Inshore-Lots of white bait have moved into the Johns pass area lately and we are seeing some very active inshore fishing action around those white bait schools. Plus, we are on the front side of a full moon and the inshore action has also been very good with the increase in water movement. The moon phases definitely have a big impact on our fisheries because the moon will dictate our tides. When the water is moving the fish feed well so the new and full moons really get waters moving and thus, the bite is very good around these moon phases. We find that the few days leading up to the full moon or the few days behind the full moon make for great day time fishing. Exactly on the full moons the day time bite can be a little slower. Fish are able to feed all day and night when we have large full moons casting plenty of light into the water allowing predators to be more active for longer periods of time. As the full moon approaches the fish get excited and start taking advantage of the more powerful tides and more time to feed. Once the full moon gets to full swing, the fish have been feeding hard for a few days and nights and they seem to get more sluggish and less aggressive. On the backside of the moon they get excited and hungry again like they know the moon phase is changing. Take advantage of this increase in activity while you can on the front side of the weekend or the start of this coming weekend! Luckily this bad weather is coming right around the peak of the moon phase so it works perfectly to allow you to fish before the weather and as the moon phase gets wrong the weather will be here. Once the weather calms down and water clears up sometime Sunday afternoon into Monday the moon phase will be getting right again for great fishing! Not only great moon phases but also that low pressure should make it a great time to fish at the start of the weekend and start of this coming week! We have seen redfish, snook, trout, mangrove snapper, mackerel, jack crevalle, tarpon, and some whiting caught this past week around the pass!
The memorable thing this week have been the very large schools of jack crevalle moving through the pass from around sunrise until mid-morning. We are finding these things feeding very aggressively and actively on the live bait schools by working as a team to get them concentrated then the water erupts with white water foam as the school attacks the greenbacks along the beach, jetties, dock, bridge, seawalls or whatever else the jacks can use to concentrate the baits against. Plus, the snook seem to follow these aggressive jacks to pick off the outliers and the bait the jacks stun and don’t eat. Great opportunity for great catches and stellar action when these schools have the fish in big frenzies. This time of year this type of action is pretty common in the early parts of the day when the live bait is present.
The redfish are still feeding well around the night time period hugging the bottom on the edges of the dock lights, bridge lights and jetties. We are seeing some caught during the morning hours too, but definitely the best redfish action as of late has been at night or the first part of the morning. Live pinfish, large live shrimp or the soft plastic paddletails have been the best bait options for the redfish yet again this week.
Snook have been more active this week for our local anglers. We have seen them at night and throughout the day time periods too. This week anglers have been catching them on the beach, from the jetties, from the docks and back inside the bay along the flats as well! Live shrimp, green backs, pigfish, and smaller pass crabs are all great live bait options for snook. They are feeding well on the flairhawk style bucktail jigs or the hard jerk baits too.
Mackerel and mangrove snapper still very active around the white bait schools too. Mostly seeing the mackerel around the jetties in the pass west of the bridge or under the bridge where the water is deeper on the south side of the pass. The mangrove snapper hang on the bridge or along the rocky shoreline along the south seawall of the pass east of the bridge and underneath it as well. Live greenbacks freelined into the tide have been the hot baits for these species.
The speckled trout action has really been good at night around the bridge lights and during the day we have been seeing those along the beaches mixed in with the snook. Plus, in the back bays some kayak anglers had a great day catching and releasing some nice sized trout along the deeper sea grass beds along the mangrove islands just inside the pass.
Near shore –The action near shore has really been picking up this week! We have seen quite a increase in the mangrove snapper action around 60-100 foot of water near shore this week. We are thinking that has a lot to do with the approaching full moon coupled with the approaching low pressure. However, we are doing all we can to capitalize on it while they are biting well. Mostly on the 10 hour all day are we getting out there deep enough to see decent numbers, but even the 5 hour half day has been catching a handful of some nice mangrove snapper during their trips too. Mangrove snapper love the live shrimp or cut threadfins or sardines.
