Fishing ReportsWest-Central

Johns Pass

Inshore: The inshore waters have become quite dirty due to the enormous amount of rain we have had the past three weeks. Due to the darker waters the black drum and sheepshead are the more active inshore species. The redfish also thrive in these brackish murky waters and can be found using cut bait. We love to use cut lady fish and let them ripen in the sun before fishing. The smellier baits will help the fish find your bait in the dirty waters. The black drum love eating crabs so in this dirty water we recommend cutting the crabs in half and let them sit in the sun before fishing helping the scent to attract in the fish. Snook are still biting well at night and early morning on live pinfish around the structure. Were also catching them around the fish filleting tables during the day especially when the crew is tossing in the carcasses which chum in the fish and bait.


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Photo: 2015 Season long Red snapper tournament leader board $500 cash 1st place $200 2nd and $100 to 3rd –

Near shore: The near shore grouper bite has been hit or miss. Our ten hours are averaging between fifteen to twenty five keeper red grouper. The gags have been a bit tougher and were averaging more like ten to fifteen of them. The mangroves are biting well too along with yellowtail, grey snapper, hogfish and porgies. Were getting large hogfish on either live shrimp or fresh dead shrimp and they are using half ounce knocker rigs with 10-20 foot of fluorocarbon leader to get them to bite. The triple tail has returned to the area hiding under the local floating flotsam. You can catch these great eating fish by drifting by the floating trash, buoys, or grass and tossing over live shrimp or small pieces of sardines. Permits are also back in the area over large structure and can even be found tailing around these areas. We are using live pass crabs or blue crabs and sight casting to these unique fish from our private charter boat. Sharks are in the area strong and are biting well. Our private charter boat while doing shark trips is catching 7 foot tiger sharks, 8 foot hammerheads, 8 foot lemon sharks and more!

Offshore: Our 39 hour returned from the middle grounds this morning with a nice load of amberjack, snapper and grouper. The mangrove snapper bite was hot when we started and they bit well most of the night for us. When the sun rose the mangrove snapper bite tapered off. Amberjack were aggressive and loaded up on the large structure. We caught tons of them of a deepwater wreck and nearly limited out in one stop. We had 26 anglers so we needed 52 jacks to limit out and the trip ended with 48 of them in the fish boxes. The grouper bite was a bit soft on this recent 39 hour but we did get more than a dozen scamp, half dozen red grouper and a half dozen gag grouper. We also caught plenty of heads and tails like the porgies, vermillion and others.

Written by: Captain Mark and Dylan Hubbard

Captain Jack’s dolphin corner

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.

Manatees have been cruising the grass flats at Egmont key and our snorkeling guests have been having these beautiful creatures cruise past as they snorkel the flats looking for shells, fish and sand dollars!

Dolphins have been in larger social groups lately. The rain has made our bay waters a bit murkier and this is why we feel the dolphins are working in larger groups making it easier for them to corral fish in the dirtier waters.

The shell key trip had a great show recently. While returning from a successful shelling excursion a dolphin started to jump continuously completely out of the water. This continued for six total areal displays. The dolphin had a remora that had attached itself to the dolphin which causes it to feel tickled and due to this the dolphins will grey hound which means they jump out of the water multiple times trying to shake off its unwanted passenger.

Skimmers are nesting on Egmont Key Island right now on the south end of the island that is closed to people. However, you can see these cute baby birds and their adult counterparts while cruising the island’s perimeter on our snorkeling trip.

Also out at Egmont key, the baby turtles are starting to hatch and some guests have even been lucky enough to watch them emerge from the sand and head to the water to start their journey offshore!

Egmont key ferry guests are also seeing plenty of spotted eagle rays going to and from Egmont Key Island.

Written by: Captain Mark and Dylan Hubbard

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:

August 11th we have a 39 hour heading out Tuesday with a lighter load than the fuller weekend trips. If you want to get some jacks in the freezer before the close down again this would be a great option for you and your friends!

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.

Also during August, Hubbard’s Marina has three 39 hour trips August 4th, 11th and 14th giving you plenty of chances for amberjacks before they are shut down. We heard they could now close amberjack mid to late September 40-50 days after they re-open august first. This means you MUST go get your jacks while you can!

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!

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:

Written by: Captain Mark and Dylan Hubbard

Galley corner-Gag grouper stock and New England clam chowder By Alyson Collins

Hey everyone, now that Gag Grouper season is well underway I think it’s high time I share my very own Gag stock recipe with all of you faithful Hubbard’s Marina fishermen! It is a bit labor intensive but the benefits in unbelievable taste, versatility and most important healthiness make the effort definitely worth it. This recipe is a must do for everyone who prepares fish frequently due to the amount of stock it makes which is then reserved and frozen, ready to use in a variety of different uses from soups to sauces. You all will be amazed at how inspired you will become with this on hand to create some unique dishes of your own!

Ingredients for stock:

Gag grouper head, rinsed thoroughly with water

1/2 bunch celery

4 carrots

1 large onion

Salt & pepper

herbes de province (may substitute your favorite s.a. Italian or Badia complete seasoning)

New England Chowder ingredients:

4 cups stock

3 cups half & half

3 cups heavy cream

1 cup sherry

2 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp flour

1 onion, chopped

4 celery stalks, chopped

2 large potatoes, cubed

3 ears of corn, kernels cut off

Gag meat, reserved from head

Salt & pepper

Ok, first the stock. In a large pot place the Gag head along with the celery, carrots, and onion, rinsed but not peeled. Fill with water being sure to cover ingredients completely and add a substantial amount of salt, pepper & herbs. Bring to a boil, skimming foam from the top, then cover and reduce heat to a heavy simmer. After 10 minutes of cooking, check to see if the Gag skin is peeling to reveal opaque meat. It may need to go a little longer if the head is large. Carefully remove the head using 2 large slotted spoons and place in colander to cool. Continue boiling veggies. When cool enough to touch, separate meat from bones & skin. This is a little disconcerting, but the amount of meat is so worth it. It’s going to make an entire pot of chowder! Now place everything except the gills back into the pot of veggies. This is where all of the omega 3 comes from. Simmer heavily for 2 hours. When done cool slightly, then pour liquid into a large bowl through a sieve, discarding all of the solids…..and voila! You now have 20 or so cups of the best fish stock ever. Reserve 4 cups for the chowder and portion the rest into 2 to 4 cup containers and freeze.( by the way, when cooled the stock will have a gelatin-like consistency to it)

Now for the easy part! In the cleaned large pot heat olive oil on medium and add onions and celery. When they start to turn translucent, sprinkle flour and salt over and stir for another few minutes. Add sherry which the flour will begin to absorb. Cook a few minutes, and then add fish stock. Bring to a boil. Add the half & half and cream. When boiling, again reduce the heat to a heavy simmer and cook for about a half hour. Add the potatoes and corn, return to boil and then return to simmer and cook for another half hour until the potatoes are done. Remove from heat and add the reserved Gag meat. Serve with homemade croutons or even grilled cheese.

You all will absolutely love this chowder which you can add other seafood to, or even different veggies but remember, eat more fish!

Written by: Alyson Collins


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727-393-1947 or Toll Free 1-800-755-0677
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