Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find answers to the most popular questions we receive regarding our trips and events.

Please take a moment to read through this entire page as you will find it to be very helpful in the planning of your excursion with us.

FISHING RULES AND REGS / WHATS IN SEASON?

We do not control fishing regulations, and they are subject to change without notice or warnings. IF we hear of changes that affect your future trip we will do our best to email you at the email you reserved with if there are regulation changes that could affect your trip.

To View Fishing Regs Click Here

WHAT IS YOUR CANCELLATION POLICY?

If we cancel your trip due to inclement weather:

  • We can reschedule you for the trip you have previously expected
  • You can use your payment in full towards and other trip, or service that we offer
  • We will refund your payment less a 5% processing fee

 

If Hubbard’s Marina warns you that the trip will be bumpy, that means we are expecting inclement weather.  We will void the cancellation policy and it will be up to our guests whether  they will like to join us or not.

Dolphin Watch and Egmont Key

24 hours or more, no charge to cancel

24 hour notification (or less): $10 fee per seat.

No shows will be charged the full amount of reservation for each seat.

5 hour trips

48 hours or more, no charge to cancel

48 hour notification (or less): we will only assess a $25 fee per seat

No shows will be charged the full amount of reservation for each seat.

8, 10 and 12 hour trips

 48 hours or more, no charge to cancel

48 hour notification (or less): we will only assess a $40 fee per seat

No shows will be charged the full amount of reservation for each seat.

39 hour Overnight and 44 hour full moon trips

1 week or more, no cancellation fee

1 week notification (or less): we will only assess a $100 fee per seat

63 HOUR DEEP DROP / PELAGIC trip cancellation policy

2 weeks or more, no cancellation fee

2 week notification (or less): we will assess a fee of $300 per seat

No shows will be charged the full amount of reservation for each seat.

Private Charters cancellation

Policy Notice of 1 week or more, no cancellation fee/ 50% deposit will be held as a future credit.

Notice of 1 Week or less 50% of total contact amount (including bait, food and beverage) is non-refundable.

Weather events will allow for reschedule with no fees for this reason only.

No shows will be charged the full amount of charter including any prepared food (boxed lunches, platters, etc.) as well as live bait orders placed.

*50% deposit is required to reserve a date for any private charter.

Full payment in advance optional on Visa or MasterCard.

HOW FAR AHEAD SHOULD I MAKE A RESERVATION?

The further ahead you can schedule, the better. On our 5 hour ½ day trips, spots are first come first served as we board, but please make a reservation as we do fill up quickly. On 10 hour all day trips or specialty trips 12 hours or longer, our fishing spots are assigned at the time you make your reservation. The further ahead you reserve, the better choice of remaining spots you will have.

How Do I Make A Reservation?

Online Reservations – You may now book reservations for all of our famous trips through our state of the art Online Reservations system on our Web Site. We’ve made it quick, easy and secure to book your trip with us 24 hours a day!

Please note that online reservations are payable at the time of booking with a Visa or MasterCard, and are NON REFUNDABLE, unless we cancel due to weather, mechanical, or lack of minimal fare requirements.

Reservations by Phone, simply call our reservation center at
(727) 393-1947 or 1-800-755-0677.

Let us know which trip you would like to fish on, and what date you would like to go. One of our reservation specialists will request several pieces of information from you and enter your reservation into our computerized reservations system. You will need a Visa or MasterCard to hold your reservation. Your card WILL NOT be charged at the time of phone reservation.

We urge you to pay with cash or travelers checks, If you wish to pay with your credit card on the day of your trip, please have it with you when you arrive.

Do I need a fishing license while fishing with Hubbard’s Marina?

NO, when you fish on our boats at Hubbard’s Marina you do NOT need a fishing license we cover you under our federal umbrella license while you are on our private charter boats or party boats. However, if you take a kayak fishing trip with us you do need to have your own license.

If you plan to fish from shore, from our dock, or on the beach while in town you do need to have a fishing license. For more information on who needs licenses, how much they are and where to get them visit this Florida fish and Wildlife link: http://myfwc.com/license/recreational/how-to-order/

Do I need a fishing license to fish from the beach, jetties or dock or on your trips?

Yes, you need a fishing license to fish in Florida, However, if you are on a fishing trip with us at Hubbard’s Marina you do not need to worry because while on board our boats you are covered under our fishing licenses. Due to this, you do NOT need an individual license to fish on our boats. If you plan to fish from the shore, beach, seawall, jetty or dock while in town in Florida you do need a valid Florida fishing license which can be purchased over the phone by calling 888-FISH-FLORIDA (347-4356) or you can buy one via the FWC website: https://gooutdoorsflorida.com/ If you want more information on the fishing license fees check out this link: http://myfwc.com/license/recreational/saltwater-fishing/

How many people go on each trip and how can I get a trip with the lightest load?

To ensure only a few people are on board a boat, the best way is to get a private charter because on private charters You get to decide how many people you want to bring on board the trip based on how many the boat can take, for private charters we can take 1-6, 7-14, 15-20, or 20+. For more info on private charters and to see all our private charter boats, check out this link: https://hubbardsmarina.com/private-charters/ However, if you don’t want to do the private charter or if it’s out of your budget, we have tons of public options too!

