Inshore- The red tide effects are staying out of our local inshore waters for now, but its definitely on the doorstep of our area. Mostly to our south and scatter to our west and south west for the most part. This is allowing some great fishing around the pass and inside the pass to continue. However, we are getting tons of rain lately and that is making the pass water very brackish looking especially on the outbound tides. We are seeing lots of the live whitebait around still and that has the mangrove snapper fired up. The sheepshead are also starting to show up in force to gear up for their winter time spawn and winter aggregations around the docks and bridges of the area. The snook are still biting well inside Johns Pass especially when the tide is moving. Were also seeing a big late season push of tarpon through the pass lately as most mornings they are spotted rolling in the tide. Plus, as a bonus were seeing lots of tripletail in the pass and around the pass and along the markers heading out of the pass. Seems as though the brackish waters have really attracted them into the pass more than ever, one local angler, Eddie Trimmings even caught one while working a nekid ball jig along the bottom for pompano this past week.
Near shore- The bait is still thick near shore lately and that’s holding the mackerel action steady. Yesterday the bait was a little further from the beach hanging right on the tide rips of the outbound brackish colored water leaving the pass on the backside of the outbound tide around 2-3 miles west of Johns Pass. Right along that color change line there were large schools of white bait getting worked by active mackerel. Were hoping to start seeing the kingfish anytime now as the water starts to cool down a little more and more. The hogfish bite is starting to improve ever so slightly as the recent rains have cooled down the nearshore waters a bit and seems to have turned on the hogfish bite a little for us near shore even more so than the consistent steady bite we see through summer. Were looking forward to the fall hogfish bite as the water cools the hogfish get more and more aggressive it seems. The deeper near shore waters were starting to see the red grouper cooperate for us more than they have through the summer but its still a fairly week near shore grouper bite. However, the gags will be moving closer to shore into the near shore waters in greater numbers as we approach the ‘winter’ time in Florida.
Offshore – We had a great 44 hour full moon trip this past weekend at Hubbard’s Marina that did very well on the amberjack and also had some great gag grouper action and mangrove snapper action through the night and red grouper pick through the day before finding an area where the jacks were thick. The gags have been biting best at night recently offshore. The jacks are biting best past 140 foot of water for the most part. Mangrove snapper biting best past 120 foot of water through the night, but these recent overcast days have had the mangrove bite going well during the day as well. The kingfish are around offshore past 120ft of water were seeing some nice scattered kingfish action mostly while bottom fishing these guys are cruising up our chum line to find some lucky angler’s baits. Tuna bite has been fairly week offshore as of late but were hoping to see them more consistently when the water cools off. The wahoo are around, but they are very deep right now past 160-170 foot of water for the most part.
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Captain Jack’s dolphin corner
Red tide isn’t thick in our area, not even mild effects being felt right now, but we do have some very lightly scattered small dead bait fish around the back bays and a few along our beaches. Again, this isn’t a super thick choking kill everything red tide. It’s only very light or mild right now with very sporadic small amounts of dead fish around tidal rips where the wind and currents accumulate the dead small bait fish that are super susceptible to even the lightest red tide presence.
However, due in part to the strong ride to our south I feel this has ‘pushed’ manatees up our way more and were spotting tons of them lately around Johns Pass and Upper Boca Ceiga bay. This has really been a unique sight to see manatees so frequently as of late. Were just hoping they don’t get caught in any more red tide but as long as they stay to its north side they will be fine.
Along the same lines as the plentiful manatees we still have tons of playful dolphins around the area, and many are willing to come along the side of the boat to show off to our guests and play along side the ‘big blue boat’.
Sea Turtle nesting season is still in full swing and were spotting lots of nests along our local beaches so were warning our island going guests to be aware of these nests and anyone walking the beaches at night should be aware of sea turtles making their way up the beaches to nest. Remember, if you do happen to spot a sea turtle never use a white light to photograph them or watch them you have to use a red light and most smart phones have an app you can download easily that will allow you to use a red light instead of a white light.
Right now, is an awesome time to experience some great times on the water at Hubbard’s Marina while cruising the back-bay waters of upper Boca Ceiga bay aboard the big blue dolphin boat out of Johns Pass Madeira beach. Our hour and a half dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour with guaranteed dolphin sightings has been spotting large pods of dolphin and it’s been super nice weather for us too. Plus, our entire cruise is narrated so the captain will tell you all about the local area and local wildlife as well. If you want to learn more about the relaxing, fun and family friendly Johns Pass dolphin watching tour with us at Hubbard’s Marina check out this page – https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/dolphin-watching-cruises/
The shelling lately has been phenomenal around shell key and our three-hour shelling trip Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am until noon is a great way to spend an hour on the island hunting for tons of great local shells. Plus, you have an hour ride down to the island through the beautiful intercoastal waterways and then you have a relaxing hour ride back from the island along our gorgeous gulf beaches. What a great way to spend the morning with your family, friends or whoever you want to show off our gorgeous local islands too and share some awesome shelling opportunities with. For more information on the fun filled three-hour shelling adventure with us at Hubbard’s Marina check out this page – https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/florida-shelling-cruise/
Baby face our local famous dolphin that was hit by a boat’s propeller has made a miraculous recovery and just recently had a baby of its own! This is great to see this dolphin doing so well after such a traumatic injury and her and her newborn are doing well and can be spotted easily aboard our dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour or the Madeira beach water taxi service!
