The big recent front really changed the game inshore this past week prior to the front we had clear waters and moderate conditions that was allowing the mackerel, trout, redfish, snook, flounder and many other species bite well. After the front blew through, the murkier muddy stirred up water behind the front left the sheepshead biting well, gags fired up, black drum feeding, trout a bit pickier and the occasional redfish and snook cooperated. The waters are finally clearing back up behind the front with the now calmer conditions. Really got to watch the weather this time of year and fish around the storms, if you only can fish at certain times make sure to capitalize on what’s biting with the weather conditions. When its moderate and clearer waters nearly all our local species will cooperate at the right time of day and in the right areas. When its murky, muddy and stirred up the sheepshead, black drum, gags and trout flourish. However, that muddy water really brings out the best in sheepshead.
Sheepshead love the structures like docks, piers, jetties and rock piles around the area. The love to eat clams, oysters, barnacles and fiddler crabs and you can catch them with small pieces of shrimp as well. Smaller hooks and lighter tackle is king, but you need a stronger hook that won’t bend out or snap in their harder mouths. 1-2ot hooks with around 15-20lb floro seems to work well with a minimal amount of weight. Just enough weight to keep your bait in the strike zone which is right up against the structure that the sheepshead are cruising on looking for crabs, barnacles and other crustaceans. These guys are fun to catch, great eating just a little tricky to clean since they are bonier fish with a very tough rib cage to fillet out.
Black drum are similar to sheepshead and hide out in similar areas but instead of being right on the structure these guys tend to hold the bottom adjacent to these structures eating many of the same food items as sheepshead but the best luck for the drum is a crab or whole live shrimp weighted to the bottom.
Snook are still around the area, but they are much more tricky in the passes and most seem to be on the move especially with the fronts increasing in strength and our local waters cooling down more and more. The slower action artificials seem to be working well or bait on the bottom weighted down making it easy for them to feed seems to be working best.
Redfish can be found in the potholes of the flats, mangrove shorelines, and upper bay areas especially in the warmer afternoon sun in the shallows warming up from the chillier local water temps. Like the snook they become more opportunistic and slower moving as the water cools so slow-moving lures are the trick this time of year. Just like you and me, the cooler it gets the more we tend to want to slow down. Remember, the fish can’t just bundle up like you and me so when temps drop suddenly they can get a bit of a shock and tend to just freeze up making them a little tougher to get chewing until they warm up or find easy prey items.
Flounder are being caught around the docks, bridges and passes and along the sandy edges and potholes of the grass flats on live shrimp on the bottom or the slow-moving artificial shrimp like the DOA shrimp. These guys are waiting for passing bait right on the bottom so you got to present them the bait like they want, or they will not cooperate.
The mackerel bite was really good around the area prior to the big blow that stirred up the water and we are expecting them to return in force as the water clears the next few days ahead of the next blow early this coming week. Unlike the rest of the species we have been discussing these guys like fast moving flashy baits like casting spoons or gotcha plugs around the passes, beaches, piers and mouth of the bay.
Triple tail are still all over the bay and along the beaches hiding out under buoys, markers and other debris. If you are lucky enough to run across one of these unique looking fish, make sure to show them a live shrimp or artificial shrimp right near their hide outs for a chance at a great dinner. However, remember they have to be eighteen inches total length now to keep which can be challenging sometimes to run across
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The recent cold front really put a damper on things on the shallower near shore waters this past week. We saw a really big storm that really stirred up the water from the bay bays out to around nearly 20 miles from shore. Luckily the weather eased off quickly and our local waters started to clear up quickly with each day seeing an improvement in water clarity. Behind these big storms when the water gets so muddy even if the fish are down there and are ready to eat it makes it nearly impossible for them to find the bait and do their thing. The only way to be successful behind a big storm like that is to get past that muddier water out to where the water starts to clear up, or you can wait a few days for the fishing to return to normal as the waters calm and wind lays down it still takes another 1-3 days for the waters to clear back up depending on the strength of the storm. In this recent case we had 8ft seas only 10 miles from shore Monday which made the local waters murky until pretty much Thursday when we saw a marked change for the better. Keep in mind, once you get deeper the water will not get as stirred up as the surface chaos will not get deep enough to stir up the sand and silt on the bottom. However, shallower near shore waters are more dramatically affected since the high winds and seas can more easily stir things up even on the bottom.
