Mangrove snapper fishing is going extremely well throughout the area on the structures, especially bridges, rock piles or big docks. The skyway shipping channel is a hot spot for many local anglers or the fishing piers on either side. We have seen some large mangrove snapper caught around the bay lately too. Nearly any bridges around the area are holding plentiful snapper. Especially larger, older bridges with plenty of growth, structure, and water flow. Newer bridges will not have as much growth around the pilings to hold bait and fish, not that there will not be snapper around, but the older bridges will hold more. We are seeing quite a few mangrove snapper along the south side of Johns pass especially under the south side of Johns pass where there’s plentiful rocky holes for the snapper to hide when the current is moving stronger. Small pieces of shrimp or cut white bait or even small pinfish on a jig head is a great way to target them, or even a super light knocker rig style set up with light 20lb floro and a light spinning rod combo is a great method for targeting mangroves.
Snook fishing is also super-hot around the area. Seems like they are just about anywhere and eating just about anything. At night they are loaded around the passes lately especially in the wee hours of the morning. We are also seeing them locally around the bridges and dock lights at night too. During the day most of the snook are hanging back on the flats, around the mangrove shore lines, or around the docks. We are seeing them eating live shrimp, greenbacks, pinfish, pigfish and even pass crabs. For artificials just about anything works but the favorites have been the soft plastic paddletails, mirror lures, or the flairhawks. During the day, the mirror lure or paddletails are best at night is when most will opt to the flairhawk style jigs. Dead bait on the bottom works well in the heat of the day around the dock lines and local bridges too.
Redfish action has really picked up around our area. We are seeing them biting well out on the flats around the mangroves and around local docks too. Most of the time the redfish are more active in the morning or around dusk, but the rain has brought cooler water temp briefly to the bay. Those cooler temps allowed for more active bites through the daytime period too. Redfish love live shrimp, live green backs or those soft plastic paddletail baits. They will also eat the cut threadfins or pinfish around the flats, docks, or oyster bars. We have seen some big ones caught lately around the docks that are adjacent to passes using the dead bait on the bottom.
Trout action was a little slower this past week especially during the start of the week with the stirred-up waters we saw a little dip in the trout cooperation. However, the past two days they have started to pick back up around the passes and closer to the gulf. The upper bay area did not have such a slump with the trout as those fish handle the water clarity being poor more readily that our spoiled outer bay trout. The bridge lights and dock lights are turning back on throughout the area for trout action as we approach the weekend.
Late season tarpon action has been really good around the local passes and bridges and even along the beaches. We are seeing a great amount of tarpon action despite being so late into the summer. Most of them being caught at night around the local bridges and passes but some local anglers are doing well during the day in the same areas we would get them well during the peak of tarpon season.
We have seen some killer red grouper action out in the deepest near shore waters closer to right at the border. We are seeing some good numbers of these good eating fish around the hardbottom areas eating up squid strips, threadfins, and live pinfish. The potholes, small ledges and flat hardbottom are good areas to target these red grouper. On the flat hardbottom, you want to look for ‘fishy’ areas by not only looking for hardbottom but also you want to see some fuzziness on the bottom showing those sea fans and growth and the occasional bait show. That is a great area to drift to cover a large area and show your bait to more possible red grouper. Ledges, potholes, cracks, and other specific structure typically anchor fishing is best for those type structures to get your bait to the fish and let them come to you.
The snapper action remains pretty steady near shore. We are seeing plentiful lane snapper action from around 60-100ft of water. Vermillions around 70-100ft and the mangrove snapper mixed in with both in that range. The mangroves are very smart and leader shy fish while the vermillion and lanes are more likely to bite just about anything with any tackle set up. The snapper near shore love those knocker rigs or the lighter tackle fish finder rigs with live shrimp. However, we will catch plenty of vermillion and lanes on small pieces of squid. The mangrove snapper, however, love live shrimp or cut threadfin pieces.
Gag grouper are scarce in the near shore waters right now due to the warm weather. They are mostly offshore but there is a handful around inshore that are more resident fish. Near shore they are very few and far between and very spread out too. We will see a huge influx of the gags when the cold fronts start up in October some time and numbers will only increase with each storm.
The pelagic action is essentially nonexistent near shore apart from some mackerel close to the beaches when the bait is present around the near shore artificial reefs and hard bottom areas. We will also see a big influx of mackerel and kingfish sometime in late September early October and they will get thick again near shore when that water is between around 72-78 degrees.
We are enjoying an incredible push of Amberjack behind hurricane Laura’s push through the gulf. Since that storm passed, we have seen some great amberjack action on our deep-water structures like wrecks, springs, and big peaks. Even areas we had fish just a few weeks prior that did not bring many amberjack to bite are now producing good numbers of fish. Those big low pressures, whether a hurricane or cold front do tend to group the fish up on the bigger structures and that definitely held true for the amberjack behind Laura moving past. The full moon may also have them grouped up and feeding actively too. The combination or whatever is going on is a welcomed change of pace as we take advantage of the great amberjack bite around 140-200ft of water. Deeper is better and the fish seem to be larger too! Big bait, big tackle, and lots of patience are helpful to get the amberjack to the box.
We are also excited to announce that triggerfish season has opened for a brief period. We can harvest triggerfish again starting September first until end of day October 25th. Looking forward to getting some of these great eating fish. Out deep is the best place to find true monster triggers from around 160-200ft of water. They love small strip of squid around 2-3 inches long and around ½ an inch thick.
Mangrove snapper bite slacked off on us a bit again the past two trips. However, most of that is due to poor weather making it tough to target them and catch in good numbers. This past trip had a decent catch of mangroves and those targeting them did well we had a few guests who are experienced catch around 60-70% of their two-day limit of mangrove snapper.
Plenty of red grouper action out there in the deep water, we are seeing them from around 100ft up to around 160ft of water well on the flat hard bottom areas and potholes. They love those squid strips, threadfins, and live pinfish just like the near shore red grouper. We just step up bait size and tackle size the deeper we go.
Gag grouper action is going well but has ultimately slowed down a bit overall. We are still seeing the occasional monster gag grouper out deeper past 140ft of water, but we are not seeing the big numbers like we were two weeks ago or more.
Pelagic action is going decent offshore. The trolling has been a little slow, but we are getting some on the flat lines and even while dropping to bottom. It has been mostly the blackfin tuna from time to time, but we are seeing the occasional kingfish too. Wahoo are around but we have been breaking them off the last two times we got hooked up. Will is confident they had a monster wahoo hooked this past trip, but it unfortunately got cut off before we could get it landed or in sight for photos.
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
Trigger fish OPENED for a short season starting Sept 1st until end of day Oct 25th! Come join us for a long range trip for a chance at a big keeper trigger, these guys are GREAT eating fish!!
During the week a great time to visit! If your one of those who can escape during the work week this is the time of year to visit us. We have had super light loads during the week on our 5,10 and 12 hour trips! Plus, the 39 hours are averaging only 50-60% full lately too especially during the week.
Weekends are still much less busy then they were in the summer, so either way it’s a good time of year to get out on the water!
Mangrove snapper action picking up on our long range overnight trips, Plus we are seeing some big jacks too! Amberjack are only open until end of October so don’t miss out!
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
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