Inshore- The weather at the start of this past week was perfect for some fishing, the water was a little stirred up due to the past weekend’s front but it still allowed for some fishing time! The whiting and sheepshead and black drum were undeterred by the stirred up murky waters. The whiting bit well this week from the jetties of Johns Pass and along the beaches on shrimp weighted to bottom. They will take squid as well, or you can catch them on the Nekid ball jigz but the shrimp weighted to bottom is the most popular method of catching some good eating whiting from the jetties. The sheepshead enjoyed fiddler crabs, pieces of shrimp and barnacles around the bridge structure, rocky south jetty, and the docks of Johns Pass. Black drum love large select sized shrimp, or fiddlers, or larger crabs weighted to the bottom but they take some luck and a good soak to find while fishing inside the pass.
Near shore- The mangrove snapper bite near shore right now is really insane, we haven’t seen so many large mangrove snapper so prolific near shore in quite some time. It’s a very strange time of year to see such prolific numbers of big mangroves in such shallow waters. Any depth from 40-80ft we are seeing good mangrove snapper action on live shrimp, greenbacks, cut threadfin plugs or small pinfish. Capt Dylan Hubbard did a film shoot with Salt strong this past week to film a mangrove snapper mastery course and in the 6 hours of fishing time two anglers landed nearly 30 big mangrove snapper all within 30-80 foot of water using the bait listed above and a variety of methods from knocker rigging, jig head fishing and using the typically fish finder rig and threadfin plugs. Hogfish are also biting well right now on the live shrimp and fiddler crabs anywhere from 30-80ft of water, they should only get better and better through the spring time. We are seeing lots of hogfish on the 5 hour half days and the 10 hour all days alike, but the 10 hour all day offers more fishing time for these great eating hogfish. The red grouper bite is a little tough right now, were not seeing large numbers of the red grouper right now and the gag grouper are so aggressive and prolific near shore so it’s hard to get past these fish to find the red grouper.
Offshore – Now that gag grouper have closed we are targeting mangrove snapper, yellowtail snapper, lane snapper, porgies, red grouper, scamp grouper, blackfin tuna and other species offshore. This past weekend we had a 39 hour trip that did well on the big mangrove snapper, yellowtail snapper, porgies, vermillions, and even caught around two dozen red grouper and a nice scamp. Plus a nice tuna as well during the bottom fishing time of the trip on a flat line rod. The kingfish have still been around offshore too, which is a great unexpected bonus this time of year when offshore fishing. We are seeing the same great offshore action on the mangrove snapper as long as the weather cooperates to get out there to them. The flying HUB 2 has not been running extreme trips this past week since it was pulled out of service to replace its engines after gags closed. However, it’s back in service now with some beautiful Suzuki engines on it and it’s running great ready to rock its upcoming Sunday 12 hour extreme trip with a super light load.
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
Want some FREE fishing trips with us at Hubbard’s Marina? Want to learn more about near shore and offshore fishing? Check out the upcoming Bass pro shops fishing seminar with Capt Dylan Hubbard at the Tampa bass pro location. The next seminar will be Saturday January 12th at 2pm. The fishing seminar or fishing conversation will be about an hour long of fishing conversation, tips, tricks and more! Plus, at the end of each seminar Capt Dylan gives away a FREE 10 hour all day for two guests and a FREE 5 hour half day for two guests to two lucky winners of the FREE raffle. To be entered in the raffle you just have to show up around 2pm and stay for the hour seminar. Check out the Facebook event for this upcoming seminar here – https://hubbardsmarina.com/bass-pro-fishing-seminars/ You can also view all the past bass pro shops seminars at this page too!
NEW MOTORS PUT ON THE FLYING HUB 2 this week at Hubbard’s Marina we have gotten rid of our mercury engines that didn’t work too well for us and we are going to the biggest Suzuki outboard engines on the market with the dual props. Our first trip on the boat with the new engines was a huge success with great efficiency, speed and reliability out of the gate. We are hoping the motors will continue to perform better than expected even after a big load is placed on the boat and we load down the fish boxes with monster red grouper, scamp grouper, mangrove snapper and more during the next trip! Book your 12 hour extreme trip in January now for an opportunity to ride the first ever USCG inspected hydrofoil assisted catamaran in the Gulf of Mexico. This boat is totally unlike anything you have fished from and the extreme trip should be a great chance to get plenty of great eating snapper like the big mangroves and yellowtails plus a shot at some red grouper, scamp grouper and blackfin tuna as well!
We have super light loads on our long range overnight fishing trips in January and it’s a great time to get out there and target the blackfin tuna, mangrove snapper, scamp grouper, red grouper, yellowtail and many more great eating fish with hardly anyone else on board! We have two more 39 hours and a 44 hour left in the month of January if you want to book a long range adventure with us at Hubbard’s Marina to kick start your new year with plenty of fresh fish. Friday January 18th is our first 44 hour full moon fishing trip of 2019 and we have a super stupid light load on that trip right now and it should be a great opportunity for tons of the great eating snapper, killer chance at plenty of blackfin tuna on the full moon night bite, and we will target the red and scamp grouper through the day time. We have a Tuesday 39 hour on January 22nd and a Friday 39 hour coming up January 25th. The Tuesday trip will have the lightest load for sure, but the Friday trip is looking like another light load too. These 39 hours will be a great opportunity for the same catch the 44 hour offers just a little less fishing time at night compared to the 44 hour full moon trip.