On the public trips, the best way to get on a lighter boat with plenty of room is to go during the week especially Monday-Thursday. The weekends are always a little bit more popular and thus a little busier on our trips. Also, around the holidays our trips fill up a bit more. Finally our busy time of year is mid-February until the kids go back to school in August with March, June and July being the busiest months of the year. During the slower time of year (September through mid-February) most anytime is a great option for a slower trip with plenty of room but during the week any time of year guarantees the smallest head counts on our trips.
Even if you go on a weekend during our busiest times of the year we always cap our trips to ensure it’s not overcrowded on board. Most of our boats are capped 20-30% below their max capacity to ensure the boat has plenty of room even when it’s sold out.

Dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour trips: We can take up to 78 people on these trips
Sunset cruise with FREE beer and wine: We can take up to 72 people on these trips

Ferry ride to Egmont key from Fort De Soto: We can take up to 49 people at a time to the island

Madeira beach water taxi: We can take up to 49 people at a time on the water taxi

Snorkeling tour: We can take up to 49 people at a time snorkeling during the Egmont key ferry ride

3hr shelling cruise to Shell key: We can take up to 78 people on the boat to shell key for shelling fun

5 hour half day or half night fishing: We can take up to 65-70 people at a time 5 hour half day fishing depending on the boat we use that day

5 hour trophy shark fishing trip: We can take up to 8 anglers at a time on this special trophy shark trip

10 hour all day fishing trip: We can take up to 60 anglers at a time on this fishing adventure

12 hour day or night fishing, 39 hour overnight fishing, 44 hour full moon fishing: We can take up to 50 anglers at a time

12 hour extreme aboard the Flying HUB 2: We can take up to 16 people at a time on this extreme fishing adventure

63 hour pelagic/deep drop fishing trip: We can take up to 18 anglers at a time on this trip of a lifetime

What is the BEST spot to be on the boat during your trips?

Fishing trips: There is NOT one spot on the boat better than any other! As long as you have water under your feet you’re good to go and you’re in a good spot. Personally, growing up fishing these boats I found that fishing the sides towards the front was my favorite area to fish because it’s typically less crowded and that is where the bottom machine’s transducer is. That means that the captain positions the boat so that the middle of the boat is where the spot is so if your fishing the back your actually a little behind the spot. Also, the back of the boat is commonly mistaken as the best place to fish, due to this, the back is typically way fuller than the sides. For example, if we have 20-30 people on a trip 95% of the people on board that trip will pick a spot towards the back quarter of the boat and if you fish the sides towards the front you will feel like you have the boat to yourself! The back of the boat is commonly mistaken as the best place to fish for two reasons. The first reason is that many people see the biggest or most fish caught on the back, that is not because it’s any better fishing but only because many old timers or anglers that fish often book the back because they book first and get first choice of where to fish. If you have more experienced anglers fishing on the stern or back of the boat this is why it can appear that its better fishing, not because it’s truly better but only because more experienced anglers are back there using the right techniques and presenting their baits more naturally thus they are catching more fish. I have personally seen on many trips that when there are experienced anglers fishing the bow or along the sides they catch just as much or even better fish than the experienced guys on the stern or back of the boat. Also, many people feel the back of the boat is a better spot because back in the day all the bottom machines had their transducers mounted on the stern or back of the boat so captains would put the stern over the spot. However, since the early 90’s with the invention of through hull transducers any boats worth their salt no longer mount the transducers in the stern they are now typically mounted underneath the wheelhouse which is typically in the middle of the boat towards the bow.

Cruises (dolphin, shelling, sunset cruise etc.): There is NOT one spot on the boat better than any other! As long as you have water under your feet you’re good to go and you’re in a good spot. If we spot dolphins or other wildlife you’re able to stand up and move around the boat. Also, the captain maneuvers the boat allowing everyone a good view of what we’re cruising by.

What 12 hour trip is right for me? 12 hour party boat vs 12 hour extreme vs 12 hour night snapper

The 12 hour extreme aboard the Flying HUB 2 is the BEST option if you want to catch big fish in deep water and don’t have the time for the 39 or 44 hour trips. This trip is $300 but it goes to 70-100 miles to fish the similar areas that we fish on our 39 and 44 hour fishing trips. Plus, this is on our smaller private charter boat called the Flying HUB 2 (https://hubbardsmarina.com/flying-hub-2/) which is a hydrofoil assisted catamaran that goes around 40-45mph allowing you to get 70-100 miles in 2-3 hours offering 6-8 hours fishing time in the deep water over 120 foot for big amberjack, red snapper and grouper depending on what is in season at the time of your trip. Plus, this trip only allows up to 16 anglers compared to the 50 people that are allowed on the 12 hour party boat or 12 hour night snapper.

The 12 hour night snapper trip is the BEST option if you want mangrove snapper this trip goes 15-35 miles from shore offering 6-8 hours fishing time in 60-120 foot of water. This trip is only $129 and gives a great opportunity for mangrove snapper, vermillion snapper, lane snapper, porgies, possibly gag grouper and others too.

The 12 hour party boat trip is the BEST option if you want to catch big fish but don’t have the budget for the 12 hour extreme or 39 hour fishing trips. This trip is only $129 and offers 4-6 hours fishing time 40-60 miles from shore fishing 110-140 foot of water. However, since it’s on the larger party boat instead of the smaller faster Flying HUB 2 there is a much longer ride out to the fishing area meaning much less fishing time. Also, you don’t have much flexibility since the boat is slower if the fish aren’t biting we can’t really make long runs to a new area like we can on the 12 hour extreme. This trip is great if you want a chance at a few big fish, but you’re not going to come home with a cooler full of them like you would on the 39 hour or a smaller cooler full like you would on the 12 hour extreme. You may only get a few fish, but at least you get a chance at them and it’s nice to get out to the blue water where the bigger fish live.

