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Hubbard’s Marina Fishing report 12-20-19

Inshore-

Snook have been a little tricky lately around the passes and the outer bay areas, but a few lucky anglers have found them. Mostly during the day and especially later afternoon once the warmer waters start to flush. The backside of the full moon over the weekend proved a good opportunity for catching some snook. However, the back bay waters have had much better snook action around the mouth of the rivers, bayous and around the mangrove shore lines where warmer waters can be found. The residential docks and black bay muddy areas that hold radiant heat work well to keep the snook more active especially as the waters continue to cool. More and more the snook push further and further back into the bay as the temperatures keep lowering cold front after cold front. Keep in mind colder waters mean slower fish too, dead baits soaking on the bottom, slower moving soft plastics or live baits that are cold too work well this time of year!

Redfish bite seems to be going very well in the back bay waters around the residential docks even at night too around the residential dock lights. Great time to find some nice redfish up in the bay using live pinfish, cut ladyfish, or greenbacks for bait. Soft plastics, gold spoons and swim baits are great artificial options for these nice redfish too. These guys are waiting for the perfect time to pounce, and become more and more opportunistic as the waters cool down. Afternoon to early in the night is the best time to target the redfish on the mangrove shore lines, oyster bars, or residential dock lines.

Trout bite has been nuts lately, they love this cooler weather. They seem to bite better and better as the water cools and the average size gets larger and larger too! Great time to target the trout around the flats, residential dock lights or bridge & pier lights through the night time too. Only problem is that snook, redfish and trout are all catch and release only until end of May 2020.

Sheepshead Are open for harvest if you are looking for something to take home and fry up, and like the trout they thrive in this cooler weather time of year. They hold up around the docks, bridges, jetties, piers and any structure around the area really. Great time to target the sheepshead using cut oysters, clams, shrimp, barnacles, or fiddle crabs. Lighter tackle works well around 20lb test, light weight and you want to fish right on or very close to the structure.

Near Shore –

Gag grouper are biting very well near shore when the weather allows us to get out there to them. You have to stick and move until you find a few concentrated on a ledge or rock pile, but once you find them there’s typically a few and they are ready to eat this time of year with the cooler waters. Great time to target some gag grouper before their season closes at the end of this year until June 2020. Live pinfish, grunts or squirrel fish are all great options for the gag grouper or big dead baits on the bottom with heavier 60-80lb test and 6-7ot hooks.

Hogfish bite is going very well lately near shore from around 40-70ft of water we are seeing an incredible hogfish bite on live shrimp and the ball jigz, knocker rigs, or the jig heads. Great time to get out there near shore and target these unique looking and great eating fish! These guys bite well through January all the way into spring so you still got plenty of time to take advantage of the hot bite on hogfish while the waters are cooler around our near shore waters.

Red grouper bite is going pretty good around our near shore waters too, we are seeing some nice red grouper caught while we are targeting hogfish closer to 60-80ft of water and some big boys are being pulled up too.

Cobia are around out there in the near shore waters right now as well, don’t forget a pitch rod or a flat line out because you might get lucky with a nice eating cobia while bottom fishing for grouper, snapper and hogfish!

Lane snapper are biting well right now, but unfortunately they are closed due to an ACL closure from NMFS until after the first of the coming year!

Mangrove snapper are biting well too, we are seeing a few nice mangrove snapper mixed in with the hogfish we are targeting and catching good numbers of!

Offshore-

Big gags, black and red grouper are abounding offshore right now on our 39 hour trips and the 12 hour extreme trips. The issue lately has been all the rough weather with all these cold fronts. We are seeing a small weather window on the backside of Christmas and were hoping that will last until end of the year so we get plenty of nice weather for the last little rally for all the keeper gags we can pull up before their season ends. We did add a special 39 hour trip into our schedule for Sunday December 29th to give everyone a shot to go tackle some last minute gag grouper. We do have some 12 hour extremes in the system too behind Christmas but since many are full and we may have to cancel some upcoming trips before Christmas we are considering adding some extreme trips before the end of the year to accommodate the high demand for going deep to tackle some gags before they close down for six months. Big frisky live pinfish and grass grunts have been the hot baits for gags on the bigger tackle like the 6-9ot reels with 40+lbs of drag or more!

Lots of nice mangrove snapper caught lately too, great opportunity to get you some nice big mangrove snapper while targeting the bigger gag grouper offshore right now in the waters past around 120ft of water. These guys have been 4-7lbs on average and some pushing 8-9lbs too! The bigger mangroves love larger cut threadfin plugs or the smaller live pinfish out deep on the double snell rigs.

Some tuna, wahoo and kings around for the pelagic action as well. This past 39 hour trip brought home around a 40lb wahoo caught on the flat line kingfish rig and super light tackle after loosing two big ones while trolling. Great opportunity to get out there for some tuna, chance at wahoo and some kingfish action too while trolling, flat line fishing or sight casting if they cruise up your chum slick while bottom fishing for grouper and mangrove snapper.

