Estimate 2018 Fishing seasons
All year long – red grouper open
*spring deep water closure beyond 20 fathoms
March-April – Gray trigger fish
(First time open in years)
Jan 1st until Jan 26th and also July-Dec – Greater Amberjack
**this is the season now, but in feb-april there could be another change making the season May, August-October like it was supposed to be**
June 1st until hopefully mid-July – American red snapper
(Depending on what happens with new MSST and ACL overages in Private REC landings at SERO)
June-Dec – gag grouper open
REMEMBER – we catch mangrove snapper, yellowtails, porgies, scamp and many other fish all year around along with these ‘main’ species above!
Kingfish and mackerel run in spring and fall but we can get em’ all summer too. Tuna around most often in cooler months especially on new or full moons. Wahoo in the spring and summer
Braided Lines ?!?
People ask about using braided line for bottom fishing often and when they hear that most people don’t like or some won’t even allow you to use straight braided line for bottom fishing especially on party boats there is some confusion. Due to this, today I wanted to run through some reasons why we at Hubbard’s Marina feel braided line is NOT the best option to use straight up while bottom fishing and some things you can do to enable you to use braided line on your bottom fishing set ups while still having optimal fish catching ability and not creating issues for those deep sea fishing around you.
We don’t allow our guests to fish straight braided line at Hubbard’s Marina unless you are using a top shot of mono or floro… if you’re using a top shot and not causing problems braid is fine! This can be confusing to some still so let’s run through some reasons behind this convoluted policy.
Reasons why straight braid isn’t good ANYTIME for bottom fishing on ANY boat:
- Braid has no stretch – this means it doesn’t give when the fish is fighting so it’s very easy for the fish to spit the hook half way up when they start swimming up with you with their mouths open to shake the hook (mostly snapper do this)
**you will lose less snapper with 20-40ft of floro or mono top shot, period
- Braid doesn’t have any memory – due to this in the water column when fishing deep you can get current knots like wind knots and it’s easy to get tangled with neighbors even when fishing with a few people on a personal boat
- Straight braid is only used when vertical jigging and even then you got to use a long leader of floro to hide the braid and ensure your braid without memory isn’t constantly tangling your jig
Reasons why party boats don’t allow straight braid:
- Cuts through the water differently – on a busy trip if everyone is using the same lb mono mainline and same size lead even inexperienced anglers can fish on top of each other with minimal tangles or issues
- Braid does NOT come untangled – if you get someone using braid even with a top shot and they can’t control their line then it’s easy to tangle multiple people at once in their braid and the only answer is to cut the braid then the braided line user can get frustrated cause it’s pricey so sometimes it’s easier to just say no braid
- Braid cuts mono like butter under tension- for example, if you’ve got mono on your reel fishing next to me and I have braided line on my reel next to you and we both catch fish next to each other and our lines somehow cross you lose your fish and half your line in the water almost immediately due to this feature of braid. Have you ever touched braid under tension? It will do the same to your hand in seconds if you try and wrap your hand will braid to pull line out of the bottom or hoist a fish it quickly cuts deep, while mono is much less likely to cut your hand or other lines.
Due to these reasons above, whenever I personally fish braid I use a top shot, period! However, when there are less people are around or the people around me are more experienced I’m only using about 1/4 of my line in the water or even a 1/5 of my line in the water as a top shot aka fishing 100 foot I’d use 18-25 foot top shot. In contrast, if I’m on a busy party boat trip with anglers of questionable experience around me 1/3 to 1/2 of my line in the water will be top shot. Good tip is to start out using longer top shots and over time you can get shorter and shorter with experience, however, If it becomes an issue offshore be ready to switch back to a full mono spool. Most of the time I use this only for snapper fishing or knocker rig fishing when sensitivity is paramount. While grouper digging I still prefer using straight mono in my 6-9ot reels. Braided line with a top shot is for my small to medium sized two speeds, or 4ot high speed single speed snapper reels, or spinning reels. My bigger reels may still have braided line as backing but fish straight mono from the reel to the bottom.
Hope this helps clear some confusion for you about braided line and why some party boat or charter boats may have a no braid policy! In conclusion, we do not allow straight braid but if you use a top shot and don’t cause issue your more than welcome to use it while snapper fishing.
Tight lines and remember, “If you’re too busy to go fishing, you’re just too busy!”
Capt. Dylan Hubbard
Hubbard’s Marina VP