What is a two day bag limit and what trips can I get a two day limit?

A two day bag limit means your able to keep TWICE the amount of fish you normally can during a single day trip. For example, on a single day trip like a 5,10 or 12 hour trip you can only keep up to 4 grouper aggregate or up to 10 mangrove snapper. On a trip with a two day limit this doubles meaning you can take home up to 8 grouper aggregate or up to 20 mangrove snapper. The trips that offer a two day limit are those trips that are longer than 24 hours meaning only the 39, 44 or 63 hour trips qualify for that two day limit or a 25hr or longer private charter on the Mrs. HUB. The 12 hour night trip does NOT get a two day limit, which sometimes people ask about because you leave Friday night and return Saturday. The trip has to be longer than 24 hours (25 hours or longer works) and it has to be on a federally permitted vessel on a charter with a receipt stating that trip is that long and is paid for. On a 39, 44 or 63 hour trip your ticket works as your receipt stating you paid for a trip longer than 24 hours on a federally permitted vessel. On Mrs. HUB charters longer than 24 hours we have a charter contract on board stating that were on a charter on board a federally permitted vessel longer than that 24 hour minimum.

How early do I need to arrive for my trip with you?

5 hour half day or half night, 5 hour shark trip, 10 hour all day, and any of the 12 hour fishing trips: It is recommended you show up at least an hour prior to your scheduled trip’s departure time, you will have a pre boarding seminar approximately 30 minutes to your trips departure time

39, 44 or 63 hour trips: You need to arrive at least 2 hours prior to your trips departure time, you will have a pre boarding seminar approximately 1 hour prior to departure

Dolphin tours, sunset cruises, shelling trips: We recommend you arrive 45-30 minutes prior to your trips departure time to get checked in

Egmont key ferry from Fort De Soto: We recommend arriving no later than 45 minutes prior to your ferry’s departure time, but an hour is recommended especially on the weekends

Madeira beach water taxi: We recommend you arrive at the ferry pick up point at least 5-10 minutes prior to the ferry pick up time

WHAT KIND OF FISH CAN I CATCH ON YOUR TRIPS?

The following are the Fish Species that are frequently caught on our trips…

5 hour half day trip: Grey snapper, porgies, black sea bass, and in the spring and fall Kingfish and mackerel. If you get the live shrimp you have a shot at hogfish and mangroves too! If you troll on the way out in spring and fall you have a shot for mackerel and kingfish

5 hour half night trip: Grey snapper, porgies, black sea bass, Chance to catch sharks, and in the spring and fall kingfish and mackerel

5 hour trophy shark trip: Big trophy sized sharks most you can’t keep but some you can, then we also get other fish while using the lighter tackle to attract the trophy sharks grey snapper, porgies, black sea bass, and sometimes mangroves if you bring shrimp.

10 hour all day trip: Red grouper, Gag grouper, Scamp grouper, mangrove snapper, grey snapper, lane snapper, vermillion snapper, porgies, black sea bass, in the spring and fall kingfish and mackerel, if you use live shrimp hogfish and mangrove snapper. While trolling or flat lining you have a shot for pelagic fish: kingfish (spring and fall), cobia, tuna, mackerel, bonita

12 hour day trip: Amberjack, Red snapper, gag grouper, red grouper, scamp grouper, mangrove snapper, African pompano, yellowtail snapper, vermillion snapper, lane snapper, and more! While flat lining you have a shot for pelagic fish: kingfish (spring and fall), cobia, tuna, mackerel, bonita

12 hour night trip: Mangrove snapper, gag grouper, scamp grouper, vermillion snapper, lane snapper, yellowtail snapper, porgies, black sea bass, in the spring and fall kingfish and mackerel. While flat lining you have a shot for pelagic fish: kingfish (spring and fall), cobia, tuna, mackerel, bonita

39 hour overnight trip (TWO DAY BAG LIMIT): Gag grouper, Red grouper, Amberjack, Red snapper, mangrove snapper, yellowtail snapper, mutton snapper, lane snapper, scamp grouper, vermillion snapper, porgies, hogfish, and more! While trolling or flat lining you have a shot for pelagics: Kingfish, mackerel, mahi mahi, tuna, cobia, wahoo, sailfish, marlin

44 hour full moon trip (TWO DAY BAG LIMIT): Gag grouper, Red grouper, Amberjack, Red snapper, mangrove snapper, yellowtail snapper, mutton snapper, lane snapper, scamp grouper, vermillion snapper, porgies, hogfish, and more! While trolling or flat lining you have a shot for pelagics: Kingfish, mackerel, mahi mahi, tuna, cobia, wahoo, sailfish, marlin

63 hour deep drop pelagic trip (TWO DAY BAG LIMIT): Gag grouper, red grouper, amberjack, red snapper, mangrove snapper, yellowtail snapper, mutton snapper, lane snapper, scamp grouper, vermillion snapper, porgies, hogfish, and more for first part of trip in the 200-400 foot range. Once in the 450-1,200 foot range we get snowy grouper, yellowedge grouper, warsaw grouper, kitty Mitchell grouper, sand tiles, blue line tiles, queen snapper, long tailed bass, conger eels, and tons more unique deep water species most have never even heard of before! While trolling or flat lining you can catch: Tuna, wahoo, mahi mahi, cobia, kingfish, marlin, sailfish and more!

