Snook continue to dominate inshore. The night bite and early morning action seems best when the water isn’t so hot for those fish. Around the passes at night the snook are thick on structures where water is pushing bait past ambush points. Especially where the lights of bridges or dock are holding more baits. Pass crabs work really well to get these snook feeding with lighter tackle you can free line these guys up on the surface for great action inside the passes. However, soft plastics and flairhawk style artificials working too to get the snook eating. Live pinfish work very well too, most of our day time action around the passes have been on the live pinfish or pigfish. The snook are all over the bay area too, up on the flats, around the mangroves and back in the bays too. During the day, you can find em on the beaches too. The early morning hours seem best when those fish are not so hot they seem to feed more actively. On the beach, super light tackle and live shrimp is the best bet.
Mangrove snapper action is going well throughout the area too. We are seeing lots of mangrove snapper around the local piers, docks, bridges and jetties. Plus, inside Tampa bay the rock piles and edges of the shipping channel are holding plenty of mangrove snapper. These guys can also be found up on the mangrove shore lines working bait schools and chasing shrimp. Light tackle and small pieces of white bait or shrimp work well. You can chum them up in big clouds at slower tides and really get dialed in on these voracious feeders.
Mackerel are still pretty thick inshore, but mostly in the morning hours around our local fishing pies of the beaches like the gulf pier of fort de soto, the rod and reel pier in ana maria or big pier 60 in clearwater. These guys are chasing those early morning bait schools when the water is clear and calm. You can pick off mackerel using casting spoons or my favorite, the gotcha plugs. Local jetties of our passes will work too if your trying to catch a mackerel or two in the morning between sunrise and mid morning.
Flounder are picking up in the area, finally starting to see some good action on these guys around the edges of the flats, around the structures and potholes. Flounder love to ambush passing shrimp, mud minnows or small pinfish that wonder to close to their sandy lairs.
Trout action is going pretty good around the area, at night in the passes they are mixed in with the snook action. During the day, deeper grass flats and edges of shallower flats are the best areas to look for these hungry trout. Soft plastics, white bait or live shrimp are the best bets to target trout.
Redfish action has been tougher lately, but they are doing best in the back bays right now and cut bait out on the flats or around the oyster bars are best. The water is hot and these fish are opportunistic feeders conserving their energy. Cut threadfins are a great option for targeting redfish around the flats or oyster bars of the back bay waters.
Tarpon fishing has slowed quite a bit lately, but there’s still a few fish around. Most are offshore spawning at this point. However, we are seeing fish still around the bridges of tampa bay and in the passes at night. During the day still a few hanging in our passes and along the beaches.
Near Shore –
We are seeing a good bite of snapper species in the near shore waters. Many wonder what exactly qualifies as near shore, and to me that’s around 20-100ft of water from the beaches to around 20 miles from shore. Right now in the deeper near shore waters from around 60-100ft of water we are seeing hungry lane snapper, vermillion snapper, a few nice mangroves and the occasional red grouper. This is the productive depth for these guys on a variety of baits. My personal go to is always the double snelled threadfin plug to get a shot at a little of everything. The grouper will take that, but so will a smaller snapper and everything in between.
When targeting red grouper, I like a live pinfish or a squid strip about a ½-3/4 wide to around 6-10 inches long to mimic an octopus tentacle which is a red grouper’s favorite prey item near shore. They will also take threadfins with the tail trimmed. Never forget to cut the tail on your dead baits offshore, these will act as helicopter blades under the water and make your baits spin on the way to bottom causing massive tangles for you and the fish won’t want to eat that tangled mess either.
Snapper species will love that double snelled threadfin plug but if the bite is being picking lighter tackle and a live shrimp or greenback is a great option to get snapper fired up!
We are seeing mahi mahi around the near shore waters occasionally as shallow as around 40ft of water. From around that depth all the way out and beyond near shore waters you have a chance of getting a school of mahi mahi coming up on your boat while bottom fishing. This time of year its important to be rigged and ready for those passing fish. Remember how we talked about the importance of cutting off your tails from your dead threadfins? One of my favorite chums to keep the mahi around the boat when they swim past is a handful of threadfin tails. They sink slowly and suspend and have enough flash and smell to keep that school around the boat for a minute or two until you can get a small shrimp or chunk of threadfin on a 2-3ot hook and light tackle in front of those fish. Remember, once you get one hooked to leave it in the water next to the boat until you can hook a second. Then you can remove the first and work on a third. This method will keep the fish near the boat while you can get your fill of mahi!
Please make sure if your heading offshore that you know how to properly descend or properly vent your fish and how and why to do these methods. I cannot stress the importance of this enough and I need your help to spread this message across our fishery in the gulf! Especially during the warm summer months our deeper water fisheries beyond 90-100ft become super susceptible to this barotrauma issue and the longer those fish take to get to the surface and the longer they are at or above the surface will only exponentially increase the likelihood of severe and possibly fatal barotrauma effects. Its beyond important to ensure the survival of our discarded fish and to preserve our recreational access further that you get your fish up quickly, get them dehooked easily and efficiently, then back down either with a venting tool or descending device in a very timely manner. For more information, links and tools to do this check out this link, or text me anytime at (727)393-1947 -> https://www.saltstrong.com/articles/how-to-vent-descend-red-snapper/
As far as fishing reports go offshore, the start of this past week was tough out there offshore the fishing was picky and the lack of wind, waves or anchor headings made it difficult to get on cooperative fish. Early morning or late afternoons seemed best with even the night time bite going pretty slow for us. Luckily, mid week things started to get better and by the end of the week things were normalizing for us. This upcoming week looks to bring us more great weather and hopefully some more great fishing. With the conditions offshore you definitely want to try and catch that morning bite or sundown bite as much as you can. However, make sure to watch the weather closely as this time of year can be so variable with last minute storms that can arise out of nowhere with little to no warning. Plus, those afternoon thunderstorms that can sometimes be very severe that will blow up over land and move off the coast blocking your safe return to port.