Want to watch Capt Dylan Hubbard’s Daily video reports? Check out the Hubbard’s Marina YouTube channel and don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE! – Hubbard’s Marina daily fishing & boating report

Upcoming up at Hubbard’s Marina

2020 Specialty trip is open NOW and spots are filling FAST! Make sure to give us a call or book online for 2020 12, 39 or 44 hour trips sooner than later for 2020 as those trips will fill quickly! Especially our 2020 red snapper season trips they will fill quickly so book your trips early and book often. However, keep in mind the cancelation policies which are located in your confirmation emails. The 2020 fishing year will have strictly enforced policies due to issues we have seen as of late with last minute or nearly last minute cancelations.

WIN FREE FISHING TRIPS at our next Bass Pro Shops seminar event coming up TOMORROW Saturday December 21st at 2pm! Hope you can join us for another great fishing conversation and event at the Tampa Bass Pro Shops located on Palm River road in Tampa/Brandon area. Here’s more information on the event, please check it out and click ‘going’ or ‘interested’ to help us spread the word: https://business.facebook.com/events/2553481141433967/

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. PLUS, we have completely re designed our website too, make sure to check out the new site and let us know how we did. Any issues, comments, feedback or anything in relation to the website redesign please email me at [email protected] and remember if you have visited our site often you may have to clear your cache before getting the full new site to show up. You can do this easily via computer by hitting CTRL and then F5 while holding the control key, once the cache clears the site will refresh with all the new updates!

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 that Sunday Dec 29th we will NOT have our live stream show but we will have our show the Sunday before and after Dec 29th**

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

Captain Jack’s dolphin corner

White pelicans showing back up to our area for their winter time retreat, great time to go cruising our local back bay waters to spot these beautiful and unique birds while they are in town for a short time!

Also, the mullet are heading out of the back bay waters to spawn near shore with these cold fronts so due to this we have huge schools of fish moving together which causes large pods of dolphins to aggregate and actively feed heavily on these moving schools. This creates a great show for our dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour guests and our sunset cruise guests alike when we are able to come across these actively feeding and aggressive pods!

Due to the winter time weather up north many of the bald Eagles head south for the winter to stay warm. We have a huge number of bald eagles hanging around area now and the last few days we have had a few relaxing on the sand bars at low tide to sun themselves and rest up for more fishing fun as the water starts to flood back into the bays with the incoming tides.

Our local bird nesting island called Dog Leg Key is getting very active this time of year as the temperatures cool our local seabirds are starting to show winter plumage. This shows they are getting ready to nest at the island to have the next generation of local seabirds coming soon! You can view all the nest and most of the birds during our daily dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour aboard our big blue boat at Hubbard’s Marina inside Johns Pass, Madeira beach.

Due to this, and the earlier sunset time it’s a great time for bird watching on our sunset cruise this time of year since we are able to cruise by Dog Leg Key just as the sun is getting ready to set which is when most of our local seabirds return home to the island for the night!

Also, due to the awesome temps its nice and cool and not so hot on the water. However, for us Floridians it maybe a little chilly so make sure to have a light jacket if you are a local with friends attending our on the water adventures!

Call us today to book your dolphin tour at (727)393-1947 and get more information on this trip at our website here -> https://hubbardsmarina.com/dolphin-watching-cruises/

Tampa bay ferry News

Right now with the barrage of the cold fronts makes shelling out of this world out at Egmont key with us aboard our Egmont key ferry boat ride from Fort De Soto’s county park. We have 11am tours leaving Wednesday-Sunday this time of year that offer 2 hours out on the island after a 30 minute ride out and 30 minute ride back. 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/  

While out on the island, you can go shelling around the permiter or trek through the interior of the island to the western side where the shelling is even better! Plus, you have a great shot at sharks teeth and more. Plus, this time of year is awesome for exploring the island’s interior a bit more on your way to the gulf side of the island. There’s cooler temps and hardly any bugs after the cooler weather sets in on the island.

The shark’s teeth have been the highlight lately out at the islands with some very large teeth found out at Egmont key and a few at shell key recently. Behind the cold fronts the islands get fresh rounds of great shells and a few of these sharks’ teeth too!

We are seeing lots of active seabirds around the islands with the cooler temps some of our norther friends like bald eagles come down to join us on our beautiful beaches as well!

Plus, the dolphins have been very active as of late adding a special bonus to our ferry guests as they ride from Fort De Soto out to Egmont key or Shell Key islands! 

Regular’s club

We have finished our regular’s club renewals for 2020. We have officially called and emailed all the guests who were active members this year to see if they are ready to renew. If you are an active member and have not renewed, there is no big rush but it helps a lot to get resigned up for next year sooner than later.

If you are not an active 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, 2019!

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

[email protected]

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