Prior to the blow we were having a really good near shore mackerel and kingfish bite and were hoping that will return to us the next few days now that the near shore waters are clearing up. We saw some really nice catches of kingfish and mackerel trolling in the shallower near shore waters over the past weekend. The kingfish were not huge but they were plentiful mixed in with some really good sized Spanish mackerel.
The hogfish bite really pick up yesterday as the water cleared up near shore the half day did very well on the hogfish in the shallower 30-60ft areas while the all day trip out a little deeper did not find the hogfish ready to cooperate. We are hoping this weekend’s nice weather gets the hogfish bite hot again like it was heating up right before this recent big cold front. Remember, the best action is always right ahead of the front or a few days after once the wind and waves have gone and the waters clear up and the barometer normalizes.
The gag grouper bite has been a little hit and miss if you can find where they are chewing you can really dial in to a good number of them easily. However, to our west in the Tampa area we are seeing more red grouper cooperation versus the gags near shore. Its not till you get into the bay or much deeper offshore until you find the gags cooperating more prolifically throughout an area.
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The offshore waters are dominated right now with stories of prolific gag grouper and some really nice sized but picky mangrove snapper. We are also seeing the occasional big kingfish and nice blackfin tuna.
The gag grouper are biting very well for us on our 39 hour trip but they really require a grind of the full trip to get some good numbers bouncing from ledge to ledge getting a few here, few here and a few more there and really requiring the full 20 hours of fishing time to amass a good number of keeper fish after much work and many many many more fish lost to the bottom in break offs. The trick is finding the right depth they are feeding well in from 120-180ft of water and then working that depth range from spot to spot with big frisky live baits, big tackle, a little luck and a lot of patience. Typically around 80lb test is the lightest you’d want to gag grouper fish with and a reel with 40-50lbs of drag or more with a beefy rod that still gives you the sensitivity needed to feel that fish start to eat so you can put the hammer down and start cranking as hard and fast as you possibly can while lifting at the same time. When these guys hit you have to act as though your life depends on gaining every inch of line into your reel as quickly and aggressively and as hard as you possibly can to get these guys out of the rocks and into the boat. Once you get them up off the bottom slow it down and then really start the finesse game as often the start of the fight they have damaged your leader or bent your hooks a bit and you don’t want to fight em hard once they are away from those sharp ledges you hooked them on.
Mangrove snapper can be tricky to get on consistently too, but with some effort, lots of practice and the right gear you can really dial in on these guys and produce consistent catches of these great eating and fun to catch fish. Once you master the mangrove snapper bite you can pretty much hook any bottom fish around. These guys are super smart and very quick and aggressive feeders. Plus, the larger mangroves we see this time of year put up a pretty good fight too. The higher speed reels, lighter rods with sensitive tips, floro carbon leaders, and thinner extra sharp hooks really help. Plus, you cannot do this without the double snell rig and a threadfin, sardine or cigar minnow plug. You can learn the double snell rig and how to prepare and hook your plugged dead bait on the fishing tips and tricks page of our website, just visit https://HubbardsMarina.com and click ‘fishing trips’ then click ‘fishing tips and tricks’ and you will find all those videos and a few more!
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
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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 cancellations.
WIN FREE FISHING TRIPS at our next Bass Pro Shops seminar event coming up Saturday December 21 st 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:
BLACK FRIDAY DEALS are EXTENDED!! We still have tons of deals going on through the coming week … tackle, lures, Hubbard’s gear and other products deals will run for a few days but the deal is over when the products get sold! Plus, we have the gift certificates on sale on our site for 20% off too and those are unlimited until the deal stops… so get these deals FAST before they are gone! Here’s more info below too:
1. 20% OFF GIFT CERTIFICATES, you can redeem these for future trips! **KEEP IN MIND, for the 20% off gift certificate specials you HAVE TO USE THE COUPON CODE ‘blackfriday’
2. Daiwa Saltist 2sp- $275 + tax
3. Daiwa Saltiga 2sp- $380 + tax
4. Killer Stix Rods- 20% off
5. Hubbards Hats- $5/each
6. Spro Jigs- 50% off
7. Hubbard’s Winter wear- 30% off
8. Daiwa Jigs- 25% off
9. Venting tools- 30% off
10. Ahi Deception Jigs- 40% off
**THESE DISCOUNTS CANNOT BE COMBINED with other discounts, so no additional discounts can be added on top of any black friday deals. These are rock bottom prices and can’t be beat!**
20% OFF GIFT CERTIFICATES IF YOU USE COUPON CODE ‘blackfriday’ but here’s the gift certificate policies, PLEASE READ IN FULL BEFORE PURCHASE … Here’s the link to buy them NOW -> https://hubbardsmarina.com/gift-certificates/
– Gift certificates are only good for up to a year from purchase date , if you buy one december first its good until the following december first
– Expiration dates on the gift certificates are very strict , they cannot be extended for ANY reason please be aware of this when planning your trips if you book right before it expires and something comes up like weather you could be risking your gift certificate balance
– Good towards any trip’s fare – not usable on tackle, parking fees, souvenirs, memberships or anything other than trip fare only
– Cannot be redeemed same day as purchase – must purchase in advance
-strongly recommend you put all your balance on one gift certificate if you don’t want one of the preset amounts click ‘other’ and type in the amount you want to purchase. Buying multiple $25 or $100 cards gives you lots of gift certificate numbers and makes it difficult
