Inshore- Recent FWC commission meeting made final ruling on the closure for snook, redfish and trout and they decided to continue that for our region until end of May 2021. This was in response to the 2017-2018 red tide in our area, and it is trying to allow those species to rebuild their stocks before harvest begins again.
Sheepshead bite has been on fire this past week around the entire bay area from the back bays to the passes any structure was producing plenty of the great eating sheepshead. We should have a good bite of sheepshead for a few more weeks, but it will slow down as the water starts to warm up. This past week we did have some warmer weather bring us some warmer waters. Luckily this didn’t slow down the sheepshead bite thankfully and we have some chilly temps on the way the next few days to keep us in the range for happy cooperative sheepshead.
Mackerel have been biting well around the area the past two weeks with these warmer weather periods we have seen quite the increase in mackerel. Especially around the mouth of Tampa bay, our local passes and just off the beaches.
Speckled Trout bite has been steady through the area too. During the day out on the flats, residential dock lines and mangrove shorelines are holding trout. At night the docks or bridge lights are great places to catch trout. The soft plastic paddletail has been working very well for trout, but you can use an artificial shrimp as a great option too. For live bait, live shrimp or greenbacks are great options to catch plenty of speckled trout.
The silver trout have been super thick along the sandy bottoms of our beaches and passes. At night targeting them around the pass can produce large numbers of the silver trout. Great fun on lighter tackle, similar to the speckled trout the white soft plastic paddletail has been the best option.
Whiting are cooperating well around the Tampa bay channels and along our beaches and from our local beach piers. Typically, on the bottom you can find them ready to eat some live shrimp or slow moving artificials like doc’s jigs. I often run into this as bycatch when targeting pompano along the beaches.
Pompano bite has been picky but present through the area. You got to hit them at the right time in the right area and these fish can move quite a bit up and down our beaches and passes. The hot spots have been around Anna Maria, the sky way approaches, fort de soto and pass a grille.
Snook action heated up pretty good this week along with our local waters. They really spread out nicely in a hurry as water warmed. This past week we had an issue with our shrimp tank one morning causing a big escapement of shrimp and it was like summer time again with all these snook chasing and popping shrimp on the surface around our dock just before sunrise. There has been quite a few caught during the day around the dock at Hubbard’s Marina this week too. Mostly on live shrimp or live pigfish around the dock. However, the bite went well for many anglers around the bay area on the flats, mangrove shorelines and the residential dock lines brought out some cooperative snook.
Redfish bite was steady this past week around the shallower mangrove shorelines, grass flats, residential docks and oyster bars. Great area to look for them this time of year is around those grass flats holding staging mullet. Redfish are also big fans of the slow moving white soft plastic paddletail this past week but small pinfish, live shrimp and even greenbacks work well for the redfish too. Lighter tackle is always a good idea when the water is clearer.
Near Shore – Hogfish bite once again dominates the near shore reports because that in my opinion is the best eating near shore fish you can catch, and they are biting very well around 40-80ft of water. Great time to go get them around Sunday or Monday on the backside of this weekend’s blow before the next mid-week barrage of fronts to come. These guys love scavenging the bottom adjacent to the smaller ledges, rockpiles or flat hard bottom with lots of relief like the sea fans. They love cruising for crustaceans like small crabs, shrimp or whatever else they may find. That’s why live shrimp or fiddler crabs are both great options to use for bait when targeting hogfish near shore. Always want to utilize the lighter than normal tackle when going after the hogfish near shore. Around 30lb floro carbon with 3-4ot hooks and around half ounce to one ounce lead is great starting point for the hogfish on a light but strong spinning rod with around a 4000-5000 series reel. This is the preferred set up when targeting these great eating but unique looking hogfish near shore.
Lane snapper have also been cooperating well near shore around 60-100ft of water you can find these great eating fish pretty consistently and they have been a pretty large average size. These guys will take a small piece of squid or live shrimp and we often catch quite a few when targeting hogfish in deeper waters.
Mangrove snapper action has been pretty good this past week around the same range as the lane snapper. These guys will typically take a live shrimp, cut threadfin chunks or the smaller live pinfish. Great time to go get some mangrove snapper, lane snapper and hogfish around 60-80ft of water when the weather allows.
We are seeing plenty of mackerel this past week from right off the beach to around 10-12 miles from shore. There’s rumors of a few kingfish showing up, but its awfully early to be seeing those guys. I am hoping the incoming cooler temps from the multiple fronts that are coming in won’t set us back on this early mackerel run.
Offshore- Weather has been really tough to make our regular scheduled offshore fishing runs. We have not been deep since the last email newsletter due to weather. However, we know right now the red grouper bite is pretty darn good this past week around 100-120ft to the South west of our area. We have also seen lots of nice mangrove snapper mixed in, but the mangroves are definitely biting better a little beyond that 20 fathom (120 foot of water) grouper closure line. We have seen some nice vermillion snapper, a few yellowtail snapper and lots of porgies around this depth range too. Plus, the blackfin tuna action has been really good lately and were hoping for more of the same on the backside of this bad weather. Plus, the exciting news is that we have triggerfish opening up March first!
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
WIN FREE FISHING TRIPS at our next Bass Pro Shops seminar event coming up Saturday February 22nd 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: https://www.facebook.com/events/1231164307092844/
DON’T FORGET, YOU CAN ALSO WIN FREE FISHING TRIPS if you 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/
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.
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
We have many visiting seabirds this time of year, our local birds are dawning their mating plumage and the dolphins are playful! Great time to join us at Hubbard’s Marina for a fun filled and relaxing hour and a half dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour through our back protected bay waters!
We have spotted some roseatte spoonbills lately around our local oyster bars in the back bays. These guys are super cool to spot and so unique looking when they get nice and pink from all the shrimp they eat.
Due to the wintertime weather up north many of the bald Eagles head south for the winter to stay warm. We have a huge number of bald eagles hanging around area now and the last few days we have had a few relaxing on the sand bars at low tide to sun themselves and rest up for more fishing fun as the water starts to flood back into the bays with the incoming tides.
White pelicans showing back up to our area for their wintertime retreat, great time to go cruising our local back bay waters to spot these beautiful and unique birds while they are in town for a short time!
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!
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
Right now with the barrage of the cold fronts makes shelling out of this world out at Egmont key with us aboard our Egmont key ferry boat ride from Fort De Soto’s county park. We have 11am tours leaving Wednesday-Sunday this time of year that offer 2 hours out on the island after a 30 minute ride out and 30 minute ride back. 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/
While out on the island, you can go shelling around the perimeter or trek through the interior of the island to the western side where the shelling is even better! Plus, you have a great shot at sharks’ teeth and more. Plus, this time of year is awesome for exploring the island’s interior a bit more on your way to the gulf side of the island. There are cooler temps and hardly any bugs after the cooler weather sets in on the island.
The shark’s 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!
We are officially into the 2020 year and our 2020 regular’s club is solidifying. If you have not renewed your membership has become inactive and your discount is no longer working. Please make sure to call me and get set up again when you have time so that way your 2020 bookings will have your discount attached when you show up for your trips! We can sign you up via phone or in person, and it is always easier ahead of your trip.
If you are not a 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 31st, 2020!
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
UPDATED Coupon information
2020 Hubbard’s Marina calendars only $5 with this coupon!
Or $5 Hubbard’s Marina hat with Hubbard’s Logo!
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