More great redfish action around tampa bay during the day and in the passes at night this past week. We had some really active redfish schools feeding along the mangrove shore lines on live shrimp or live pinfish during the day. During the day they are found in large schools around the flats and mangrove shore lines and the lighter tackle is key. I would recommend using 15-20lb floro leader and small 3ot circle hook with lighter spinning reel and 15lb braided line with a 4-5ft leader tied on with a line to line knot. Remember, these schools are very spooky meaning you have to let the fish come to you because if you chase them or motor into them they will spread out and not want to feed for you! At night, we are seeing them inside the pass while anglers are snook fishing with live shrimp or pinfish we are catching them even with heavier tackle around the docks and bridges. Redfish seem to bite better around the bottom and in the pass and on the grass flats they are feeding best on the outgoing tide this past week.
The snook are feeding well yet again this past week in the passes at night. The live pigfish in the 4-6inch range, large live shrimp or small to medium pass crabs are the best live bait options for the snook. If you are using artificial lures the flairhawk style jigs, DOA shrimp or the hard crankbaits like a rapala xrap or bomber lipped plugs work best. The DOA shrimp are best at the very end or start of the tides, once the water really starts going those lighter lures are tough to work realistically through the current. While the hard crank baits and the flairhawks are much easier to work anytime during the tides. The snook bite has been very good this past week feeding on both the incoming and outgoing but we notice the outgoing tide when the bait is flushing they seem to hit the live bait best.
Plenty of mangrove snapper around the bridges, piers and jetties right now feeding on the whitebait and pieces of shrimp. Lighter tackle is key as they are very smart leader shy fish and the lightest weights possible at the very start of the outgoing tide is what we find works best to target these mangrove snapper.
Tarpon are still around the passes and beaches right now we are finding large schools of them at night around the bridge lights and during the day they cruise the beaches in smaller groups finding some live bait to feed on. When they are rolling they are not actively feeding but we have been finding them early morning in big schools working the flushing bait on the outgoing tides right in the light lines of the bridges.
Near shore –
This week we have been finding the mackerel on the beaches feeding on the trollers on the way out to fish near shore. Seems like around the morning time the mackerel are right on the beaches then as the day progresses they move further from shore and we run into them around 6-10 miles off the beaches. We find they are liking the number one or two planners with a squid spoon or king spoon around 12-18ft behind the planner with around 40-60lb test between the planner and spoon. These mackerel have been a little sparse but they will be becoming more and more prolific as the cooler time of year approaches.
The hogfish are still just starting to roll, we are catching quite a decent number but most have been under sized. However, we have been lucky on some of our private fishing charters, 5 hour half days and 10 hour all days to catch some nice keeper hogfish and as the water continues to cool the bite will only get better and better and the big boys will be more willing to cooperate. Keep in mind, hogfish are social species typically when you find one there will be 5-7 more around so even if you catch a small one you typically can get some others that may even be larger! Light tackle, live shrimp and lots of patience is key when hogfish hunting. They are the very last fish to feed on a spot as the more aggressive fish will be the ones feeding to start but once things slow down that’s when you start hog hunting instead of moving the next spot.
Lane snapper have been biting well for us too around that deeper near shore water around 70-100 foot of water and they love some small cubes of cut squid wing or live shrimp on 30-40lb leader and 4ot hooks. These aren’t the biggest snapper but we have been seeing some large lane snapper in the 2-3lb range. They have to be 10 inches to keep but we have been finding some up to 18 inches fairly consistently on our private fishing charters and 10 hour all days that are fishing that deeper near shore water.
Mangrove snapper bite has been okay near shore they are mixed in with the lane snapper and hogfish but feed best in the deepest near shore waters around the lane snapper. I like to use the threadfin plugs with the double snell rig for the best chances at catching some consistent near shore mangrove snapper. Natural presentation, holding bottom and quick hook sets are all super important when it comes to mangrove snapper fishing.
Red grouper bite near shore has been a little better for us lately especially right around 90-110 foot of water on the squid strips, live pinfish, or squirrelfish for bait with 60lb test and a 6ot hook. However, it’s still not as good as it should be this time of year only a handful being caught on those longer near shore private charters or the 10 hour all day boats.
Amberjack are still open until end of October and this past weekend was the best amberjack fishing we have seen in a year or more! The weather was very rough and rainy but that didn’t stop our advanced anglers aboard our 44 hour full moon trip from getting out there and tackling plenty of these hard fighting fun to catch amberjack. They have been a little weird lately hanging off the sides of the wrecks or springs and hiding out in the deeper waters. However, we have them dialed in now and were looking forward to the coming months left in this short Amberjack season. Big tackle, big live baits or vertical jigs and big patience and strength are all required to land one of these 40-90lb monster jacks!
We are still catching some nice gag grouper out there in the deeper offshore waters around 200ft of water but they are definitely a little slower than they were around the end of June and early July but the scamp grouper have filled in the gaps for us as we are seeing lots of nice scamp grouper coming in too around these same depths with the live pinfish.