– Maximum gift card purchase amount is $1000
**Keep in mind, when booking trips or buying gift certificates online there is a 6% convenience fee.
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 redesigned 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/
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
Great time to join us for some relaxing time on the water during our Dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour at Hubbard’s Marina inside Johns Pass aboard our big blue boat closest to the Johns Pass bridge! The mullet are flushing out of the back bays slowly and that’s causing our local dolphins to group up into large groups to feed on these unsuspecting fish as they swim into the passes to stage up for their near shore spawn. Plus, when these large groups get together typically they tend to really show off to each other and work together to school up these fish. These large actively feeding pods are tons of fun to watch and spot while on our cruises.
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!
Lots of seabird activity at our local bird nesting islands. Lots of Juvenile birds have become young adults and they are still goofy and uncoordinated so its fun to cruise by the island and watch their antics as they play together and learn their socialization skills.
We have a good number of bald eagles returning to the area from up north to stay warm for the winter. Great time to spot lots of these majestic large birds of prey while on the water with us at Hubbard’s Marina!
This time of year is our favorite time of year for amazing sunsets unlike any other! Great time to join us for one of our sunset cruises at Hubbard’s Marian because the weather is making some outstanding colorful views for the lucky visitors and locals who join us for our daily sunset cruise that offers FREE beer and wine every night around 7pm.
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
Great time to head out to the islands with us at Tampa bay ferry by Hubbard’s Marina from Fort De Soto Park! We have two ferry options right now, the Egmont key ferry from the fort De Soto bay pier then also the shell key ferry from the fort De Soto boat ramp.
The sharks 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!
The Egmont key ferry from Fort De Soto offers 11am ferry rides to the island Tuesday- Sunday this time of year out to Egmont Key Island! 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/
Our Shell key ferry trips are a great way to spend the day and offer more flexible schedules compared to the rigid Egmont key schedule! We offer these trips Firday through Monday until the end of November from the boat ramp at Fort De Soto County Park and they run at 10am, noon and 2pm and the final return time is 4pm! You have much more flexibility during the shell key trips compared to our Egmont key ferry because you get to choose the time you return to fort de Soto from Shell key! If you’re looking for plenty of time on the island and great shelling opportunities then the shell key ferry trip is your best bet! Check out all the information on this special ferry ride at this link – https://hubbardsmarina.com/shell-key-ferry/
Did you know you can camp overnight at Shell Key Preserve? And guess who takes you there – Tampa Bay Ferry ☀️
All you need to do is book your Adult Camper ticket (find at tampabayferry.com ) for the day you wish to depart, and then obtain a FREE camp permit from shellkey.org/camping . Next up, prep for a night under the stars!
Check out all the information on this special ferry ride at this link – https://hubbardsmarina.com/shell-key-ferry/
LIVE STREAM FISHING SHOW
EVERY SUNDAY 8:30 pm
Sunday night’s LIVE STREAM FISHING SHOW 8:30PM weekly! | https://HubbardsMarina.com
Join us Sunday nights at 8:30pm est for our live Fishing show where we answer your questions, our upcoming trips, the weather and discuss the history and future of Hubbard’s Marina. We also give away trips and other items just for watching and interacting with our stream!
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 31 st , 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
Hubbard’s Marina Preferred Partner
Email Newsletter Coupon
Black Friday deals start next week, make sure to check this coupon next week for that information and all the great deals you can take advantage of!
2020 Hubbard’s Marina calendars with CRAZY cool fishing pics!
$7.99 only, get your calendar now!
Plus, Includes moon phases for booking out your 2020 fishing trips!