Rod rentals on our fishing trips

We offer rod rentals on all our fishing trips at Hubbard’s Marina and even in our marina office! If you’re just fishing the seawalls, jetties or the beach we rent spinning rods in our office. Plus, we have all the bait beer and ice you need as well! If you’re going fishing on our party boat trips we have a rod rental option for a small fee or you can always opt to bring your own and avoid that fee. However, if you rent our rod for a trip then we supply all your tackle the entire trip. If you don’t rent a rod and reel from us that is fine too, but then you must supply all your own leads, hooks, line, and swivels for yourself. You can also pay for a rod rental and use the boat’s tackle on your own personal rod so you can use your rod and reel but our tackle. However, to do that your rod and reel must be similar to our boat’s rod and reels. Also, keep in mind that we have tackle recommendations on each fishing trips page and the fishing trip’s specific tackle recommendations maybe different from the rod rental options. This is because when you rent a rod we provide you with one rod that does a little of everything well and we change the tackle on it based on the species your targeting, but if you want to bring your own special high quality tackle that your familiar with and is more fitting of our tackle recommendations on each trip your welcome to but don’t forget to bring your own tackle! But if you don’t have specialized tackle for each species you target or your just starting out our rod rental options are a great starting place for you to get familiar with offshore fishing and start building your own supply of specialized tackle as you master offshore fishing with the help of Hubbard’s Marina. You can view all the trip options with pricing here: https://hubbardsmarina.com/fishing-trips-gulf-beaches-florida/

On private charter fishing trips rods, reels, and all the tackle you need for the entire trip is included in your charter price and we provide the high quality specialty tackle you will need for the species we target. However, you’re always welcome to bring your own rods, reels and tackle as well.

Rod rental for the 5 hour half day/half night: We offer a 4ot reel on a custom rod with 40lb leader, 3 ounce lead and 4ot circle hook.  You get the rod, reel and all your tackle for the entire trip for only $7.50 + tax. To see more about this trip and its specialized tackle recommendations, check out this link: https://hubbardsmarina.com/half-day-and-night-fishing-charters/

Rod rental for the 5 hour trophy shark trip: On this trip, rod rentals are included in the price of the trip. We supply large 9ot shark reels with 300-400lb cable leader and 9-16ot hooks for 4-12ft sharks! To see more about this trip and it’s specialized tackle recommendations, check out this link: https://hubbardsmarina.com/5-hour-shark-trip/

Rod rental for the 10 hour all day fishing trip: We offer a 6ot reel on a custom rod with 60lb leader, 6 ounce lead and 7ot circle hook. However, you also have the option of using a 40lb leader with a 4ot circle hook if you ask for the lighter set up for more action. Use the bigger set up for group with bigger bait, and the smaller set up with cubes of squid to get more action and lots of bites from the smaller heads and tails that fills your stinger fast. You get the rod, reel and all your tackle for the entire trip for only $15 + tax. To see more about this trip and it’s specialized tackle recommendations, check out this link: https://hubbardsmarina.com/10-hour-all-day-fishing-charters/

Rod rental for the 12 hour night snapper fishing trip: We offer a 6ot reel on a custom rod with 60lb leader, 6 ounce lead and 7ot circle hook. However, you also have the option of using a 40lb leader with double snelled 4ot circle hooks if you ask for the mangrove snapper setup. The large 6lb leader and bigger hook is best for the grouper, but the double snell 4ots is the mangrove snapper specialized leader. You get the rod, reel and all your tackle for the entire trip for $15 + tax. To see more about this trip and it’s specialized tackle recommendations, check out this link: https://hubbardsmarina.com/12hr-night-fishing-trip/

Rod rental for the 12 hour party boat fishing trip: We offer a 6ot reel on a custom rod with 60lb leader, 6 ounce lead and 7ot circle hook. This large setup is perfect for the red snapper and grouper we target on this trip. You get the rod, reel and all your tackle for the entire trip for $15 + tax. To see more about this trip and it’s specialized tackle recommendations, check out this link: https://hubbardsmarina.com/12hr-day-fishing-trip/

Rod rental for 12 hour extreme aboard the Flying Hub 2: We offer a 6ot reel on a custom rod with 80lb leader, 6 ounce lead and 7ot circle hook. This large setup is perfect for the big fish we target on this trip. You get the rod, reel and all your tackle for the entire trip for $15 + tax. To see more about this trip and it’s specialized tackle recommendations, check out this link: https://hubbardsmarina.com/12-hour-extreme-aboard-flying-hub-2/

Rod rental for the 39 hour long range overnight trip or 44 hour full moon trip: We offer a 6ot reel on a custom rod with 60-80lb leader, 6 ounce lead and 7ot circle hook. Also, you have the option to have a 40lb leader with a double snelled 5ot circle hook. The bigger 60-80lb set up is best for amberjack, red snapper or grouper and the smaller 40lb set up is best for the mangrove snapper and other snapper species.  To see more about this 39 hour long range overnight fishing trip and it’s specialized tackle recommendations, check out this link: https://hubbardsmarina.com/39hr-overnight-fishing-trip/ To see more about this 44 hour full moon fishing trip and it’s specialized tackle recommendations, check out this link: https://hubbardsmarina.com/44hr-full-moon-fishing-trip/