Red snapper are biting well out there starting around 110-130ft of water. However, they are picky and few and far between until you can get out to around 140-160. We spend most of our red snapper fishing time from around 160-250ft of water. These guys love a huge variety of baits and methods from live bait to dead bait and even those vertical jigs or the soft plastic grub tails on the 1-3oz jig heads.
Gag grouper are biting best out deep too from around 120-160ft you can start to find a few but the deeper you go the easier it is to find good numbers of these aggressive big grouper. They like that deeper water in the warm summer months and will slowly inch their way into shallow waters as the fall and winter approaches.
We are seeing the red grouper biting decently from around 110-200ft of water mixed in on those red snapper bait shows on the flat hard bottom and potholes of the deep water. Plus, some scamp grouper as you get closer or beyond 180-200ft of water.
Mangrove snapper fishing has been a little hit and miss but towards the end of this week we dialed in on some really big mangrove snapper in the 6-9lb range closer to around 160-200ft of water. However, you can find plenty of mangroves starting around 100-140ft of water on those ledges and rock piles.
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
NEW 12 hour extreme trips added + 11 NEW spots OPENED ON 39HR 7 DAYS FROM NOW! We had a huge group cancel off this coming Friday’s 39 hour trip on June 26th! Lots of room this upcoming week for a chance to go DEEP for big red snapper and great chance for some big groupers too!
We are in PHASE TWO, that means we have UPDATED policies and procedures and NEW CAPACITIES! Unfortunately, due to the virus, we do have some NEW policies and procedures that we need your help with if you plan to visit us during the month of June. Check out the new policies and procedures listed on our new website page under the ‘info’ tab. Here’s the link: https://hubbardsmarina.com/covid-19-operating-policies-and-procedures/
Red snapper season is HERE starting June first until end of day August 1st! We are excited about our red snapper season and now we are finally able to open back up capacity on our 12 hour extreme, 39 hour and 44 hour trips that are able to target these red snapper with the latest announcement from our Governor about the start of phase two! We now have lots of added spots on these trips, but BOOK NOW as they are already filling quickly!
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://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
“Sea Adventure on the Ferry and Dolphin Tour Boats.”
If you didn’t already know, Egmont Key is a state park, national wildlife refuge, and gorgeous island located at the mouth of Tampa Bay. This island is an absolute gem — boasting the signature white sand beaches of St. Pete, but with an air of adventure. It’s not just beaches and palm trees here! At Egmont, you get to explore ancient ruins from above and below the water, meet gopher tortoises, and see the famous lighthouse that was built in the 1800’s. Because the island is only accessible by boat, making it more remote, the treasures you’ll find on the beaches are more unique.
And during the summertime we have big storms, tides and other phenomena to make these beaches a gold mine — shells, sharks teeth, and treasures galore!
The Egmont key ferry departs from Fort De Soto’s county park at the bay pier. We have 10am and 11am tours leaving daily this time of year, Plus, we have 2pm Egmont key trips on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday too! These trips offer 3 hours out on the island after a 30-minute ride out and 30 minute ride back so you get a four hour trip total! 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://hubbardsmarina.com/egmont-key-ferry-cruise/
Come out to visit Egmont and Shell Key, it’s never too hot to visit the islands!
As we enter summertime in Florida, we somehow always forget how HOT it gets. A day out at Egmont or Shell Key is actually quite the respite for the summer heat – cruising in our open air boats, taking in the daily phenomenon of the “sea breeze”, and swimming in the Gulf of Mexico all feel delightful compared to being in the concrete jungle back on the mainland.
The Shell key ferry departs DAILY from Fort De Soto’s county park at the boat ramp at 10am, noon and 2pm with the return to the dock at 4pm. You can go out at 10am and return at 12:20pm or you can return at 2:20pm or as late as 4pm etc. This is a very customizable day at the island. This is much different from Egmont key ferry that does not have flexible return times like we do at shell key! For more information on the shell key ferry, visit this page of the Hubbard’s Marina website – https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/shell-key-ferry/
If you don’t already know, we officially entered sea turtle nesting season on May 15! Friends of Tampa Bay have already reported 15 nests so far as of June 4th!
You’ll start to see more and more nests on the beaches of Egmont and Shell Key, and we want to point out a few friendly reminders about protecting our sea turtle friends here in Tampa Bay:
• Do not disturb any sea turtle nests
• If you see an old, unused beach umbrella hole please fill the hole up with sand! This hole can become an impediment to the baby sea turtles making it across the sand to the Gulf!
• If you see a sea turtle nest that hasn’t yet been reported and protected, please report it to FWC at 888-404-FWCC (3922).
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