West-CentralFishing Reports

Johns Pass

Inshore:The snook bite in the early mornings has been hot lately reports Jeb Grant aka ‘Smokey’ who is our first mate aboard our 5 hour half days. He’s been showing up early to work to soak a hand line for snook under the dock. We use 60lb monofilament and a 7ot circle hook with a live pinfish and let them swim freely under the dock and around the pilings and the snook have been gulping them up within minutes when feeding. The hand line gives you more control and less stretch since the bend of the rod allows the snook lots of room to break you off the hand line doesn’t and also allows us to quickly return the fish without letting him injure himself on the pilings or get over tired. However, we don’t recommend this to first timers it can be dangerous if not properly executed you could end up with torn of fingers or severely cut palms. The tarpon are still being spotted at night all the way till morning. Trout are active around the dock lights and on the deeper water grass flats. The small white bait is plentiful inside the bays and in the passes. It should be getting bigger and better soon and these are what most inshore species are hitting on most often. The mangroves under Johns Pass Bridge are very excited about these bait balls moving through and have been feeding voraciously.


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Photo: Bo Janecka from Orlando showing off a gag from a 39 hour with Hubbard's Marina – hubbardsmarina.com

Near shore: The snapper near shore have been biting well when the weather cooperates. Lately the tight gradient of high pressure around our area has been making morning and afternoon weather unpredictable and a bit explosive. These storms play havoc with the barometer and have been making the bite near shore tough and the rides uncomfortable. We are looking forward to a break in this past after this weekend is over. The grouper have been decent on the flat hard bottom when we can get out there to them and today’s ten hour should do well in the deeper near shore waters where the storms don’t have quite the same effect as they do in the shallower waters. Sharks are plentiful this time of year and are being seen and caught in the back bays, on the beaches, in the passes and often near shore. On a recent shark trip we were catching tons of decent sharks but even the four and five foot sharks are being swallowed whole by monster goliath grouper!

Offshore: Gag grouper are biting well in the deep offshore waters but seems to be few and far between and it doesn’t help to have guests using light tackle loosing monster gags. As soon as the first grouper gets into the rocks he starts his grunting and the bite is OVER for the entire boat. Every additional grouper that gets into the rocks exponentially increases the chances for the bite to shut down entirely. This is what makes grouper fishing from a party boat so frustrating for guests but especially for the captains since we know the fish are there and were even hooking them but guests are losing them to the bottom. Snapper are also biting well too and they are reaching the peak of their spawning season. The vermillion snapper are the biggest they can be this time of year. The warmer waters have brought more numbers of yellowtail snapper to our area and were getting some big ones. We even caught a yellow eye snapper on a recent 39 hour trip at Hubbard’s Marina.

Written by: Capt. Mark and Dylan Hubbard

Captain Jack’s Dolphin Corner

We have a fourth baby dolphin calling Boca Ceiga home. This recent arrival was born within the past five days and still has very pronounced fetal folds. We have a photo to show you but without it’s mom in the photo it’s hard to see exactly how small this dolphin truly is. Also, you can see more baby dolphin photos on our Facebook page since were spotting them often thanks to there being four of them locally now.

Snorkeling has been awesome around Egmont key lately with water visibility reaching up to 15 foot down at its best and as low as 10 foot when it gets bad on the outgoing tides. This clear water is great to see since we have had lots of rain lately we expected the water to turn brown quickly around the mouth of Tampa Bay but it has held off thankfully and looks like it will remain that way at least for a few days. The West winds help keep in pinned inside the bay.

The local Ospreys have been aggressively feeding lately and have been spotted diving at high speeds to nail unsuspecting fish, small birds, and even small land animals like rats. We are seeing a spike in the numbers of local osprey which is a great sign our local sea birds are flourishing around Hubbard’s Marina.

We are still seeing manatees often around Egmont key, on the beaches and even inside the back bays around Hubbard’s Marina. The baby manatee around Boca Ceiga bay is spotted occasionally but it’s much easier to spot them around Egmont key in the clearer waters. The dirty back bay water has manatees but since they only come up for air every 5-10 minutes and only stick their noses out they are hard to spot. Egmont key’s beautiful water allows you to spot them even when deep under the water.

Tarpon schools can be spotted around Egmont key and Johns Pass along the clearer water sandbars or shallow areas. They flood out of the pass and bay during outgoing tides and rush back in on the incoming tides. Many Egmont key ferry guests have enjoyed the view watching anglers trying to wrestle these monster fish up to their respective boats.

Baby laughing gulls are all over the local area but most densely populated on Egmont key island around the lighthouse and backside of the island.

Turtle nesting is reaching its peak at Egmont key with nests littering the beach landscape. As long as you avoid the small roped off area all is well.

Written by: Capt. Mark and Dylan Hubbard

Upcoming up at Hubbard’s Marina

We have one more 39 hour during the month of July. This trip leaves Friday July 24^th at 3pm and returns Sunday the 26^th at 6am. You get 20 hours of fishing time 70-100 miles from shore approximately and were targeting gags, red grouper, mangroves, yellowtail and more. This is going to be a light load if you would like a chance for more one on one time with our captains and crew, or if you’d rather avoid the crowds.

Gag grouper opened July 1^st and should remain open until December 3^rd .

Amberjacks Re-open August first and should remain open the remainder of our year

August is coming Soon and we have tons of specialty trips schedule that month. We have three 39 hours, a 44 hour full moon trip and three 63 hour trips of a lifetime.

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. To see more about this trip watch this YouTube video we made about the first trip back October 2014 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38Ern8BK4F8
Also, you can email Dylan Hubbard to find out more: [email protected]

The 44 hour full moon trip in August leaves the 28^th . 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.

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: http://hubbardsmarina.com/marina-store.html

Written by: Capt. Mark and Dylan Hubbard

Galley Corner: Baked red snapper with Caesar sauce

We had a long and successful red snapper season at Hubbard’s Marina so I wanted to wrap it up with a fancy red snapper recipe so everyone can try it with their freezer full of fresh red snapper! This is a simple fish recipe baked with a sauce that’s over the top that your family will love for years to come.

Sauce Ingredients:

Two cloves of garlic

1/4^th cup parsley

One teaspoon anchovies past

Two teaspoons Dijon mustard

One cup mayonnaise

Zest of two lemons

Two table spoons lemon juice

One teaspoon salt

Finishing touch ingredients:

Three table spoons of capers

Olive oil

Chopped scallions


Process all ingredients in food processor lightly then spread over the fish. Top with Chopped scallions and let stand ten minutes. Bake in 500 degree oven for ten to twelve minutes. Fish will just be done in the middle. Cover with foil and let stand ten minutes. In the meantime, fry three table spoons of capers in medium sauce pan with olive oil for sixty seconds until they pop. When fish is ready, place on platter, top with capers and enjoy! Remember, “EAT MORE FISH!”

Written by: Alyson Collins


Contact Info:
727-393-1947 or Toll Free 1-800-755-0677
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