Red grouper are spotty but were finding some fat red grouper out there around 160-200ft of water. Lately we have even been catching a few nice ones at night too which is a little out of the norm, but hey we are happy to see some nice grouper either way. They love longer strips of cut squid wings, live pinfish, and squirrelfish too!
The blackfin tuna are still fairly prolific offshore and the kingfish are mixed in too making it important to have a flat line or pitch rod ready while offshore bottom fishing. The trolling has been slow this week but that is mostly due to the super bumpy conditions we had this past weekend on the 44 hour full moon trip. In the 8-10ft seas the trolling conditions were not optimal but when its calmer the trolling is typically much more active.
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Upcoming up at Hubbard’s Marina
AMBERJACK season is now open for three months and were seeing some big ones! Plus, we still have TONS of other great fish to catch too! Jacks opened August first and they will remain open until end of October, Hopefully! PLUS, we have gag grouper season running until end of December if you want to get out for some big grouper action. The gags bite best in October, November and December but we are seeing some good ones currently too. If you join us in the next three months you have a chance for ANYTHING in the gulf besides the red snapper and triggerfish! Join us for a 12 hour extreme, 39 hour, or long range private charter for the amberjack and gag grouper fishing! Call us at (727)393-1947 or book online at -> https://HubbardsMarina.com
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 had some very active, playful and acrobatic groups of dolphins in our local waters this past week making our dolphin cruise guests very happy during their relaxing tour. The weather finally calming down and the wind shift or the extra fresh water from the rainy conditions last week or some other shift has really got our local dolphin population very active and playful this past week. Great time to get out on the water and enjoy an awesome dolphin show!
We have also been spotting some juvenile and even adult sea turtles cruising the back bay waters this week. The coolest spotting this past week was a large loggerhead sea turtle that popped up right between the boat and the mangrove shore line and cruised through some shallow waters right along the boat before making a beeline for the pass area most likely to head back offshore.
Along with the dolphins and sea turtles this week we have been spotting lots of the manatees around the area cruising the back bay waters. Most of the manatees we are spotting are moving in some decent sized herds around 4-8 manatees making it really easy to spot these unique creatures and cruise along near them watching the show! It is especially cool when we are able to find these animals cruising the shallower waters along the grass flats or shorelines to watching them much easier compared to when we find them in deeper waters. They can hold their breath easily for 6-10 minutes so in deeper waters if they are cruising it’s very difficult to spot them and follow them while in the shallower waters it makes it super simple to spot them and follow them!
We have had some very picture perfect sunsets as of late with some gorgeous views as the cloudy weather provides a killer back drop for our beautiful sunset hour. With the sun light reflecting off the clouds and bouncing around the area 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.
Plenty of the Juvenile sea birds or teenagers around the bird nesting islands right now that have left the nests but are not quite adults yet. These birds are funny to spot around the island still very awkwardly learning how to hang on the island, learning to fly and fish. While still pretty dependent on their parents they can be found around the nesting island with ease and are easy to spot as their feathers and size are a giveaway as the big blue dolphin cruise boat tours the island.
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
The water has been clearing up nicely for us out at the islands on the backside of all that rain we are seeing some nice big tides bringing in some nice clear waters around the islands!
Egmont Key island has had some killer shelling and sharks teeth hunting around the island lately especially behind that weather we had this past weekend.
We have been spotting some of the very unique spotted eagle rays on our trips out and back from the island from Fort De Soto County Park! These unique and beautiful rays really can jump quite high out of the water and they really are exciting to be spotting so consistently on our ride to and from Egmont Key island.
We have been spotting lots of the gopher tortoise and box turtles out at Egmont key as of late and it has been making the day at Egmont key island even more enjoyable for our tampa bay ferry guests while enjoying the island paradise!
The islands are waiting for you and your family to come visit for the day, it’s a great time of year to go out and enjoy the beautiful island paradise! The crowds are dissipating as the kids are going back to school making it even more enjoyable at the islands and making the shells even more bountiful. Plus, the lack of rain as of late has really helped clear up any of the mosquitoes that were around the island paradise!
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/
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 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/
Hey guys, we have our 2020 clubs starting up around the end of November or Early December. If you are interested in signing up or learning more about our loyalty program that will make it more affordable for you to go fishing even more often then make sure to reach out to Capt Dylan at his email below!
If you are an existing regular’s club member make sure to start paying close attention to those special regular’s club email newsletters as the announcements start to come about the renewals for the 2020 clubs!
Captain Dylan Hubbard
Vice president and Co-Owner
(727)393-1947 ext. 306
UPDATED Coupon information
30% off spro bucktail jigs in our tackle shop
Shrimp for $2 per doz when ordering 5 dozen or more
Expires September 6th, 2019
While supplies last
Must have coupon in hand, or electronically to present
Preferred partner spotlight
It’s grouper week from St Pete Beach to Clearwater beach, come join the Friendly Fisherman to Celebrate this once a year grouper celebration in style with some of their incredible fresh grouper options in their upstairs water front view dining area, or downstairs at their on the water deck and bar!