Inshore- The inshore fishing was exciting this past week with some big tarpon, snook and a few trout at night, while during the day the tarpon and snook continued with whiting, silver trout, and a few mangrove snapper mixed in. The night time fishing continues to be and will be the best time to target the snook as the water warms, or very early hours of the morning. Those snook get lethargic and lazy during the super warm day time hours hanging around the bottom of deep passes or heading to near shore reefs to spawn. During the day you can still get them but big chunked pieces of oily dead bait on the bottom of the pass seems to be the best option, or you can move to the beach and fish the troughs for the schoolie sized snook. At night that’s the time the big dogs come to play and they are biting best at the beginning of the outgoing and okay towards the end as well reported Angelo Rivero, a largo based snook fishing guru who has his own jig company “Glad Snooker Jigs” which are all flairhawks. He fishes Johns Pass and surrounding passes often for snook with his flairhawks and he finds the best success with 1oz jigs when the water gets moving and 3/4oz jigs once the water levels get lower towards the end of the tide. Those snook love structure, especially when the tide is moving they hide out in the lee of the current waiting to ambush passing prey items so you need to work your jig with the current right along the structure giving them a chance to ambush the jig. Live pigfish or grass grunts work well for them too with about a 3-4ot circle hook or a small ladyfish or finger mullet. Tarpon feed well around the passes at night as well, and you can get those on bigger mullet or ladyfish or the big hard bodied lipped crank baits like the 6-8” rapala Xrap lures or Bombers. Also, the big soft plastic or swim baits like the spoolteks or hoggies. They are big fish looking for 6-10 inch baits, but you need some quality large tackle if you want a chance to get them landed, just keep in mind with both the snook and tarpon these are game fish that are catch and release only make sure to handle with care and leave them in the water. You legally cannot remove tarpon over 40” from the water and smaller tarpon or snook should only be removed for very brief moments if you want a quick photo, but be sure to support their bellies when removing them from the water they cannot be lifted by holding their jaws or you can run the risk of killing the fish! Speckled trout are biting well around the bridge and docks at night in the light lines on free lined live shrimp or green backs and they make a fun target species because they are typically in fairly large groups and with light tackle they can be a fun fight all you need is 15-20lb leader and 8-12lb test with 2500-3000 series spinning reels on slow action rods. They have very soft mouths so unlike tarpon and snook where you want a very heavy fast action rod for trout you want a very slow action rod rated for 6-12lb line making them tons of fun to catch and release, especially when they are feeding well at the end of the outgoing tide and even a little into slack tide. Trout during the day are around the sandy drop off in the pass or along the deeper edges of the grass flats. Whiting and silver trout are both beach fishing targets that are caught surf fishing along our beautiful beaches on live shrimp weighted to the bottom. They both will eat the love’s lures bouncing along the bottom or the Nekid ball jigs bouncing along the sandy bottom.
Near shore- The fishing near shore has been a little picky this week, but in the deepest near shore waters we are doing well on the big lane snapper, vermillion snapper and a few nice red grouper. The 30-70 foot areas are much harder to get consistent action as the water warms up, but were finding pockets of cooperative grey snapper or white grunts, porgies and some big sea bass. However, the hogfish have been very tough to get going in high numbers. During the summer to get large number of hogfish you have to jump in and force feed them some steel from your spear gun to get big catches of these very unaggressive super smart fish. However, out past 70-80 foot of water all the way offshore the bit is much better. The big lane snapper are tons of fun and we love to use cut pieces of squid, chunks of threadfins or sardines, or the live shrimp to target them. You can use jig heads on the hard flat bottom areas that hold bait, or hit a rock piles or ledge to find these great eating fish and you can use the hogfish method to make it tons of fun to catch plenty of the 1-4lb lane snapper mixed in with some porgies, vermillions, maybe some mangrove snapper and the occasional red grouper and maybe even a hogfish! This means around a 4000 series spinning reel, a fast action 15-20# very sensitive rod and around 20lb braid with a 15-25ft piece of 20-30lb floro carbon on top tied to either a jig head, Nekid ball jig, or a knocker rig with ½oz-1oz of weight with a 4ot hook. This set up gives you tons of sensitivity and lots of fun when catching even smaller snapper and it presents your bait very naturally if your using the lightest possible weights to let that live shrimp or piece of dead bait to flutter down to the bottom. If you use heavier weights it is easier to feel the bites on the bottom, but you don’t get the ability to catch the bigger, smarter fish on the way to the bottom up in the water column. The idea behind this type of set up is to let that bait flutter to bottom slowly to give those bigger fish up in the water column fooled into thinking it’s a piece of chum floating by this is why the knocker rig is such a great option to switch too even offshore in deeper water after you have fished a spot awhile and the bite slows down. The idea is after fishing for a while that smell starts going through the area and the snapper start getting excited and schooled up, coming higher and higher in the water column. If you aren’t fishing with 15-30 people like a party boat would be you can cheat and use some chum to get this same effect, and I prefer and highly recommend the snapper up or chum drop by Aquatic nutrition sportfishing chums! If you would rather target the red grouper around 40-60lb leader, 6ot hooks and a 3-4oz egg sinker above your swivel with a 4-5ft leader and a 4-6ot reel with a heavy action 20-40lb class rod is a great idea in this depth area of 70-100ft of water with a live pinfish, long strip of cut squid wing or double dead threadfins hooked through the eye socket with their tails cut are all great bait options to target some big red grouper.
