Fishing ReportsWest-Central

Johns Pass

Inshore– Mackerel are starting to make their way into the bays and passes as they gear up for their fall run. They will be even more plentiful in the coming weeks and the kingfish will not be too far behind them as the water temps reach the mackerel’s favorite temperature around seventy eight degrees. Snook season opened in our area September first and anglers are catching plenty at night in the lights or in the passes free lining live baits like pinfish, grunts, or large white baits. Redfish are feeding well during the day. Mike Jones, from Tampa, caught a redfish recently from the North jetty of John’s Pass using a jerk bait on an outgoing tide. Nick Gualtieri from Seminole was fishing from a boat with his father recently inside John’s Pass and caught a beautiful redfish on an outgoing tide using a large greenback for bait. The water inside the bay is a bit dirty from recent rain but that hasn’t slowed down the red fish and black drum bite inside the pass. Trout are still active on the flats inside the pass as well.


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Photo: Hubbard's –

Near shore– Mackerel are starting to show up in force around the beaches, passes and near shore structure. The most action is around the live bait schools that seem to be hugging the beaches and on the near shore artificial reefs. Kingfish will not be far behind the early arriving mackerel as the water temps get right for their fall run. Red grouper are biting well for us in the near shore waters in depths of 50-90 foot of water. They are being found around bait shows on hard rock bottom and we like to drift for the reds allowing us to show our baits to more grouper more quickly. Gag grouper seem to be moving in to the near shore waters a bit earlier this year thanks to the rain water bringing down gulf temps more quickly. We are finding keeper gags as shallow as 30 foot but the most action is around 40-70 foot on small rock piles or the limestone ledges. Gag grouper require you to anchor on specific structure since gags do not to venture far from their rocky homes.

Offshore– Our recent 44 hour full moon trip at Hubbard’s Marina had quite the successful catch especially for the light load we carried. This was due mostly to the weather variables stacking up perfectly for us. The wind and current were going the same direction most of the trip which made it easy for Captain Garett Hubbard to position the boat perfectly over our secret deepwater spots. Also, the oncoming low pressure from tropical storm Erika’s remnants had the fish ready to chew. Fish are sensitive to pressure changes and always bite best on a falling barometer and this happens regularly when we have approaching low pressure systems. Also, the water temps were great in the area we fished and even the surface temps cooperated offering awesome pelagic fishing opportunities. We ended up catching a monster 51lb wahoo while trolling to our bottom fishing area. Then when we started snapper fishing at night we caught a 51lb cuberra snapper using a single sardine cut to catch mangroves! Later that same night the very same angler who caught the cuberra ending up landing a 16lb mutton snapper. The impressive part of this was the angler, Ernest Hall from Atlanta has not been deepwater fishing often. He didn’t even bring his own tackle he was using a Hubbard’s Marina killer stick and our 6ot diawa reel to catch both of these trophy snapper! Not only did we catch these trophy fish, we also nearly limited out on mangrove snapper too. The amberjack just wouldn’t quit during the day allowing us to catch our boat limit of jacks during this recent 44 hour full moon trip as well. Plus, we had many heads and tails like vermillion, porgies, and yellow tail snapper too!

Captain Jack’s dolphin corner

Baby dolphins have been playful recently around Hubbard’s Marina. Our dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour boat recently spotted 3 of the 4 locally born baby dolphin playing in a small group together. These social groups play together teaching the baby dolphin survival skills. They play catch with mangrove seeds to teach the dolphins about hunting prey and fine tuning their sonar skills.

Turtle nests are still littering Egmont Key state park so be vigil of the small marked off areas on the beach. They make a break for the water around each month’s full moons.

Shelling was great this past week on shell key and Egmont key thanks to the storms that came up from the south as the remnants of tropical storm Erika cruised by our area.

Babyface the local dolphin that was injured and featured on many news outlets has made quite the miraculous recovery. It has been spotted feeding by itself, joining social groups and even participating in mating rituals. It’s wounds are now fully covered and healed but the gouges are still quite noticeable but do not seem to be affecting its feeding or mating habits which is surprising and great news!

While snorkeling recently at Egmont key our guests had a visitor come by and cruise past the ruins we were snorkeling around Egmont Key. It was a large manatee that stuck by our guests while they were busy enjoying the fish, coral, ruins and other plentiful sea life in the area.

The trip between Fort De Soto county Park and Egmont Key state park has been enjoyable recently on the Hubbard’s Marina ferry boat. We have been seeing playful and plentiful dolphins on the short ride between the mainland and the island paradise we take our guests to. Also, lately the logger head turtles have been spotted on the ride as well. They spook easily however so this makes them tough to spot unless you are already looking for them.

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.

Upcoming up at Hubbard’s Marina

The Friendly fisherman 2 will be heading to dry dock on September 7th and will return around the 23rd with a new paint job and plenty of other upgrades like new shaft, bearings, motor upgrades, new pumps, new electronics and plenty of other unique upgrades to keep the boat safe and efficient for our multiple day trips that it is constantly running. We will also be doing our out of water USCG inspection while out of water in dry dock so wish us luck on a smooth and uneventful inspection!

We have a 44 hour full moon trip leaving September 25th at 10am. 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.

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. Our next 63 hour trips will be on October 15th and October 22nd. 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:

Amberjacks Re-opened 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!

Galley Corner recipe – Baked Wahoo with buerre Blanc sauce by Alyson Collins

Our last 44 hour trip was exceptional and had a ton of fish to bring home to the docks at Hubbard’s Marina! Our first mate Will McClure caught the ever elusive and extremely hard to catch wahoo that weighed in at 51lbs. Thanks to its enormous size Will was able to offer many crew, staff and captains some of its meat and I was lucky enough to get a chunk for myself. I just had to feature it in this week’s recipe to honor this unique deepwater pelagic catch! Never having it myself, I was so impressed with the unique texture and unbelievable flavor. It has become one of my new favorite fish to eat.
I wanted to keep the recipe simple so as not to take away from the fishes unique flavor. I baked the fish at 400 degrees with just olive oil, salt and pepper for 10-15 minutes, just until done. Then I topped it with a French butter sauce, buerre blanc, to highlight the luxurious quality of the fish. Here is the recipe I used to create this memorable dish below.

Burre Blanc sauce-
2 shallots, chopped
1 tbsp Olive oil
½ cup white wine
¼ cup cream
¼ cup of butter divided into pads

Sauté shallots on medium low heat for five minutes then add salt. Deglaze with white wine and reduce to half. Add cream and bring to simmer then add butter one pad at a time until melted, then add the next. This will thicken the sauce as you add more butter. Remove from heat. When fish is done in the oven let rest for ten minutes, then plate and spoon sauce over the fish. Serve with your favorite roasted veggies and potatoes! I used zucchini to pair with my dish. This sauce is over top and will stand up next to any intense fish even snapper like a mangrove for example. You are going to love it and always remember to eat more fish!

Written by: Alyson Collins

Regular’s club

Now that were nearing the year’s half way point, if you’re interested in joining our regular’s club contact Dylan Hubbard for information and we can talk to you about joining the 2016 club waiting list. That will get you an automatic call when we start new signups for our 2016 clubs. 2015 club memberships will expire December 31st, 2015 that is why we start a waiting list at the half way mark through the year.

Contact Info:
Local 727-393-1947
Toll Free 1-800-755-0677
“If your too busy to go fishing, Your just too busy!”

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