Rod rental for the 63 hour deep drop pelagic trip: We don’t currently offer rod rentals on this trip, mainly because we want to keep the quality of the trip super high since it’s such an expensive trip we want to ensure that it’s a super high quality trip. An easy way to ensure this is by not renting the electric reels, this ensures anyone who joins is a very invested experienced angler with the appropriate tackle for this specialized trip. Also, another reason we do not currently rent them is that they are very pricey. We recommend a Diawa tanacom 1000 reel that runs around $695 then it’s sitting on a $200-$250 rod with around $175 in braided line on the reel and a $25-$30 leader. This large expense is a very hard asset to rent out while keeping the rental fee realistic, also if this was somehow lost, damaged, or broken during the trip would be a huge expense to the angler renting it to replace. To see more about this trip and its specialized tackle recommendations, check out this link: https://hubbardsmarina.com/63hr-pelagicdeep-drop-fishing-trip/

*To find out what species of fish you can catch on each trip read the above section “What kind of fish can I catch on your trips”

**To find out the fishing regulations and what is going to be open for harvest during your trip check out this page: https://hubbardsmarina.com/fishing-regulations-gulf-of-mexico/

WHERE DO I PARK WHEN I ARRIVE AT HUBBARD’S MARINA?

When you arrive at Hubbard’s Marina, you will want to park in the new John’s Pass parking garage.

This state of the art 5 level parking facility is lit, secure, and only a few short steps away from the docks and our restaurant. The cost of parking is only $5.00 per day when you take a trip with us at Hubbard’s Marina because the ticket that gets you on our boats gets you out of the garage at this reduced rate, so make sure to hang onto the ticket!  The same ticket gets you $5 off your next trip, and 10% off in our store!

 

IS FOOD & DRINK AVAILABLE ON THE BOATS?

YES. Our boats offer a full service cash galley and grill with a complete Breakfast & Lunch menu, very reasonably priced. You’re on – board cook will prepare your food fresh to order. Soft drinks, beer, coffee/tea, candy, snacks are also available through the galley. Most passengers prefer to eat and drink from our galley as it eliminates the need to have to pack a cooler. The gallies on board the boats accept CASH ONLY, but we do have an ATM at the front of our store to make things easy for you!

 

CAN I BRING A COOLER WITH FOOD AND DRINK?

YES. You may bring up to 1 cooler per person up to 48-50 quarts in size. No larger. NO glass containers of any kind. (Soft drinks, condiments, etc… must be in a plastic container.)

CAN I BRING MY OWN ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES?

NO. There is NO CARRY ON alcoholic beverages permitted on board. The State of Florida has required us to carry a Beer & Wine license on board our vessels. We are able to sell beer under this license, however just like a bar, we cannot allow you to bring your own in. We apologize for this as it is a State regulation, and certainly not a Hubbard’s one.

To avoid an uncomfortable situation at the dock for both of us, please do not attempt to sneak any alcoholic beverages aboard. All coolers and gear are thoroughly searched prior to boarding. We’ve seen all the tricks, so again, please cooperate with this policy.

The same holds true for any type of narcotics, controlled substances, contraband, or illegal drugs. We are a “ZERO TOLERANCE” vessel in compliance with U.S.C.G. regulations. Again, please DO NOT attempt to board our vessels with any of these items. Thanks

You may carry on alcohol if you privately charter one of our boats that does not carry an alcohol license, Please inquire about this with your charter sales specialist

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE FISH I CATCH DURING THE TRIP?

 Single – When you catch your first fish, the mates will assign you a stringer number. Throughout the trip, your fish will go on that stringer number and held in our Iced Fish Boxes.

Groups
– Your group will be assigned a stringer number that the whole group will share  so at the end of the trip your groups fish will be together on one stringer.

At the end of the trip, the mates will unload the fish boxes onto the deck. They will then call out stringer numbers at which time you will claim your fish when you hear your number called.

 

DOES MY FARE INCLUDE BAIT?

YES. Your trip’s fare does include dead bait. If you would like live bait we do have that available too. For 10 hour trips or longer we can reserve you live pinfish up to 48 hours in advance of your trip at $9 per dozen or you could bring your own.  For any trip we also offer live shrimp at $4 per dozen. These could be bought before leaving on your trip.  We also have specialty bait in the marina store such as rigged ballywho, cigar minnows, baby octopus, oysters, and more!

 

DO I NEED TO BRING ANY DEAD BAIT OF MY OWN?

NO. You don’t need to bring additional dead bait because we supply all the squid you need on the 5 hour trips and the 10 hour trips and longer.  We supply dead squid and cut sardines or threadfins, whatever is better quality.  You are welcome to to bring additional dead bait if you so choose, or you can purchase some of our specialty dead bait from the Marina store freezer, such as; frozen baby octopus, rigged ballywho, whole bonita, and more.

What are the bait options on your trips and what is included or extra?

