The recent storms have stirred up our inshore waters. When the waters get muddy three species bite the best. Black drum, sheepshead and flounder are the most unaffected by this murky water. The black drum love to eat live shrimp, crabs or other crustaceans found along the bottom especially inside Johns Pass. Young angler Kiana ‘Scooter’ Lollis caught a few beautiful black drum behind Hubbard’s Marina from the beach while fishing with her mom Kristen. Don’s dock reports flounder being caught often around their docks on the sandy bottom while using live shrimp and small white bait.
Vui Thach, a st. Pete local, showing off one of many large mangroves from the 39 hour at Hubbard's Marina. © Hubbard's Marina
The weather this past week hasn’t allowed for much near shore fishing. We have had late season cold fronts back up on each other. The hot gulf waters, temperate land temps, strong sea breezes coupled with the El Niño has really wreaked havoc on our gulf waters recently. We did get near shore fishing last weekend before this weather really took effect and the red grouper, kingfish and snapper were biting well. After this weather calms and variables get back to normal we should be able to get back on the fish! Stay tuned for the next report to hear more about the changing spring weather conditions.
We had a great mid-week 39 hour at Hubbard’s Marina last week! This recent week we haven’t been able to get offshore due to the nastier weather with the multiple storms barraging the Gulf of Mexico. They caught plenty of fat mangrove snapper as they fatten up for their summer spawn. These guys are still more plentiful just inside the grounds than actually in the middle grounds. During the summer spawn they tend to aggregate in the grounds. Red grouper were also fat and biting well but were hard to get to past the aggressive gag grouper that we caught tons of and had to release. However, the gags open up in July so we plan to come back to exact our revenge! The ‘endangered’ red snapper were also a nuisance since many spots are completely covered up by red snapper which displace the other less aggressive species at these spots. The tuna were again biting well on flat lined live baits, vertical jigs and on the trolling gear. Kingfish were feeding well too since we caught nearly a dozen on flat lines and while trolling.
By Dylan and Capt Mark Hubbard
Captain Jack’s Dolphin Corner
We now have baby dolphins inside Boca Ceiga bay! There’s two families of dolphins with small dolphins that were born in the past few weeks.
The dolphins are also very plentiful and playful right now. It has been common place for the dolphins to follow our boat jumping inside the wake giving great shows to our guests. This isn’t always a guarantee but it’s more likely this time of year when the dolphins are actively teaching their juveniles how to interact in their social groups.
They also have been actively feeding along the shallows allowing us to see them clearly while they chase the fish along the mangrove islands.
The nesting birds at Dog Leg key are all very active since most eggs have hatched. The adults are busy hunting for food for the babies and protecting their nests. Thanks to the autobahn society and our quick-thinking captain and crew we were able to clear the island of predators to save the 2015 nesting season at our local rookery.
Egmont key’s beach restoration has been completed and the final pieces of heavy equipment are being removed from the beach before the summer season.
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 JohnsPass 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 2nd snorkeling trip which allows even more guests to enjoy this unique option.
Upcoming up at Hubbard’s Marina
May 7th we have the first 63 hour of 2015. This will be a special one fishing more south than west hunting for large amounts of fat spawning mutton snapper. This will be the ONLY 63 hour that doesn’t require electric reels since we will only be fishing 150-400 foot of water south south west of JohnsPass just north of Pulley ridge. If you want to target these unique snapper this is the trip for you! It also offers a great trolling opportunity for sailfish, marlin, mahi, wahoo, tuna and more!
May 14th is the second 63 hour of 2015. This trip will be like the rest of the 63 hours this year and just like the two we did in October and November of 2014. We will be heading 150 west of JohnsPass 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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
Ever wanted to try kayak fishing? Hubbard’s Marina offers kayak rentals at our beach cabana location and also at our main location inside Johns Pass. When you rent a kayak or paddleboard with us you have the option to go alone or with a guide. That guide could be a fishing guide or a sightseeing guide!
Allison’s favorite fish taco recipe
I hope you all enjoyed the Kles’ family recipe! This time I thought I’d share a super easy recipe using the ever abundant, year round catch, grey snappers. Following is my favorite for fish tacos! There are three elements to this dish and following are the ingredients for each.
1 lb. grey snapper fillets
½ cup fresh lime juice
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. chili powder
4 cups thinly shredded red cabbage
½ cup sliced scallions
½ cup chopped cilantro 1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp white vinegar
Salt to taste
½ cup sour cream
1½ tsp. minced chipotle chili in adobo sauce (you can find this in a small can in the ethnic section of your grocery)
1½ tsp. honey
1 tsp. fresh lime juice
Salt to taste
Start by marinating fish for ½ hour. In the meantime mix together the sauce and the slaw. After fish is marinated, simply sauté in a frying pan just until done and assemble in a flour tortilla; fish, then slaw, then sauce.
You all are going to really love this light and refreshing meal, but remember our Galley motto, “EAT MORE FISH!”
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