Inshore- We have some very minor amounts of small dead bait fish around the area, but its still very spotty and irregular. We are hoping it doesn’t get worse or kill our bait around the area, but the red tide levels reported by the FWC are still low in our area and not expected to do much damage. So we do NOT have red tide but we don’t have it bad enough where we are getting bunches of dead fish and we don’t have any issues with breathing yet around the beaches. However, that could change but were hoping we stay predominately red tide free as this spotty stuff we have now isn’t bad thankfully. The really bad areas are still south of Tampa bay. Fort de soto and shell key areas are much the same only spotty areas of dead fish and no serious fish kills. The snook bite is still going well around Johns Pass for now, and were looking forward to that continuing. We still have the bait in the area keeping the mackerel excited. Plus, the mangrove snapper action around the bridge lately has been very good as well. It’s a great time to come out and fish Johns Pass, and if you avoid the tail end of the incoming tide you won’t even think about any red tide or red tide effects. Only the very end of the incoming brings some scattered small dead fish that look like they got blown up north from the red tide that is thick at the south side of Tampa bay and south along Florida’s west coast starting at the south entrance to the bay. Tampa bay is still red tide free as well which is great news, were hoping our area and Tampa bay both stay clear!
Near shore- We still have lots of white bait around near shore, they are a little further off the beaches now with the sporadic red tide moving in but the mackerel are still very active on the near shore artificial reefs and along the beaches where you find the bait. The kingfish haven’t showed up quite yet, but I would guesstimate that behind the next full moon we will see the kingfish return to the near shore waters. Hogfish bite has been very consistent as of late around 30-50ft of water using live shrimp or live fiddler crabs, but you have to soak the spot to get past the more aggressive feeding fish like the white grunts aka grey snapper, porgies, seabass and others. The lane snapper bite continues to be consistent near shore around the 60-80 foot areas. Red grouper are moving in around the deepest near shore waters anywhere from 80-100 foot of water were starting to see a more consistent red grouper bite.
Offshore – This past week we did had the Flying HUB 1 take a 15 hour private fishing charter out for some deep drop fishing and they did very well around 500-1,000 foot of water fishing for yellowedge and snowy groupers. The weather is perfect right now for some long range deep drop adventures with electric reels, longs strips of squid or oily fish like bonita strips. We also stumbled across some floating debris on this recent deep drop trip and pulled off a handful of super nice triple tail. We didn’t have a 39 or 44 hour this past weekend but we had some 12 hours extreme trips fishing out in that same area the past few days and they did very well on Amberjack, a few fat red grouper and some nice gags and scamp too. Plus the deepwater porgies, vermillion, mangroves and yellowtail rounded out the boxes for a nice bite of fish this past week offshore. The best Amberjack fishing seems to be past 150 foot of water, and they are open until the end of October. However, keep in mind the gray trigger fish season has CLOSED.
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Captain Jack’s dolphin corner
Red tide isn’t thick in our area, not even mild effects being felt right now, but we do have some very lightly scattered small dead bait fish around the back bays and a few along our beaches. Again, this isn’t a super thick choking kill everything red tide. It’s only very light or mild right now with very sporadic small amounts of dead fish around tidal rips where the wind and currents accumulate the dead small bait fish that are super susceptible to even the lightest red tide presence.
However, due in part to the strong ride to our south I feel this has ‘pushed’ manatees up our way more and were spotting tons of them lately around Johns Pass and Upper Boca Ceiga bay. This has really been a unique sight to see manatees so frequently as of late. Were just hoping they don’t get caught in any more red tide but as long as they stay to its north side they will be fine.
Along the same lines as the plentiful manatees we still have tons of playful dolphins around the area, and many are willing to come along the side of the boat to show off to our guests and play along side the ‘big blue boat’.
Sea Turtle nesting season is still in full swing and were spotting lots of nests along our local beaches so were warning our island going guests to be aware of these nests and anyone walking the beaches at night should be aware of sea turtles making their way up the beaches to nest. Remember, if you do happen to spot a sea turtle never use a white light to photograph them or watch them you have to use a red light and most smart phones have an app you can download easily that will allow you to use a red light instead of a white light.
Right now, is an awesome time to experience some great times on the water at Hubbard’s Marina while cruising the back-bay waters of upper Boca Ceiga bay aboard the big blue dolphin boat out of Johns Pass Madeira beach. Our hour and a half dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour with guaranteed dolphin sightings has been spotting large pods of dolphin and it’s been super nice weather for us too. Plus, our entire cruise is narrated so the captain will tell you all about the local area and local wildlife as well. If you want to learn more about the relaxing, fun and family friendly Johns Pass dolphin watching tour with us at Hubbard’s Marina check out this page – https://hubbardsmarina.com/dolphin-watching-cruises/
The shelling lately has been phenomenal around shell key and our three-hour shelling trip Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am until noon is a great way to spend an hour on the island hunting for tons of great local shells. Plus, you have an hour ride down to the island through the beautiful intercoastal waterways and then you have a relaxing hour ride back from the island along our gorgeous gulf beaches. What a great way to spend the morning with your family, friends or whoever you want to show off our gorgeous local islands too and share some awesome shelling opportunities with. For more information on the fun filled three-hour shelling adventure with us at Hubbard’s Marina check out this page – https://hubbardsmarina.com/florida-shelling-cruise/
Baby face our local famous dolphin that was hit by a boat’s propeller has made a miraculous recovery and just recently had a baby of its own! This is great to see this dolphin doing so well after such a traumatic injury and her and her newborn are doing well and can be spotted easily aboard our dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour or the Madeira beach water taxi service!