Bait options for the 5 hour half day or half night fishing trips: We provide all the cut squid you need for the trip and its included in the ticket price and you can choose to buy live shrimp as an extra option if you so choose for $4 per dozen or you can get two dozen in a souvenir bait bucket for $10. The live shrimp gives you an extra option for hogfish, but they can get taken off the hook easier than the squid. The squid we provide is a tough bait that stays on the hook much better which means it’s easier to feel the bite without losing your bait making it more forgiving and a better choice for a first time angler. However, if you’re more experience the live shrimp option gives you a shot at the yummy but picky hogfish. We recommend using a 4-500 series spinning rod with super long 30lb leader and a 4ot hook with the live shrimp. To see more about this trip and its specialized tackle recommendations, check out this link: https://hubbardsmarina.com/half-day-and-night-fishing-charters/

Bait options for the 5 hour trophy shark trip: On this trip we provide all the bait you need for the entire trip. We have fish carcasses on board to use as chum and for bait. Plus we often have mackerel or bonita to use as additional chum or cut bait. To see more about this trip and its specialized tackle recommendations, check out this link: https://hubbardsmarina.com/5-hour-shark-trip/

Bait options for the 10 hour all day fishing trip: We provide all the cut squid or threadfins you need during this trip. The threadfins work well for a variety of species you can use them whole with the tail ripped off for the red or gag grouper. You can cut the head and tail off the threadfins for mangrove snapper, or you can cut small pieces of the threadfins for the heads and tails species like vermillion or lane snapper. The cut squid strips are a great red grouper bait, and the cut squid cubes works well with the smaller leader option to catch plenty of the grey snapper, porgies, seabass, and other heads and tails. You have two live bait options for this trip, you can pre-order live pinfish to use for the grouper at $9 per dozen or bring your own. Also, you can buy live shrimp the day of the trip for the hogfish and mangrove snapper at $4 per dozen or $10 gets you two dozen in a souvenir bait bucket or you can also bring your own as well. Besides the live bait extra options we carry frozen sardines, cigar minnows, and baby octopus in our bait shop before leaving on the boat. To see more about this trip and it’s specialized tackle recommendations, check out this link: https://hubbardsmarina.com/10-hour-all-day-fishing-charters/

Bait options for the 12 hour night snapper fishing trip: We provide all the cut squid or threadfins you need during this trip. The threadfins work well for a variety of species you can use them whole with the tail ripped off for gag grouper. You can cut the head and tail off the threadfins for mangrove snapper, or you can cut small pieces of the threadfins for the heads and tails species like vermillion or lane snapper. The cut squid cubes works well with the smaller leader option to catch plenty of the grey snapper, porgies, seabass, and other heads and tails. You have two live bait options for this trip, you can pre-order live pinfish to use for the grouper at $9 per dozen or bring your own. Also, you can buy live shrimp the day of the trip for the mangrove snapper at $4 per dozen or $10 gets you two dozen in a souvenir bait bucket or you can also bring your own as well. Besides the live bait extra options we carry frozen sardines, cigar minnows, and baby octopus in our bait shop before leaving on the boat. To see more about this trip and it’s specialized tackle recommendations, check out this link: https://hubbardsmarina.com/12hr-night-fishing-trip/

Bait options for the 12 hour party boat fishing trip: We provide all the cut squid or threadfins you need during this trip. The threadfins work well for a variety of species you can use them whole with the tail ripped off for gag grouper, red grouper or red snapper. You can cut the head and tail off the threadfins for mangrove snapper, or you can cut small pieces of the threadfins for the heads and tails species like vermillion or lane snapper. The cut squid strips are a great red grouper bait. You have one live bait option for this trip, you can pre-order live pinfish to use for the grouper at $9 per dozen or bring your own. Besides the live bait extra option we carry frozen sardines, bonita, cigar minnows, and baby octopus in our bait shop before leaving on the boat. To see more about this trip and it’s specialized tackle recommendations, check out this link: https://hubbardsmarina.com/12hr-day-fishing-trip/

Bait options for the 12 hour extreme aboard the Flying Hub 2: We provide all the cut squid or threadfins you need during this trip. The threadfins work well for a variety of species you can use them whole with the tail ripped off for gag grouper, red grouper or red snapper. You can cut the head and tail off the threadfins for mangrove snapper. The cut squid strips are a great red grouper bait. You have one live bait option for this trip, you can pre-order live pinfish to use for the grouper at $9 per dozen or bring your own. Besides the live bait extra option we carry frozen sardines, bonita, cigar minnows, and baby octopus in our bait shop before leaving on the boat. The frozen baby octopus is a great extra frozen bait option on this trip and is very popular for the big species like gag grouper or red snapper. To see more about this trip and it’s specialized tackle recommendations, check out this link: https://hubbardsmarina.com/12-hour-extreme-aboard-flying-hub-2/

Bait options for the 39 hour long range overnight trip or 44 hour full moon trip: We provide all the cut squid or threadfins you need during this trip. The threadfins work well for a variety of species you can use them whole with the tail ripped off for the red or gag grouper and sometimes amberjack too. You can cut the head and tail off the threadfins for mangrove snapper, or you can cut small pieces of the threadfins for the heads and tails species like vermillion or lane snapper. The cut squid strips are a great red grouper bait, and the cut squid cubes works well with the smaller leader option to catch plenty of the vermillion snapper, porgies, yellowtail and other heads and tails. You have two live bait options for this trip, you can pre-order live pinfish to use for the grouper at $9 per dozen or bring your own. Also, you can buy live shrimp the day of the trip for the hogfish and mangrove snapper at $4 per dozen or $10 gets you two dozen in a souvenir bait bucket or you can also bring your own as well. Besides the live bait extra options we carry frozen sardines, bonita, cigar minnows, and baby octopus in our bait shop before leaving on the boat. The frozen baby octopus is a great extra frozen bait option on this trip and is very popular for the big species like gag grouper or red snapper. To see more about this 39 hour long range overnight fishing trip and it’s specialized tackle recommendations, check out this link: https://hubbardsmarina.com/39hr-overnight-fishing-trip/ To see more about this 44 hour full moon fishing trip and it’s specialized tackle recommendations, check out this link: https://hubbardsmarina.com/44hr-full-moon-fishing-trip/

