Inshore – Keenan Hamilton, from Seminole, reported catching Mackerel during the day and snook at night while fishing a Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow under and around the John’s Pass Bridge. He said the snook seem to fire up as the sun goes down and night falls. The best bite was during the peak tides reported Keenan. Michael Shelby, from Madeira Beach, reported catching just barely legal speckled sea trout from the beach on the west side of John’s Pass Bridge using a D.O.A. shrimp. Chris Hubbard Ironically unrelated and from Tampa, reported catching Sheepshead and Flounder on live shrimp under the John’s Pass bridge. He said the flounder were biting on the bottom while sheepsheads were taking it further up in the water column as his shrimp drifted to the bottom. Kayak anglers paddling the beaches reported the sharks were biting well on cut ladyfish. We didn’t get a specific report because they didn’t want to stop fishing to talk that’s how on fire their fishing was. John Gray, from Seminole, was fishing behind Hubbard’s Marina from our beach. He was outfitted with large tackle because the night before he was using 30lb braid with a 50lb leader while using live pinfish for bait. He hooked something so large a locked down drag on a large spinning reel couldn’t slow down the big fish. Sounds to us like he hooked into a big black drum or cobia but it remains a fish story till he can re-hook him again tonight! Victor Vizaro, from Pinellas Park, reports the snook bite on the beach at the beginning of the outgoing tide to be hot. He is catching big snook using live threads or horse minnows free lined into the surf. He reports the flats to be on fire catching trout redfish and snook in the mornings and afternoon when it’s not too hot outside. He reported fishing the edges and holes at low tide using white bait and chunk lady fish as chum to wake up the flats. He likes using suspended twitch baits and top waters during low light conditions to encourage bites.
Near shore – Grass and slime is a HUGE problem right now in our near shore waters. Seems like the grass is extra slimy and extra early this year and is spread from 20-90 foot. You can find clean water pockets but it’s difficult and when we return to the same clean area the next day we find it loaded down with grass and slime. Fish have trouble finding your baits and when the grass and slime gets on your tackle fish can see it and won’t feed quite as easily. This has caused the red grouper bite to become tricky and finicky but they are biting best on stinky strips of cut squid wings. Hogfish are hitting live or dead shrimp in 30-50 foot of water. They seem to be less affected by the grass and slime since they typically hang higher in the water column. Live shrimp on a light jig-head or nekid ball jig helps you to drift slowly to bottom and hopefully get that hog before the slime gets your rig. Big sea bass are being found regularly now in the near shore waters hitting just about any bait. Kingfish are spreading out more but you can still find a few schoolie around occasionally if you have the tackle to target them. We keep flat lines out all summer for these fish and in the deeper water we have flat lines out with free-lined pinfish on bare hooks to target blackfin tuna. The gags have showed up in force and were looking forward to the July gag grouper opener.
Offshore – Our recent offshore fishing trip was a 63 hour mutton snapper special fishing 135 miles south west of the pass and about 85 miles west of Fort Myers. We nailed some big boy mutton with the largest hitting 18lbs. We also found some monster Carborita grouper also called True Black grouper. This one large ledge we found was covered up with carbos so large we broke off over 20 of them because we simply couldn’t turn these monster grouper. Even with 130-150lb leaders they were snapping it like it was 40lb leader in a shark’s mouth. Mangrove snapper were biting well too and were still finding them super fat due to their summer spawn. Kingfish and tuna were super spread out in the warmer offshore waters to our south, but west of us were still hitting them even in the 40-50 mile range.
Captain Jack’s dolphin corner
Brand new Baby manatee around John’s Pass right now! This is great news since we haven’t been seeing many adults around our area compared to last ten years. We expect this little guy to cruise the Boca Ceiga bay waters the next few weeks so come see us for a chance to see this cute new baby in our area!
Baby pelicans are being spotted now at Dog Leg Key and were seeing more and more weekly at our local rookery.
Dog leg key also has baby Anhinga right now which is very unique to our area.
Dolphins seem to be solitary in the bays right now cruising in groups of two or three right now inside the bay but on the beaches they are cruising in larger pods.
We’re also seeing bald eagles feeding on their fresh catches on our local oyster bars at low tide right now inside Boca Ceiga bay.
Stingrays are heavy right now so make sure to shuffle your feet when you go to our local beaches.
