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.

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/

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!

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.

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