The waters in the back bays has been gorgeous lately! The weather has been great for dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tours because the dolphins are playful, birds are roosting, and waters are super clear making dolphin watching easy and fun! Plus, lots of manatees and sea turtles are around right now too. For more info on our guaranteed dolphin sightings tour check out this informational link with some great Madeira beach dolphin tours info – https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/dolphin-watching-cruises/
Hubbard’s Marina Sea Adventures, Tampa bay ferry and taxi, and the Madeira beach water taxi are all now proudly power by Honda Marine! If you come visit us for a dolphin tour, sunset cruise, Egmont key island trip, snorkeling, shelling, water taxi ride or any type of ferry or pleasure cruise trip then you will be riding a boat powered by Honda Marine! These new motors look great, are super quiet and are great on fuel economy! It was tough to get four boats re-powered with new engines but it was well worth the change and were very happy! Hope you get a chance to see these brand new super cool engines at work on board one of our pleasure cruise and ferry boats! To learn more about Honda Marine engines for your boat, check out their website: https://marine.honda.com/ they have the best warranty in the industry right now, you get a full 5 years and you just can’t beat that!
Tampa bay ferry News
Despite the spotty dead fish areas and very mild red tide around the area, we are still able to spend the day at the island or along the islands. Plus, we are still able to snorkel most days around Egmont key thanks to that area getting plenty of fresh water pushed around with no thick areas of dead fish around the island. There’s some times see more than other days, so it’s more of a wait and see experience when it comes to our ability to snorkel or not but the island shelling is still going very well and the island is a great time right now since the crowds are gone and the island is free of people going to take the shells before you can get out there.
Unfortunately, we do have some bad news to report however. Due to the City of Madeira beach new city government voting to defund the Madeira beach water taxi we are being forced to shut down the Madeira beach water taxi operations as of September 30th. If you would like to ride the Madeira beach water taxi before the city shuts it down, there’s still plenty of time to join us! This is a great way to get to Johns Pass, sea the area, go for a pub crawl, or just hangout on a gorgeous water taxi as it takes guests, locals, and tourists alike around our beautiful local area. Check out this link for our Madeira beach water taxi schedule by Tampa bay ferry – http://tampabayferry.com/madeira-beach-water-taxi/route-and-schedule/
The shell key ferry has been spotting lots of manatees around shell key and bunces pass lately while cruising to and from the island. This island ferry ride is a great way to experience shell key and offers tons of flexibility on how long or how short you want to spend time on the island shelling, swimming and exploring this pristine island paradise! For more info on how you can join us for a ride to shell key aboard the shell key ferry by Tampa bay ferry and Hubbard’s Marina check out this page – https://www.hubbardsmarina.com/shell-key-ferry/
Don’t forget to check out the BRAND NEW shell key ferry from Fort De Soto County Park out to the beautiful shell key preserve! This is a great way to see the island, go shelling and enjoy a day on the water with a flexible schedule. For more info on this new ferry route check out this link to the Tampa bay ferry shell key page – http://tampabayferry.com/shell-key-ferry/route-and-schedule/
The Egmont key ferry is running daily as well with multiple rides out to the island from Fort De Soto’s bay pier. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday there’s an afternoon ferry option too instead of just mid-morning. Check out the website for ferry prices and times. Plus, while on the island they offer a snorkeling trip too!
Upcoming up at Hubbard’s Marina
Amberjack season is HERE! It’s a great time to book your long range fishing trip aboard our party boats or a special long range private charter trip with us at Hubbard’s Marina!
The dry dock for the Florida fisherman is starting after labor day, during the dry dock period there’s plenty of 12 hour extreme trips with tons of room if you wanted to do some long range fishing to the 39 hour area while the 39 hour won’t be offered. We will also have some 12 hour night mangrove snapper trips during the dry dock period as well to give you a shot at some mangrove snapper fishing while the 39 and 44 hour trips aren’t offered. Keep in mind the dry dock period is all about making the boat more nice and more safe for our long range overnight fishing guests.
Big news for the shop at Hubbard’s Marina our Icast orders are showing up we are getting a surplus of the two speed ld50s daiwa saltist and Saltiga reels which are the ones Capt Dylan Hubbard recommends for your mangrove snapper, grouper hunting on nearly every trip we offer. Plus, we have tons of new Fathom Offshore trolling skirts and trolling lures to use on your next 39, 44 or 63 hour fishing trips with us at Hubbard’s Marina. Finally, we have our new custom Hubbard’s Marina/Bull Bay rods coming very soon which will be custom sticks created by the master rod builders at Bull Bay rods with Capt Dylan and Capt Mark Hubbard’s suggestions and tips customized into these unique, strong, sensitive and extra light weight fishing rods. These are going to be truly special and we have a total of five different setups to cover the full gambit of offshore and near shore fishing needs.
Want to learn more about fishing locally? Don’t forget we have the Weekly fishing conversation or seminar by Capt Dylan Hubbard LIVE on the Hubbard’s Marina Facebook page if you don’t want to leave your house to catch a seminar! We also then upload this video to the Hubbard’s Marina YouTube page shortly after the live video is over. This is weekly on Sunday nights from 8:30pm until 9:30pm, check out the event page and PLEASE LIKE AND SHARE the event if you have a Facebook page, and invite your friends as well! https://www.facebook.com/events/249881722421418/
Our regular’s club loyalty program is now closed for 2018, if you would like info on joining for 2019 you can email Capt Dylan Hubbard anytime and he can send you the info and get you on the list for a 2019 membership!
Captains Mark and Dylan Hubbard
Vice president and Regular’s club manager Hubbard’s Marina
(727)393-1947 ext. 306
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