Bait options for the 63 hour deep drop pelagic trip: We provide all the cut squid or threadfins you need during this trip. However, most often people use the large squid strips when deep drop fishing. Also, cut Bonita or baby octopus are great deep drop baits and you have the option to buy these frozen baits in our shop before leaving on the trip. You have one live bait option for this trip, you can pre-order live pinfish to use for the grouper at $9 per dozen or bring your own. However, keep in mind you don’t use these live baits when deep dropping you would only need them for flat line fishing or while fishing inside of 400 foot of water on the way out to the deep drop fishing. To see more about this trip and its specialized tackle recommendations, check out this link: https://hubbardsmarina.com/63hr-pelagicdeep-drop-fishing-trip/
*To find out what species of fish you can catch on each trip read the above section “What kind of fish can I catch on your trips”

**To find out the fishing regulations and what is going to be open for harvest during your trip check out this page: https://hubbardsmarina.com/fishing-regulations-gulf-of-mexico/

DO I NEED A FISHING LICENSE TO FISH ON YOUR BOATS?

NO. You are covered under our boats recreational fishing license.

CAN I GET MY FISH FILLETED AT THE END OF THE TRIP?

 YES.  The mates will offer a fish filleting service at our fish cleaning tables when your trip returns.  You can have the mates fillet your fish for a small fee, you can fillet them yourselves at our additional cleaning tables, or you can take them home to fillet them yourself, it is up to you

If you so choose to have the mates fillet your fish, there is a $1 charge per three fish on the small the fish weighing less than 2lbs. On the larger fish its $0.25 cents per pound.

Also the restaurant next door called The Friendly Fisherman Seafood Restaurant offers a fish cooking option. You can bring your filleted fish to the restaurant and choose from having your catch, fried regularly,  Cajun fried, blackened, or broiled for $8.50 per person.  You can’t beat fresh caught and cooked fish, and this option allows you to avoid the mess!

Trolling questions

Glad to hear you have planned a trip with us! We do troll on many of our trips, but this is something that is up to the guests. We do not rent or provide trolling gear you must bring your own or buy it in the shop. The reason for this is that trolling gear is large, expensive and often two speed nice reels. If you would like to troll you must use at least a 6ot reel or 50 wide reel or better, and the two speed versions are recommended. If you don’t have a two speed than use at least a 9ot reel or 80 wide or better.

The most popular trips for trolling are the 5 hour half days, the 39 hour overnights, the 44 hour full moons and our 63 hour deep drop/pelagic trip. The reason for this is due to the fact that on these trips were going the most efficient hull speeds to preserve fuel. This produces the perfect trolling speeds. On the ten hour, it depends on where were going. If we plan to run far, we can’t troll since the captain will push the boat faster. Then on the twelve hours, were going 14-16kts and its just way too fast to troll. When trolling if you hook a fish we will not slow the boat down generally since most anglers aren’t trolling and they are waiting to get to a bottom fishing spot. However, if you hook a monster, of course we would slow down to help you land a fish. On the 39 hours we troll a little bit of everything! Our party boat even has outriggers…. And on the 39 hour we can troll 13 rods in our spread with ease!

For trolling close to shore we recommend using a number one sized planner with a 6 inch king spoon. We sell these in our shop and can show you how to properly rig them. Also once on board, the mates can show you how to properly set them. To troll this set up you need a 6ot or bigger reel, and for trolling two speed reels help but aren’t a necessity. We recommend 60-80lb line and braid works best for trolling but we always recommend using top shots.

For trolling further from shore like the 39’s,44’s and 63’s we recommend using more sophisticated trolling gear. The rod necessary for trolling doesn’t change, but your lures should. The braid becomes more of a necessity when trolling for larger game fish because you want the extra line capacity if you hook the monster Wahoo, tuna or Sailfish! We have even hooked a few marlin while trolling offshore!

Tuna love skirts, lipped plugs, wooden plugs, and marauder lures
Wahoo love lipped Plugs, skirts and marauders
Sailfish love the skirts and ballyhoo
Kingfish, mackerel and bonita love the skirts, spoons, and lipped plugs
The rapala X-rap magnum 20 or 30’s are our favorite lipped plugs

What We Don’t Allow on Trips:

  1. Glass – unsafe on boats
  2. Alcohol -Due to Florida law they will not allow alcohol on board boats with alcohol licenses ( Florida Fisherman, Friendly Fisherman, Sea Adventure 1) because our license lets us sell it and the tax man wants his cut.  However, on our private charter boats like the HUB, Mrs. HUB and Flying HUB 2 DO NOT have alcohol licenses, you can bring beer or wine (no liquor and no glass) on these boats. (12 hour EXTREME aboard Flying HUB 2 – you CAN BRING YOUR OWN BEER)
  3. Firearms – no matter your permit you can’t bring firearms due to USCG law (just like on a plane)
  4. Illegal drugs – if it’s illegal on the dock leave it on the dock, or else we will have to call the USCG and have cops waiting on dock… please don’t put us in this position
  5. Bananas- They are bad luck on a fishing boat
  6. on 10,12,39,44 and 63 hours we do NOT allow ELECTRONICS – excludes basic digital camera BUT IT DOES INCLUDE: no cell phones, computers, ipad, kindles, ipods, or anything else that receives GPS signals – phones don’t send or receive txts or make calls once you’re offshore so you can only use it as a camera this is why we allow you to bring those cameras. However, dishonest people can use their phones to steal spots because you don’t need a cell signal to do this only satellite signal which is never lost offshore.