Hogfish action continues to slowly get better and better each week. This week we have caught a nice number of keeper hogfish along with just as many shorter fish that we had to catch and release. As the waters cool we should see more and more keeper sized hogfish and less of the smaller undersized hogfish as they become more prolific and more aggressive. The trick with hogfish is using the lightest possible tackle, lightest possible weight, live shrimp and the most natural presentation possible. I like 30lb floro carbon, 20lb braided mainline, 4000-5000 series spinning reel, 1/4oz-1oz weight, and a 4ot hook.
Along with the hogfish and mangrove snapper we have seen a little more red grouper action around the deeper near shore water and the same steady action on the lane snapper. We are definitely having a great year for plentiful lane snapper which are great eating snapper!
The mackerel are getting more and more prolific near shore from the beach out to 50-60ft of water we are seeing big areas of mackerel feeding on any bait they can find out there. Plus, they seem to school up around the near shore artificial reefs and wrecks. If you enjoy having lots of action on fast good fighting fish it’s a great time to head to one of the public reefs like the south county artificial reef to troll around some number one and number two planners with 4-6 inch spoons 12-15ft behind the planner on 40-60lb mono. If you get tired of trolling for them, you can anchor up and chum them up to the boat with plentiful green backs. I like starting with cut pieces of the green backs throwing them off the stern of the boat in handfuls every few minutes. Once they start to show up throw some handfuls of whole dead greenbacks. Then follow that with some scoops of live green backs off the back of the boat. This will get them foaming around your boat and it makes for memorable times for the whole family using lighter tackle spinning reels with gotcha plugs or free lined white bait. IF you need some weight to your free lined white bait to make casting easier for the kids, I like to use a bobber with the bait 3-4ft under the bobber. Kingfish will be showing up soon, just need a cold front or two to get our area a bit cooler before the kings make their fall appearance.
Offshore -The grouper bite was good this past week offshore, we had a great weekend of fishing this past weekend and good start of the week. Unfortunately it’s gotten a little too bumpy towards the end of this week to take advantage of the approaching low pressure making fishing hot and the start of the full moon for most of our boats. Our larger Florida fisherman is uninhibited by the weather thankfully and were looking forward to the 39 hour leaving today coming back with a big pile of grouper, amberjack, snapper and hopefully a few pelagics.
We had some good pelagic action as of lately around our area’s offshore waters. We had a monster nearly 70lb wahoo caught during a Flying HUB 2 private fishing charter! They were anchored up doing well on the bottom catching some jacks, grouper and snapper when the hoo was spotted circling under the boat. Luckily Capt Anthony and Rich had a flat line rod rigged and ready so they hooked on a boston mackerel dead bait and tossed it ahead of the big wahoo and he came up and inhaled it immediately and it was off to the races. After a pretty long run they were able to turn him and get him within eye sight to confirm it was a monster wahoo only to have him make another big run. This happened twice before he was in range of the gaff and by that time unfortunately had a few lines wrapped around the light tackle kingfish set up they were using. Luckily fate was on our side and we were able to stick and successfully haul up this wonderful eating fish into the boat and into the box! Wahoo are some of the best eating fish we encounter around the area, and by far my favorite pelagic fish to eat. They are super easy to overcook, but when prepared properly you cannot beat a fresh wahoo piece of fillet!
The red grouper bite cooperated for us pretty well this past week with some big boys caught around 160-200ft of water on the ledges, potholes and hard bottom areas in the deeper offshore waters.
A little deeper around 200-250ft of water we found the gag grouper action doing pretty good with the mixed in scamp grouper a welcomed surprise.
Amberjack are not in big numbers, but you can find them on big ledges, peaks and the deep-water wrecks around 200+ foot of water.
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
Join us for one of our special live stream fishing shows Sunday nights at 8:30pm! Capt Dylan Hubbard and sometimes a special guest will be giving away tons of fishing tips, tricks, techniques and he 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
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
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
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!