Inshore- Snook fishing is incredible around the area right now. Especially around the passes at night we are seeing huge numbers of actively feeding fish stacked up around dock lights, bridge lights or anywhere they can hide from current and ambush passing baits. During the day, the flats are continually active with hungry snook, dock lines still holding plenty, plus the beaches too! Almost anywhere you look and nearly anything you throw will give you a shot at catching some snook right now. Keep in mind, that closure still remains in place until end of May 2021, so these guys are strictly catch and release but doesn’t mean they still aren’t plenty of fun to target! Water is warm so at night, early morning and around dusk when water is moving seems best. However, during the heat of the day using slower moving artificials or free lined live bait is still working well to get those snook to eat.
Trout action continues around the local grass flats during the day. Little chumming with dead green backs or other small white bait will get these guys fired up and ready to eat. However, just working edges of the flats or potholes with artificials is a great way to catch them too. At night local bridges, docks and structure with any light sources to hold bait have had the trout around too mixed in around the snook. Typically, trout will be on the edges of the light lines waiting for smaller baits.
Mangrove snapper fishing is hot like the water temp and air temps right now! We are seeing plenty of these guys around local docks, bridges, jetties, seawalls and any structures. Around slower moving tides with super light tackle and small chunks of bait is a great way to target these mangrove snapper. We are seeing lots of them caught around the shipping channel in some impressive sizes too using whole green backs and a light jig head with around 20lb floro leaders.
Redfish action is still going well too. They are not crazy like the snook but overall biting well. Mostly around the upper bay in big schools around the flats, mangroves or oyster bars. In the intercostal and around the passes dock lines are the best places to look for the redfish. We are seeing them caught mostly on cut dead bait like cut pinfish on the bottom. However, live shrimp on the bottom work well too. On the flats and around the bay slow moving soft plastic paddle tails with 1/8th to 3/16th ounce jig heads moving just along the bottom is a great way to target these redfish as well.
Triple tail are fewer and further between but some local anglers are doing well finding them around dock lights at night adjacent to the mouth of the bay or local passes. They love free lined live shrimp on light tackle.
Tarpon typically are moved on by this time of year for the most part but surprisingly we have seen quite a few moving around the local passes and bridges of the bay this past week. Johns Pass, Blinds pass, clearwater pass, pass a grille and others are seeing these fish feeding actively around the passes at night and flairhawk jigs are helping local anglers hook into them for a great shore based fight but drifting through the passes using live ladyfish or pass crabs will work very well too!
Near Shore-We have been doing pretty well near shore lately on a few nice red grouper from around 70-100ft of water. These guys love live pinfish, squid strips or strips of bonita. We have success using 40-60lb leader and around 6ot hooks for the red grouper near shore. Potholes, flat hard bottom with lots of bait around, smaller ledges are all good areas to hunt for these near shore grouper. Water is super warm right now so the red grouper are the main grouper species will find in our near shore waters this time of year. However, we are looking forward to the water cooling down when the gags will move in shallower from their deep-water summer homes.
The snapper bite has been good lately too near shore from around 60-100ft we are seeing plentiful lane snapper, some nice vermillions and some mangrove snapper. The mangroves are a bit trickier near shore and really are mainly on the ledges, rock piles or bigger hard structures. The lanes and vermillions will be more bountiful and they spread out over any hardbottom areas even the flat hard bottom areas too. The snapper have been sometimes picky especially around mid-day. If you have a tough time getting them chewing a light tackle rig with 20-30lb floro and a live shrimp will often start to get them eating before switching back to chunks of dead bait or greenbacks.
The pelagic action is nearly nonexistent near shore right now, but we have seen some mackerel this past week around 6-12 miles. There’s a ton of bait around the bottom between 30-50ft of water and those bait shows are what is holding the mackerel around near shore.
Offshore- Amberjack season is now open, and we are finding some big boys out in the deep offshore waters. We caught one this past weekend that was just about 100lbs on a super large live bait with a HUGE reel and BIG tackle and a lot of effort. We are seeing good numbers of 60-80lb Jacks with a few pushing 80-100lbs. However, to find these fish we are having to fish beyond 150ft of water up to around 250ft of water. The deeper we go the larger fish we find. Typically, a big 9ot reel, 80-100lb mainline and 100-150lb leader with 10-14ot hooks are a good option for these monster amberjack. Plus, you need an exceptionally large and very lively fresh live bait. We love to use blue runners, mullet, huge pinfish, and other large live baits.
Mangrove snapper have been tough lately, but we were able to get them dialed in a bit better once we went out deep to target the jacks. Turns out the majority of the mangrove snappers were hiding out there past 160ft of water. The 40lb leader and double snelled 6ot hooks with a cut plug of threadfin or sardine is a great way to target these mangroves. The big boys will even eat some smaller pinfish too! High gear ratio reels will help you set the hook on these quick biting fish too. We can find mangrove snapper 120-140ft of water, but we found the motherload in higher concentrations out in deeper waters.
Grouper fishing has been pretty darn good offshore too. Deeper waters are where the gag grouper hang out for the summer and luckily this year, they stayed hungry in our area all summer long. That bite hasn’t let us down yet with some really nice gag grouper coming in and some in the 30-40lb range too! Big live baits on the bottom work well for the gag grouper, but you can get them on big dead baits too. The red grouper bite has been steady from the shallower offshore waters all the way out deep. We are finding them around 110-140ft pretty well and still catching out deeper with the gags and amberjack too. The scamp grouper bite best out deep past around 160ft of water.
Pelagic action is good offshore, especially if you can find that cooler surface water temp. We are seeing tuna, the occasional kingfish and mahi plus a wahoo or two as well have been caught recently offshore. Trolling and flat lining seem to be the best two ways to target these pelagic species.
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
Red snapper season is OVER, so SUPER LIGHT LOADS have begun, and we still have plenty to catch! We still have plenty of fish in the gulf left to harvest for the remainder of the year. We are still able to get Gag grouper, Red grouper, Scamp grouper, Mangrove snapper, Lane snapper, Yellowtail snapper, porgies, vermillion snapper, Amberjack, and more! Plus, the pelagic bite is going extremely well right now too. Finally, we also are carrying super light loads. We had nearly full or completely full trips now we have 40-60% full trips with tons of room around and plenty of time with the crew to dial in your techniques!
Amberjack season is OPEN NOW, come get them while you can! These guys are tricky in the warm months of August and September but were hoping they pick up for us in October before they close again at the end of October. We did get a few nice ones on our first 39 hour of August and many more could have been caught if we were targeting them heavily. Many anglers on our first trip were more focused on the grouper and snapper than the Jacks but those who were caught some nice keeper Amberjack!
WE ADDED NEW 39 HOUR TRIPS in for the end of October on Friday October 23rd and also Tuesday October 27th and the Tuesday 10/27 trip is right before the full moon as well! Hoping you guys can book it up and join us for some great chances at gag grouper, amberjack, red grouper, mangrove snapper and MORE!
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.
Ever dreamed of spending a night on a beautiful pristine barrier island? Go camping on Shell Key! It will be a night you’ll never forget.
Find all the information you need about this adventure here:
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