Offshore – Red snapper and gag grouper have opened up! We are happy to report we have been catching plenty of the red snapper and some nice gags too. However, this time of year is not the best time for gags the red snapper are very fired up this time of year but they are spawning. This past Saturday both of the species opened up for us here at Hubbards Marina. However, the new moon made our fishing areas in 150-250 foot of water very difficult to fish with stronger currents that just wouldn’t quit. Even with 10-16oz leads we were struggling to hold bottom and present our baits naturally at the beginning of the week. We switched up strategies and fished a bit shallower and still got our red snapper but the gags this time of year stay deeper around 180ft of water or more. Red snapper can start being caught around 40 miles and 120ft of water but you really need to get up to about 150-160ft of water to start getting bigger more consistent red snapper and around 180-200ft for the consistent huge fish. If you want a chance for both big gags and big red snapper definitely 200ft of water plus is where you want to be heading. Gags bite best in months ending in ER when the water is cooler then they even come in shallower, especially from thanksgiving till the end of the year that is the hot time of year for gags when the waters get chilly and weather gets to stirring up the waters. They also bite well in the spring when they spawn and they get super aggressive then too but they are only open to harvest from June first until the end of the year. Red snapper season is June first until August second at 12:01am for federally permitted for hire charter and party boats. Aboard private recreational boats, managed by FWC instead of the federal fisheries this year the private recreational season starts June eleventh and runs until July twelfth at 12:01am. Red snapper will bite just about anything but my favorite dead bait for them is a cut strip of bonita and my favorite live bait for them is a big squirrel fish or sand perch. While targeting red snapper I like to use 60-80lb leader, 6-8ot hooks 6ot reels, 60-80lb mainline and 6-8oz leads depending on my size of bait and depth. Gags are more picky and they love big live baits like pinfish, pigfish or even big porgies and grunts. Tackle for gag grouper is much bigger at least 80lb test but as big as 125lb leader is used for the monsters, at least a 6ot reel but 9ots for the monsters, at least 8ot hook but up to 12ot depending on the size of beast I am going after and a 50-100lb stiff 7-8ft rood does the job! This past week the 12 hour extreme has been getting limits of red snapper, a few nice gag grouper, big scamp and plenty of them and some mangroves, porgies and huge vermillion mixed in. The 39 hour has been bringing home mountains of fish with nearly everyone limiting out on red snapper, tons of mangroves, good numbers of lanes, vermillion and pogies with big kingfish and the occasional tuna caught too! Check out our facebook or youtube page for tons of photos and videos from the long range fishing trips. We still have tons of 39 hour spots open before the end of the season and a few 12 hour extreme spots towards July!
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Upcoming up at Hubbard’s Marina
Red snapper season is in full swing and we still have spots left on our Tuesday and Sunday 39 hours in June with the occasional spot open on the Friday adventures too! The 12 hour extreme trips are more full since they only take up to 16 people but there’s still trips in June with availability and July has lots of trips with room for you and your group! If you want to hop on one of these trips BOOK NOW spots are filling fast and June is nearly full, still some room in July but it will not last long! Call us at (727)393-1947 or book online at -> https://HubbardsMarina.com
PRIVATE CHARTERS CATCHING TONS OF RED SNAPPER! The Flying HUB 2 is booked up every day in June for private fishing charters but there’s some room left in July. The Flying HUB 1 which is just as fast just a little smaller of a boat that can only do up to six passengers is open most of June just the weekends are booked up while July is still fairly wide open including some weekend bookings too! Keep in mind you can get red snapper even on a 8-10 hour private fishing charter on these fast boats, but the best route is looking at booking a 12 hour trip to fish the same areas as our 12 hour extreme and 39 hour trips!