The waters in the back bays has been gorgeous lately! The weather has been great for dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tours because the dolphins are playful, birds are roosting, and waters are super clear making dolphin watching easy and fun! Plus, lots of manatees and sea turtles are around right now too. For more info on our guaranteed dolphin sightings tour check out this informational link with some great Madeira beach dolphin tours info – https://hubbardsmarina.com/dolphin-watching-cruises/
Hubbard’s Marina Sea Adventures, Tampa bay ferry and taxi, and the Madeira beach water taxi are all now 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
Despite the spotty dead fish areas and very mild red tide around the area, we are still able to spend the day at the island or along the islands. Plus, we are still able to snorkel most days around Egmont key thanks to that area getting plenty of fresh water pushed around with no thick areas of dead fish around the island. There’s some times see more than other days, so it’s more of a wait and see experience when it comes to our ability to snorkel or not but the island shelling is still going very well and the island is a great time right now since the crowds are gone and the island is free of people going to take the shells before you can get out there.
Unfortunately, we do have some bad news to report however. Due to the City of Madeira beach new city government voting to defund the Madeira beach water taxi we are being forced to shut down the Madeira beach water taxi operations as of September 30th. If you would like to ride the Madeira beach water taxi before the city shuts it down, there’s still plenty of time to join us! This is a great way to get to Johns Pass, sea the area, go for a pub crawl, or just hangout on a gorgeous water taxi as it takes guests, locals, and tourists alike around our beautiful local area. Check out this link for our Madeira beach water taxi schedule by Tampa bay ferry – http://tampabayferry.com/madeira-beach-water-taxi/route-and-schedule/
The shell key ferry has been spotting lots of manatees around shell key and bunces pass lately while cruising to and from the island. This island ferry ride is a great way to experience shell key and offers tons of flexibility on how long or how short you want to spend time on the island shelling, swimming and exploring this pristine island paradise! For more info on how you can join us for a ride to shell key aboard the shell key ferry by Tampa bay ferry and Hubbard’s Marina check out this page – https://hubbardsmarina.com/shell-key-ferry/
Don’t forget to check out the BRAND NEW shell key ferry from Fort De Soto County Park out to the beautiful shell key preserve! This is a great way to see the island, go shelling and enjoy a day on the water with a flexible schedule. For more info on this new ferry route check out this link to the Tampa bay ferry shell key page – http://tampabayferry.com/shell-key-ferry/route-and-schedule/
The Egmont key ferry is running daily as well with multiple rides out to the island from Fort De Soto’s bay pier. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday there’s an afternoon ferry option too instead of just mid-morning. Check out the website for ferry prices and times. Plus, while on the island they offer a snorkeling trip too!
Upcoming up at Hubbard’s Marina
Want to win some FREE fishing trips with us at Hubbard’s Marina? Join Capt Dylan Hubbard at Bass Pro Shops Tampa at 2pm, Saturday August 25th for a chance to win a free 5-hour half day for two guests or a FREE 10 hour all day fishing trip for two guests. All you must do is attend this free seminar and get a free raffle ticket just before the seminar begins and at the end, Capt Dylan Hubbard will draw the two lucky winners plus during the hour-long seminar he will give away whatever tips, tricks and techniques you want to learn about. Plus, this is held at the wonder Tampa bass pro shops location where there is so much to do, see and learn about. Also, next door is a new Dave and busters arcade and top golf is across the street as well so it’s a great place to spend a Saturday. After the seminar you can join Capt Dylan Hubbard for a drink and gator bites at the Islamorada fish company right inside the bass pro shops, it’s one of his favorite restaurants and a great way to spend more time with him before he runs back to Hubbard’s Marina. For more info on the event, check out the event page on Facebook, and PLEASE LIKE AND SHARE the event to all your friends – https://www.facebook.com/events/463373337511901/
If you can’t make the Saturday fishing seminar at Bass pro shops join Capt Dylan Hubbard online Sunday night at 8:30 for some fishing conversation Q&A fun during the online fishing show by Hubbard’s Marina!
Amberjack season is HERE! It’s a great time to book your long range fishing trip aboard our party boats or a special long range private charter trip with us at Hubbard’s Marina!
Big news for the shop at Hubbard’s Marina our Icast orders are showing up we are getting a surplus of the two speed ld50s daiwa saltist and Saltiga reels which are the ones Capt Dylan Hubbard recommends for your mangrove snapper, grouper hunting on nearly every trip we offer. Plus, we have tons of new Fathom Offshore trolling skirts and trolling lures to use on your next 39, 44 or 63 hour fishing trips with us at Hubbard’s Marina. Finally, we have our new custom Hubbard’s Marina/Bull Bay rods coming very soon which will be custom sticks created by the master rod builders at Bull Bay rods with Capt Dylan and Capt Mark Hubbard’s suggestions and tips customized into these unique, strong, sensitive and extra light weight fishing rods. These are going to be truly special and we have a total of five different setups to cover the full gambit of offshore and near shore fishing needs.
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! https://www.facebook.com/events/249881722421418/
Our regular’s club loyalty program is now closed for 2018, if you would like info on joining for 2019 you can email Capt Dylan Hubbard anytime and he can send you the info and get you on the list for a 2019 membership!
Captains Mark and Dylan Hubbard
Vice president and Regular’s club manager Hubbard’s Marina
(727)393-1947 ext. 306
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