Manatees are plentiful and active around Egmont key and can easily spotted most every day when riding our Island ferry from Fort De Soto out to Egmont Key. There’s a few around Boca Ceiga bay that can be seen from our dolphin watching nature cruise and Eco tour boat, but they are definitely more common around Egmont Key.
Besides manatees, were also seeing lots of sea turtles swimming around Egmont Key right now. They aren’t necessarily nesting on the island but they are being seen swimming around the island often.
Egmont Key is finally clear of equipment and the beach restoration has come to and end. It’s a perfect time to go enjoy the island before the summer crowds arrive!
Hubbard’s Marina has also started up our 11am dolphin trips that are running on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. These are very unique early dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tours that guarantee dolphin sightings. However, advanced reservations become more important for these trips to ensure they are not cancelled the night before you arrive.
Hubbard’s Marina is now offering a 9am shell key shelling trip from our main location inside Johns Pass. This trip is offered Monday, Wednesday and Saturdays till noon. It offers an hour on the island shelling, an hour ride down to the island in the back bays looking for dolphins, and a forty five minute ride back to Johns Pass along the beautiful beaches.
Hubbard’s Marina is now offering a 2pm ferry ride on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays in addition to the daily ferry rides at 10 or 11am. The 2pm ferry offers a 2^nd snorkeling trip which allows even more guests to enjoy this unique option.
Upcoming up at Hubbard’s Marina
May 23rd the 19th annual John’s Kids fishing tournament will be held on the waterfront patio behind the Friendly fisherman Sea food restaurant. You can stop by Hubbard’s Marina to pick up a flyer and sign up form or email Dylan at [email protected] and he can send you digital copies. This event will offer complimentary food, shrimp, bait bucket, goodie bags and raffle tickets to the anglers signed up. Parents will be able to buy food, drinks and raffle tickets. All proceeds will benefit the local Madeira Beach fundamental school so it’s a charitable tournament too! Ages 5 and under will be $15 to participate and 6-15 year olds will be $25 to register. This is the perfect opportunity to get your kid ‘hooked’ on his or her tackle box rather than their Xbox.
PRICE CHANGE: $300 all inclusive now instead of $400. If you wanted to try offshore fishing in deepwater from a Kayak we do that too at Hubbard’s Marina! The next offshore ‘Yak-attack’ will be May 20th . This trip will be heading 25-40 miles from shore to drop a group of kayakers on a large wreck. You then can kayak between the multiple wrecks fishing for jacks, mangroves, sharks and more! The past few years this trip has been quite the hit, hope you can join! Only serious kayak anglers with lots of experience fishing from kayaks will be allowed to join these special offshore trips. If you want to go but don’t have lots of experience, come join us for inshore guided tours and build up that confidence level!
May 29th we have a super light 44 hour full moon snapper slam coming up at Hubbard’s Marina. This trip will offer 25 hours of fishing time during the full moon. We will leave 10am Friday morning trolling on the way offshore. Bottom fishing starts around 9pm and doesn’t stop till 9pm the following night! This trip also offers a two day bag limit allowing you to keep twice your daily limit.
May 22nd we have a weekend 39 hour but this trip is nearly full. If you can only make this trip, we do have some room left. If you try to book and were full your welcome to make waiting list reservations to see if we have last minute cancellations which tend to happen with these long range trips that get booked well in advance.
Want to try a 12 hour night trip? We have two more of these unique night fishing trips during May. These all run from 7pm till 7am and offer 6-7 hours of bottom fishing time in 70-110 foot of water. We target mangrove snapper primarily but we also get grouper, kingfish and more! The first 12 hour night trip runs May 22nd and the second is on May 29th ! Hope you can join us sometime soon for a unique fishing excursion.
The next 63 hour deep drop trip will be August 6th, 2015. To see the full 2015 specialty trip schedule simply visit our site, click specialty trips, and then click the 2015 specialty trip schedule button on the top right side of the page. We will be heading 150 west of Johns Pass to fish 600-1,000 foot of water. You will need to have your own electric reel set up to fish this trip. We will be targeting large snowy grouper, yellow edge grouper, gags, warsaw and more! We will also be targeting barrel fish, tilefish, unique deep water snapper and other species not normally caught on our shallower water trips. This deep water 63 hour trips also offer great trolling opportunities for sailfish, marlin, mahi, wahoo, tuna and more!
Red grouper bag limits will be cut in HALF May 7th. They will change the daily limit per angler from 4 red grouper down to 2 red grouper.
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