Inshore: Brayton Ross from Dunedin was fishing with his brother and dad from Hub’s beach behind our gift shop using live shrimp on a slow outgoing tide around sundown and they caught a few nice snook. Victor Prieto and his buddy Ramon Rodriguez were fishing from the north side of the Johns Pass jetty in the eddy of the current. They caught redfish and sheepshead while using live shrimp and also saw multiple mackerel, flounder, and mangroves swimming the area too. Dale crook from Seminole was fishing the swash channels of Madeira beach catching redfish on live shrimp. Black drum are still being hooked under the bridge but are mostly breaking off the anglers using lighter tackle. There are still a few tarpon around the passes but they will be heading offshore soon to spawn and then head south for the winter until their may return next year.
Nearshore: The red grouper are still out in the sixty to ninety foot range hunting the bait on the larger areas of hard rock bottom. The gags are pushing in a bit closer and were seeing them in fifty to seventy foot now. The shallower they get the more aggressive they seem to be so make sure to keep your hand on the crank if you are targeting those fat shallow water grouper with big baits. The water has cooled a little but the kingfish are not real thick yet in the near shore waters, but their fall run is in the near future. Sharks are still around the near shore waters but as the waters cool they will thin out giving way to the cooler water and larger shark species. Cooler waters bring the white sharks and makos closer to our beaches!
Offshore: Our recent mid-week 39 hour at Hubbard’s Marina did well on the amberjack that were thick on the deepwater wrecks. There were also plenty of sharks making jack fishing challenging, but we were still able to nearly limit out our boat with big jacks. Last weekend’s 39 hour showed the same amberjack aggressiveness and shark issues. However, the grouper bite improved on the mid-week 39 hour compared to the weekend. The grouper were still picky on the mid-week trip but we were at least seeing beautiful shows and we did well on the scamp grouper in the six to eight pound range. The larger red and gag grouper were a bit pickier really requiring a long patient soak before they would take the bait. The water has cooled a bit offshore and that has the kingfish excited. We caught one monster king while trolling and hooked two more while flat lining at anchor. WE also hooked a handful of pelagic that simply spooled reels before we were able to turn the fish around or even slow them down. The captains attributed these runs to wahoo or the large smoker kings.
Captain Jack’s Dolphin Corner
Some local juvenile dolphins were found playing keep away recently by our dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour boat. The instigator of the group is named stick and he earned this name because as a baby he was always carrying mangrove seeds around in his mouth which resemble sticks. Now that stick is older he loves to play keep away with his friends and this is a great example of the social behavior that dolphins use to teach their young how to become effective hunters.
Manatees have been seen often cruising the shallow waters around Egmont key. They have even been cruising close to our shelling guests while they wade the waist high waters looking for better shells that haven’t washed up.
Our sunset cruise does not guarantee dolphin sightings but lately the dolphins have not been told about this because we have been seeing them often along the beach as we cruise the hotels watching our beautiful sunsets up close. This trip also offers free beer and wine so if you take advantage of that enough there is no telling what you might spot on the tour!
The dolphins have been harder to spot deep inside boca Ceiga bay lately due to the darker waters caused by rain runoff. We are more often spotting them in the clearer pass waters where they seem to like hanging out waiting for bait to roll in because where there is bait there are fish chasing them for the dolphins to eat.
Dog leg key aka Bird Island is the local rookery to Hubbard’s Marina. The island has been looking great recently with no trash or litter on the island and no predators scaring away the roosting sea birds. There are not anymore juvenile birds out there but spring will bring us a new nesting season to go baby bird spotting.
The extreme low tides recently have given wading birds great opportunity to hunt on the oyster beds and local sandbars. We have been spotting Roseate Spoonbills, Reddish egrets, great blue herons and plenty of great white egrets searching these tidal zones for their favorite meals.
The skimmers are done with nesting on Egmont key and the baby skimmers have left the nests which allowed the rangers to reopen the northern tip of Egmont Key island.
Loggerhead turtle nests at Egmont key are starting to produce hatchlings making a break for the gulf in the early morning hours around each full moon. We lost a few nests due to the weather and higher than normal tides but the Eckard college interns that are monitoring the nests report the turtle hatchlings have been in great health.
Update on Baby face the Johns Pass baby dolphin that was injured by a novice boater a month or so ago is doing very well! We are ecstatic to report that its wounds are healing at a astounding rate and it will be making a full recovery soon. It knows how to fish very well and has continued hunting and eating on its own. Due to this it can remain in the wild unimpeded and under its own power which is great news for everyone.
Upcoming up at Hubbard’s Marina
August is a special month at Hubbard’s Marina! We have two more 63 hour deep drop pelagic trips and one of them has a super light load were talking less than a half dozen anglers. The light 63 hour is on August 31st, hope you can join us! Want to join us for one of these trophy hunting expeditions? Want to land a fish that most haven’t even seen before then this is the trip for you and we have tons of room, but we only allow up to 22 anglers so book NOW! However, for our 44 and 63 hour trips you are not able to book via our reservations page. The reason for this is to keep quality of the trip high by allowing us to vette guests as they call to book these extra long range specialty trips.
63 hour trip of a life time is an extreme trophy hunting trip. You get tons of trolling time while heading out for sailfish, wahoo, tuna, mahi, marlin and more. Then once we get into the deeper waters we deep drop to bottom fishing 500-1,000 foot of water for monster grouper, unique snapper, and other species people only dream about. Also, we only allow up to 22 people on these trips but they are typically going with 14-18 anglers. We highly recommend electric reels but don’t require them. We have been told the blue line tiles we get are some of the biggest around. If you want a chance to land a true once in a lifetime prize fish come join Hubbard’s Marina for this super unique deep drop special. Also, you can email Dylan Hubbard to find out more: [email protected]
The 44 hour full moon trip in August leaves the 28th. This trip offers 25 hours or so of fishing time 70-100miles from shore and a two day bag limit. We plan to go get some big plentiful snapper, monster gags, and maybe even a true trophy snapper called a cubera snapper! They often are caught in august and last year we landed around 3 of them during august but they are most often caught around the full moon.
Amberjacks Re-open August first and should remain open the remainder of our year but now we’re hearing they could be closed early due to National marine fisheries claiming we caught our quota. They are saying we will reach this quota mid to late September causing a closure with extremely short notice. If you want jacks, book a 12 hour day trip, 39 hour, 44 hour or HUB private charter with 6 or less for at least 8 hours or longer to get your freezer filled before these fish go out for the year!
During September we have another 39 hour on Friday the fourth. This trip will offer around twenty hours of fishing time around a hundred miles from shore in around 120-250 foot of water. This trip offers a two day bag limit allowing you two amberjack instead of one normally, eight grouper instead of four normally and twenty mangroves instead of just ten!
We also have another 44 hour during September! The 44 hour full moon trip will fall on September 28th. This trip leaves five hours earlier than our 39 hour which allows us longer night fishing times during the full moon period.
Gag grouper opened July 1st and should remain open until December 3rd.
Ever wanted to buy something from Hubbard’s Marina but didn’t want to or couldn’t drive down here to get it? We have always sold gift certificates on our site and over the phone, but now for the first time Hubbard’s Marina has a online storefront to sell apparel, tackle and more! For now we just have a few of our products up, but we plan to add tackle, rods, reels, and even more apparel soon! Check it out at this link: hubbardsmarina.com/marina-store.html
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