7. No coolers larger than 48 quarts

Please remember the following guidelines & policies are strictly enforced. Thank you for your cooperation.

  • NO back-less Sandals or Flip-Flop shoes.
  • NO foul language or disruptive behavior on board.
  • NO children 12 and under on specialty trips unless signed off by management.
  • Children under 12 on other trips must be accompanied by adult.
  • NO Rod/ Reel rentals for children under 6. OK to share adults.
  • NO GPS or Loran type navigational devices, Cell Phones, Laptops, I-POD or MP3 players may be carried on boats.
  • NO equipment, gear, or coolers on Dock area until Dockmaster announces to do so.
All trips subject to availability. Minimum # of fares required on all trips.

As a blanket rule yes, braided line is prohibited! However, there are always exceptions to the rule. We use braided line for a few main things on party boats vertical jigging, trolling or while fishing deep drop trips past 600 foot of water. Besides these two applications we only use braid as backing for our deep water and game fishing set-ups so we have extra line capacity to prevent being spooled by a monster fish! We do NOT recommend ever fishing straight braid for bottom species. This is not a good thing for a few reasons:

  1. Fish tend to shake the hook out a ton easier when fishing straight braid because monofilament has a bit of a shock absorbing characteristics since it tends to stretch a bit, but braided line does NOT stretch at all, thus when you hook a big fish on the braid they can shake out the hook a lot easier. The easy way to avoid this issue is to add a long top shot to your reel to ensure there is some braid in the water while bottom fishing. The length of the top shot depends on what trip you plan, if you do a half day we will be fishing 40-50 foot of water so you want about 15-20 foot of top shot so 1/3 or more of your line will be mono. If you’re fishing an all-day in depths of 60-90 foot you want about 30 feet of mono top shot. For a 12 or 39 hour when were fishing depths of 120-150 foot you want about 40-50 foot of mono top shot on top of your braid to allow some shock absorption.
  2. Straight braid also cuts through the water more than mono. When fishing all braid then all the lines drift together nicely but when 90% of people are using mono and some are using braid the braid cuts through the water better and tends to tangle with the mono filament fisherman. The top shot we have already discussed stops this issue
  3. Braid and mono getting tangled makes a SERIOUS mess that cannot be undone. When you use a long top shot you decreases the chances of being tangled braid to mono. What you want to do is this, when you feel a line rubbing yours you want to reel in as quickly as possible that way when it does get tangled or if it does at all you will be tangled mono to mono which can be easily undone. This will prevent you from having to cut your braided line, because  when braid get tangled with mono that is the only way to get it out is by cutting out the braid first.
  4. Braided line is also more common on spinning rods, this is another reason we don’t recommend braid because we don’t recommend spinning set-ups for any fish bigger than a few pounds. Grouper fishing takes a strong drag and 99% of spinners don’t have drag systems big enough to stop even the smallest groupers when they are digging back into their holes. Conventional reels have bigger drag systems by default and are way better for targeting larger fish. However, a spinner or a light conventional is a great way to target the smaller snappers, but personally I NEVER bother bringing a spinning rod for bottom fishing deeper than 60 foot because party boat fishing with other people requires you to get a fish off the bottom into the boat as quickly as possible to prevent tangling and to increase your success rate. This requires tackle strong enough to horse up the big fish, and spinning set ups just don’t have the power! You can bring your spinning rod on 5 and 10 hours for bottom fishing but for longer trips the spinning rods should only be pitch rods, flat line rods, or used for light knocker rigging where the crew tells you it would be okay with the current and swing of the boat.

These are all reasons braid isn’t the best, but you can use it if you use the top shot, and as long as you have experience deep sea fishing from a party boat!

How The Weather Affects The Fishing

 

Whenever cold fronts (low pressure systems) or Dry fronts (high pressure systems) come into the Gulf of Mexico the fish are HIGHLY affected. The reason for this is the barometer changes. Fish have a lateral line running along their backbone that is highly sensitive to pressure changes in the water around them. This not only helps them sense danger but it’s also how they sense their prey. When the barometer changes drastically due to approaching storm systems the fish re-act in a semi-predicable manner.

Whenever cold fronts move into the gulf the pressures starts to plummet, this causes the fish to go into a feeding frenzy because they know the coming storm will stir the water and prevent them from feeding easily. So the days leading up to a front are great fishing, but then the day the weather blows up the fishing stops. The wind and waves cause the water to become super turbulent and this causes the fish the stay rocked up and they are hidden away not feeding. Then once the water clams down after 10-14 hours, then the water takes another 1-3 days to become clear and settled again. Once this happens the fish magically turn back on like a light-switch and the bite is super hot again because the fish haven’t been feeding during the nasty weather and turbulent after effects. However, it’s not easy to tell when this will happen… sometimes it’s directly after the fronts weather is gone, and sometimes it takes a few days for the fish to recover so that’s a tossup and just part of fishing! You can always check in with us on our social media to see how were doing from day to day by checking photos or by shooting us a private message!

Thank you for complying with these guidelines in an effort to keep our trips enjoyable for everyone! – Hubbard’s Marina