This week has been another active week of snook moving into the passes from the back bay waters. We are seeing snook really start to move out into the passes and onto the beaches right now as waters continue to warm. This weekend’s light front should not slow down their progress too much and we should see big time summertime numbers of fish start to choke the passes especially at night around the bridge lights and dock lights. They feed during the day too but definitely most active at night around the passes. There is still plenty of fish around the flats, mangrove shorelines and rocky shorelines and islands of the bay too. However, many of the larger fish are starting to stage up for their summertime spawn near shore.
We are seeing active redfish action too lately. Especially around the dock lines and local bridges adjacent to the passes during the day. We are still seeing them active through the night but the snook action picks up so much many lose sight of the plentiful redfish that are stalking along the bottom. During the day, around those grass flats, mangrove shorelines and oyster bars of the bay is where we are seeing active redfish action.
Trout are still biting well too especially at night around dock lights and bridge lights where water is moving and allowing the trout to stage up and ambush passing baits. We are really seeing a lot of these fish on the DOA shrimp and soft plastic paddle tails but plenty to be had freelining shrimp or white bait too on lighter tackle.
Sheepshead are backing down dramatically now giving way to the more aggressive and more plentiful mangrove snapper we are seeing around the bridges, rock piles and structures of the bay area. Great time to get out there on lighter tackle and capitalize on the first great amassing for these good eating fun to catch fish.
Black drum are still fairly thick around our local bridges and larger dock structures. These guys mainly look for crustaceans along the bottom and will take a shrimp, but the cut crabs along the bottom are the best options for big black drum.
Still a few flounder around the local potholes and edges of shallower grass flats. Drifting the sandy passes and bouncing a soft plastic along the bottom slowly is a great way to target them. The bite has slowed down but overall, still plenty of active flounder around the area.
Do not forget that we are coming up on a particularly important FWC meeting yet again this coming May 12th and 13th. This upcoming meeting will be discussing Goliath grouper regulations and perhaps an extremely limited season on them, shark issues and interactions with fisherman, and finally the issue on snook, redfish, and trout and perhaps re opening these species. Remember, anyone can attend these meetings and you even have a chance to speak during the meeting if you so choose by following the prompts given during the meeting. However, if you do not feel comfortable talking on the issues or you will not have time to attend the meeting. You can always write in with public comment letters ahead of the meeting too. On the agenda page you will find a link to the public comment form that allows you to write in your comments to the commission prior to the meeting. Remember, you have to do so about 4-6 days prior typically, but no date has been set yet for this deadline. You can view the agenda, reports, and make advanced written public comment on these items by visiting this link: https://myfwc.com/about/commission/commission-meetings/may-2021/
Near Shore & Offshore-
The move to targeting more Deepwater near shore waters is paying off. We are not seeing as many of the quantity of the grey snapper or white grunts, but the lane snapper, vermillion snapper and mangrove snapper are so active around this 70-100ft mark they are more than making up for the void left behind the grey snapper we typically target on our shortest closest to shore trips like the 5 hour half day.
Hogfish bite has slowed down considerably also further pushing us to try fishing deeper. However, the real push to deeper waters away from where we have been doing so well on the hogfish the past 5 months or so has been the green grass or algae, we are seeing in the area right now.
Around these areas of that green stuff, we are not able to catch as many fish and many lights and or weights are coming up with bundles of this mess wrapped around them. This is why it makes it tricky for the fish to find our baits in between spots.
However, out deeper around that 70-100ft of water stuff we are seeing some big lane snapper biting well on chunks of threadfin or live shrimp. We suggest trying to take a warm bath or shower after each day and then apply this stuff to it topically.
Further offshore, we are seeing some big mangrove snapper hanging around the potholes and ledges we are targeting for big red grouper, scamp grouper and others beyond 120-160ft of water. It is a beautiful time of year to take advantage of this diverse action we are seeing too while on one of those long range adventures. We are seeing lighter loads and smaller crowds right now on the longer trips. While in just a few short weeks when red snapper season and gag grouper season opens on June first we will see maxed out fishing trips until the season dwindles down when the kids go back to school during the day. So, capitalize on the lighter loads and extra one on one time with your favorite local charter captains and crew before the boats start to fill for the summertime.
The Amberjack have been tough to find in large quantities so far but were remaining hopeful we will be able to locate some larger keeper sized fish in greater concentrations soon. They have been tough the past few years and the only really good push of fish we have seen was following those bigger hurricanes that passed us to the west and pushed into Alabama and Panama City areas. These storms pushed a lot of fish our way. However, since they it has been much more difficult to hone into these fun to catch exceptionally large fish.
The pelagic action has been steady out past 120ft of water with seemingly the most plentiful blackfin tuna with the occasional kingfish mixed in. We even saw some blackfin tuna get caught while amberjack fishing the past few days on our 30 hour long range overnight fishing trip.
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**
MAY AMBERJACK SEASON CONFIRMED! We are now 100% certain we will have greater amberjack open for harvest for the month of May. This means on 39 hour trips, 12 hour extreme trips and the 44 hour in May we will be able to target and keep Amberjack. You could also do a long range private fishing charter for them aboard the Flying HUB 2 as well!
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