red grouper.
Snapper species like mangroves, lane snapper and vermillion snapper are all biting well from around 70-100ft of water. Cut threadfin plugs on double snell rigs with a 30-40lb leader and 4-5ot hooks work well paired with a high gear ratio reel.
Hogfish bite has slowed a bit out there near shore, but there’s still some nice ones coming up occasionally on our 5 and 10 hour all days on live shrimp and light tackle. They bite best around 30-70ft of water with around 20-30lb floro and a 3-4ot hook and minimal weight.
Pelagic species are active right now near shore with plenty of mackerel ready to eat from the beach out to around 80ft of water. Kingfish are active from around 30ft up to the deepest near shore waters of around 100ft of water. Cobia are around from the beach up to 100ft. We are even seeing the occasional sailfish from around 30ft up to the deepest near shore waters.
Offshore- This past weekend we had a great 39 hour and were pleased to announce that the Flying HUB 2 is official and ready to rock and roll this weekend! The offshore fishing has been great around 110-180ft of water right now. Amberjack are still open until the end of May and we have red snapper and gag grouper opening up June first as amberjack close for two months. Red snapper bite well in their 62 day season from June first until end of Day August first. Keep in mind, this is the season for federally permitted for hire charter and for hire party boats in the Gulf of Mexico. The private recreational anglers on private boats where no money exchanges hands have a 32 day season from the FWC starting June 11th until July 12th. Gag grouper on the other hand, they don’t bite so well in the summertime they bite best in the later fall and winter. They are open June first until end of December and the best time to get them is from November until end of December depending on the weather. Once the cold fronts get hardened down and the water starts to cool off that’s when the gag grouper fishing really heats up.
Right now, we are seeing some great red grouper action from around 110-150ft of water on the smaller ledges, hard flat rock bottom and swiss cheese. Like near shore red grouper squid strips, octopus, bonita strips and live pinfish are all great options and that 60lb test and 7ot hook is your best friend while red grouper fishing.
Mangrove snapper action going really well offshore from around 100-180ft, but we are seeing more active smaller mangroves becoming more and more common. When its cooler we don’t have as many mangroves, but the average size is bigger. As the summer approaches we see more mangrove snapper action, but the average size falls off since the smaller more aggressive less leader shy mangroves become more and more common and prolific offshore.
We are seeing some nice yellow tail snapper out deeper 150ft plus on the big ledges, peaks and potholes. They bite best at night, but you can still pick a few if your lucky during the daytime period too. You can catch them on the threadfin plugs and double snell rigs while mangrove snapper fishing on lighter tackle, but they really love small 2-3inch squid strips.
Pelagic action is going well offshore too. Kingfish are most common out there for sure but were still seeing some blackfin tuna once you get past 100ft. There’s some cobia cruising around and the rare but possible sailfish too!
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 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
WE ARE OPEN AND RUNNING TRIPS!!! We were able to start up again Monday May 4th at Hubbard’s Marina and we could not be more excited. We are so super pumped to get back out on the water. HOWEVER, we do have some NEW policies and procedures that we need your help with if you plan to visit us during the month of May. Check out the new policies and procedures listed on our new website page under the ‘info’ tab. Here’s the link: https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/covid-19-operating-policies-and-procedures/
If you do join us in May, we strongly encourage you to wear a mask and you MUST respect the social distancing rule of a minimum of 6ft between your group and the next. This means fishing trips, dolphin tours, island trips and others will be a little unique upon finding a spot to sit or fish. However, we are confident we can all work together to keep our Hubbard’s Marina family and friends healthy and safe as possible during these uncertain times.
AMBERJACK SEASON OPENED UP THIS MONTH! The entire month of may is Amberjack season this year and it’s a great time to join us for a 12 hour extreme, 39 hour or 44 hour full moon trip or a 10 or 12 hour Flying HUB 2 private fishing charter to get a shot at landing one of these big amberjack.
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 summertime.
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
Captain Jack’s dolphin corner
We have many visiting seabirds this time of year, our local birds are dawning their mating plumage and the dolphins are playful! Great time to join us at Hubbard’s Marina for a fun filled and relaxing hour and a half dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour through our back protected bay waters!
We have spotted some roseatte spoonbills lately around our local oyster bars in the back bays. These guys are super cool to spot and so unique looking when they get nice and pink from all the shrimp they eat.
Due to the wintertime weather up north many of the bald Eagles head south for the winter to stay warm. We have a huge number of bald eagles hanging around area now and the last few days we have had a few relaxing on the sand bars at low tide to sun themselves and rest up for more fishing fun as the water starts to flood back into the bays with the incoming tides.
White pelicans showing back up to our area for their wintertime retreat, great time to go cruising our local back bay waters to spot these beautiful and unique birds while they are in town for a short time!
Also, due to the awesome temps its nice and cool and not so hot on the water. However, for us Floridians it maybe a little chilly so make sure to have a light jacket if you are a local with friends attending our on the water adventures!
Call us today to book your dolphin tour at (727)393-1947 and get more information on this trip at our website here -> https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/dolphin-watching-cruises/
Tampa bay ferry News
Right now, with the barrage of the cold fronts makes shelling out of this world out at Egmont key with us aboard our Egmont key ferry boat ride from Fort De Soto’s county park. We have 11am tours leaving Wednesday-Sunday this time of year that offer 2 hours out on the island after a 30-minute ride out and 30 minute ride back. 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 – https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/egmont-key-ferry-cruise/
While out on the island, you can go shelling around the perimeter or trek through the interior of the island to the western side where the shelling is even better! Plus, you have a great shot at sharks’ teeth and more. Plus, this time of year is awesome for exploring the island’s interior a bit more on your way to the gulf side of the island. There are cooler temps and hardly any bugs after the cooler weather sets in on the island.
The shark’s teeth have been the highlight lately out at the islands with some very large teeth found out at Egmont key and a few at shell key recently. Behind the cold fronts the islands get fresh rounds of great shells and a few of these sharks’ teeth too!
We are seeing lots of active seabirds around the islands with the cooler temps some of our norther friends like bald eagles come down to join us on our beautiful beaches as well!
Plus, the dolphins have been very active as of late adding a special bonus to our ferry guests as they ride from Fort De Soto out to Egmont key or Shell Key islands!
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