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 to 8:30am! 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
SHOW THIS SUNADY! Just two days until the June 9th Sunday night live
show at 8:30pm! Join us if you want to learn more about fishing locally and WIN
FREE FISHING TRIPS without leaving your house! Don’t forget we have the Weekly
fishing conversation or seminar by Capt Dylan Hubbard LIVE on the Hubbard’s
Marina Facebook & YouTube page if you don’t want to leave your house to
catch a seminar! 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 Facebook event page
please check it out and click ‘going’ or ‘Interested’ to get reminders and stay
tuned for updates, plus it helps us spread the word! https://www.facebook.com/events/303974027187430/
Captain Jack’s dolphin corner
We have two new baby dolphins in our area making it a great time to come join Capt Jack and Capt Dave for a relaxing dolphin watching nature cruise and Eco tour through the back protected bay waters behind Johns Pass from Madeira Beach! The big Blue boat has been spotting these two newborn dolphins with their mothers in a large playful group of local dolphins and they have been coming right up to the boat to play along side and show off their newly learn skills to our guests! Our 175 local dolphins are growing in number and this summer looks like that number will continue to swell. We have named the two new dolphins Daniel and Rudy after passengers aboard the boat when we spotted them the first time, come for a ride for a chance to have a newborn named after you!
The warmer waters have the local manatees out in good numbers cruising the back bay grass flats chomping down on their favorite food, our local turtle grass. This makes it easy to spot these unique creatures. Typically they are hard to spot only sticking their snout out of the water for a few seconds and then diving down deep for up to 8-10 minutes before poking their small nose out again. Right now, along the shallow grass flats its easy to spot them and they seem to chill out giving our passengers great opportunities for plenty of photos from the big blue boat, our dolphin cruise boat at Hubbard’s Marina inside Johns Pass!
It maybe very late in the season but our local bird nesting island or rookery named Dog Leg Key has plenty of baby birds left in their nests and the juvenile birds born further back are starting to hop around the branches and learning to fly making it a great time to Join us at Hubbard’s Marina for one of these relaxing, fun for the whole family, dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour aboard our big blue boat departing Johns Pass daily at 1,3 and 5pm!
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
The warm summertime weather is here making it a great time to escape to the islands with us aboard the Tampa Bay Ferry by Hubbard’s Marina. Walking the beaches in the morning looking for the sharks teeth and shells and then spend the day time swimming or snorkeling is a great family fun escape from the tourist filled beaches on the mainland. Also, we are seeing tons of local marine life traveling to and from Egmont Key and Shell Key islands! For more info on our cruises check out all the options on our website -> https://hubbardsmarina.com/sunset-dolphin-cruises-gulf-beaches-florida/
The warmer weather has the local tortoises out to play at Egmont key island, great time to visit the island to see plenty of these slow moving tortoise sunning themselves and enjoying some rays during the day!
We have been spotting lots of manatees around the Egmont Key and Shell Key Islands lately, come join us for a day of fun in the in the sun at the island aboard the Tampa Bay Ferry by Hubbard’s Marina.
We also have tons of sea turtle nests at both Egmont Key and Shell Key islands and it’s the peak of sea turtle nesting season! Great opportunity to see some nests and maybe spot some sea turtles cruising the water ways. However, its important to remember and remind your friends, family and children to fill in any holes you dig while enjoying the beaches as the sea turtles that come ashore to lay eggs and make nests can become trapped or disorientated by holes left by beach goers.
Right now they are doing beach re-nourishment on the west side of Egmont Key Island right now which inhibits exploring the full north end of the island like normal. However, that does make it a killer time for sharks teeth finds as the sand they bring up to the beaches and set down on the existing sand is ripe with great fresh shells, fossils and huge sharks teeth even the big pristine megladon teeth that people find as trophies during their visits to Egmont Key island!
If you enjoy snorkeling NOW is the time to get out to Egmont Key Island for some snorkeling fun. The waters are super clear right now especially on the incoming tides, but once the water continues to warm and the summer time afternoon rain storms become normal occurrences daily then the local waters lose their super clear appearance. Come join us asap for a day of island fun with a side of snorkeling adventure aboard the Tampa Bay Ferry from the Bay pier at Fort De Soto park to Egmont Key Island.
Our Shell Key ferry ride aboard the Tampa Bay Ferry from Fort De Soto’s boat ramp to Shell Key Island is spotting tons of manatees right now along their route to their island. It’s a great time to visit that island too for great shells, crystal clear waters on the west side of the island and great exploring on the west side of the island.
The Egmont key ferry from Fort De Soto offers 10am and 11am ferry rides to the island daily this time of year, plus on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday we offer a 2pm ferry ride from Fort De Soto 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/
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 DAILY
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/
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
president and Co-Owner
(727)393-1947 ext. 306
UPDATED Coupon information
Hubbard’s Marina sweatshirts only $20 while supplies last!
We have a variety of sizes and colors and styles, get em’ while they last!
– when they are gone!
Preferred partner spotlight
Try one of our new menu items at the Friendly Fisherman like the super amazing Fresh Grouper Tacos!
Two tortillas with shredded cabbage, pico de gallo,
cheddar cheese, chipotle mayonnaise and sour cream.
For only $17.45