2019 TRIPS FILLING FAST Book your 2019 10,12, 39 or 44 hour trip TODAY while there’s still tons of open room, these trips will fill quickly so book NOW. Last year red snapper trips were filled up by end of January, so don’t miss your chance at securing your favorite trip TODAY. Here’s the link for all your 2019 12,39 and 44 hour trips – https://hubbardsmarina.com/specialty-fishing-trip/
Want to learn more about fishing locally? Don’t forget we have the Weekly fishing conversation or seminar by Capt Dylan Hubbard LIVE on the Hubbard’s Marina Facebook page if you don’t want to leave your house to catch a seminar! We also then upload this video to the Hubbard’s Marina YouTube page shortly after the live video is over. This is weekly on Sunday nights from 8:30pm until 9:30pm, check out the event page and PLEASE LIKE AND SHARE the event if you have a Facebook page, and invite your friends as well! Here’s the page to find the facebook event link, and view all the past LIVE Q&A fishing shows – https://hubbardsmarina.com/past-qanda-live-streams/
Captain Jack’s dolphin corner
We have been seeing plenty of playful dolphins around Johns Pass lately and even spotting the juveniles learning how to ‘play’ and interact with their family groups. Multiple morning videos where we do the fishing and weather updates with a sunrise view have featured the playful dolphins around Johns Pass. It’s a great time to get out on the water and enjoy this beautiful weather, red tide free water, and the playful local dolphins! Here’s all the information on our dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour – https://hubbardsmarina.com/dolphin-watching-cruises/
Our sunset cruise is only Friday, Saturday and Sunday this time of year but that doesn’t stop the good times! Hope you get a chance to join us for this fun filled cruise in the near future. It’s a bit more of a party atmosphere compared to our dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour, and it doesn’t offer the full narration like the dolphin tour but there’s great music and some great jokes. Plus, the sunset cruise takes you down the beautiful gulf beaches at the golden hour with the sunset to your left and the beautiful beaches to your right. Plus, we often spot pods of the dolphins cruising the beaches too while enjoying the free beer and wine offered aboard our sunset cruise at Hubbard’s Marina inside Johns Pass Madeira Beach. To learn more about the fun filled sunset cruise with free beer and wine check out this link – https://hubbardsmarina.com/sunset-cruise/
Hubbard’s Marina Sea Adventures and Tampa Bay ferry are both proudly power by Honda Marine! If you come visit us for a dolphin tour, sunset cruise, Egmont key island trip, snorkeling, shelling, water taxi ride or any type of ferry or pleasure cruise trip then you will be riding a boat powered by Honda Marine! These new motors look great, are super quiet and are great on fuel economy! It was tough to get four boats re-powered with new engines but it was well worth the change and were very happy! Hope you get a chance to see these brand new super cool engines at work on board one of our pleasure cruise and ferry boats! To learn more about Honda Marine engines for your boat, check out their website: https://marine.honda.com/ they have the best warranty in the industry right now, you get a full 5 years and you just can’t beat that!
Tampa bay ferry News
Right now the water is a bit chilly to snorkel out at Egmont key island, but the weather is perfect for exploring the island’s walking paths and hiking trails and the big fort that sits on the island’s interior. Plus, this time of year the weather makes the island nearly bug free compared to the summer time when the mosquitoes can get a little thicker out there.
Also, the shelling is incredible this time of year due to less people visiting the island and the frequent cold fronts stirring up the local waters and pushing fresh shells onto the beaches. Since this is a true island nestled in the mouth of Tampa bay Egmont key island has some of the best shelling around and is harder to get to for the masses since it’s only accessible by larger boats since you have to navigate the deep shipping channel to make it to this island paradise. The Tampa bay ferry by Hubbard’s Marina offers 11am ferry rides to the island Wednesday through Sunday this time of year. You get three hours on the island after around a 20-30 minute ride out and back to the island. 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/
The Shell key ferry trip is not running or offered this time of year due to the low amount of interest in the area. However, it will resume this spring starting in March with daily rides out to shell Key Island multiple times per day! For now, the only option is a day out at Egmont key with the Tampa Bay Ferry by Hubbard’s Marina.
We have finished 2019 regular’s club renewals and we are starting on signing up NEW MEMBERS, if you are interested in becoming a 2019 regular’s club loyalty program member please reach out to Capt. Dylan Hubbard by sending him your name and cell number via email to [email protected]. He will be in touch in the coming few weeks about the loyalty program that offers discounted trips if you fish more than 10,15 or 20 times a year with us at Hubbard’s Marina. It also comes with some free gifts and other benefits too besides discounted trips, but it’s NOT simply a discount program. It’s a loyalty program and it requires fishing often and being a model Hubbard’s Marina guest and showing the passion shared by all of us at Hubbard’s Marina for fishing and our fellow anglers.
PAST AND PRESENT MEMBERS: be sure to renew your membership before 2018 ends!
Captain Dylan Hubbard
Vice president and Co-Owner
(727)393-1947 ext. 306