Fishing ReportsWest-Central

Johns Pass

Fishing Report out of Johns Pass (March 31)

Inshore: Scott Pelno, from Seminole, was fishing the north jetty of Johns Pass this past week and reported catching some nice whiting on live shrimp weighted to the bottom. He also reported that the mackerel have returned to the skyway. Scott was fishing the south pier at the skyway watching mackerel being caught all around most of which were caught using a shiny gotcha plug. Mike Swisher, from Ohio, is on vacation to our area and has thoroughly enjoyed fishing the north Jetty of Johns Pass throughout this past week. Not only did he catch sheepshead, whiting and flounder he also saw locals catching nice speckled trout as well. He was fishing with live shrimp his entire visit. Don’s Dock bait shop at the end of the boardwalk reported that the most action this week has been on the live shrimp and the usual suspects caught have been the sheepshead and mangrove snapper that love to call their docks home. The snook bite has been great inside the pass, we love to use pigfish or grunts for bait but lately large or jumbo live shrimp have been working well too. The best time to target snook has been and will continue to be just before sunset until just after sunrise especially when the water is moving.

Near shore: The snapper bite has been going very well out of Johns Pass, this week our private charters have been limiting out on the mangrove snapper and even the party boat is doing very well. The Hub did a recent 12 hour night trip for mangroves and not only limited out on the goozers, they nearly limited out on yellowtail and lanes too! Then a few short days later the HUB did an 8 hour day trip and limited out on mangroves yet again and caught a handful of nice red grouper too. The hogfish bite has slowed a bit but were still finding them occasionally. The mackerel are finally running thick again, were catching them while trolling and also while bottom fishing too! The kingfish are now here but they are not quite as aggressive yet. We chummed very heavily yesterday on our 10 hour party boat trip and we had the kings all around the boat jumping and feeding but they were very leader shy and were tough to get them chewing. We did catch two small ones just over keeper size, but we look forward to the aggressive run that should be starting in the next few weeks around Johns Pass.

Offshore: The offshore bite off of Johns Pass is super-hot right now and were happy to have our new Flying HUB fleet to target these offshore species while they are biting well. The Flying HUB 1 did a 12 hour trip the other day and had to come back to Johns Pass two hours early since Captain Bryon and his guests filled up their limits well before the end of the trip. They limited out on amberjack, mangroves, and they were one red grouper away from the grouper limit too. Not only did they do very well bottom fishing they also caught a tuna, hooked a wahoo and fought a monster kingfish as well!

Captain Jack’s dolphin corner: Remember Baby face the Johns Pass famous dolphin that was struck by a boater? She has been able to make a full recovery and we even had the pleasure of watching her jump in the wake behind our boat showing her eco location and all her senses are functioning perfectly and she is not afraid of boats still even after being struck. This was a very impressive and special sight that nearly brought tears to our eyes to watch her play just like her friends.

Past few days we have been able to spot some large local sea turtles at Johns Pass, these huge creatures are so cool to spot and many are decades old. Most of them are the loggerhead turtles but we did get to see a green sea turtle over by Egmont key on a recent ferry ride to the island.

In a matter of weeks Johns Pass should have a new local dolphin among the pods here. We spotted two female dolphins that look to be carrying babies so we expect a few new dolphins to be born in the coming weeks. Looking forward to more great photos of those young dolphins showing off their fetal folds.

Recently, we have been able to spot multiple big schools of mullet being corralled and hunted by big local dolphins. These predatory shows have been quite impressive and we should have great chances to watch this type of action over the next few weeks, join us for a relaxing cruise at Johns Pass!

This time of year many of the seabirds that traveled to our area for the winter are now preparing to head home. For example, we’re seeing large flocks of white pelicans heading back north to their summer homes. Also, many cranes and other species are heading back north for the summer weather before making their return back to sunny Johns Pass for our beautiful ‘weather’.

The water temps at Johns Pass are now into the mid-seventies, and they are only climbing. Just yesterday, one of our Johns Pass snorkeling trips had a great encounter with a local manatee that decided to swim between our boat and the snorkelers investigating the grass flats yet again for the second week in a row. To learn more about our snorkeling option, check out this page: However, keep in mind to snorkel you have to be out at Egmont key after you have taken a ride out from Johns Pass to the island on our ferry boat. To learn more about our ferry boat trips, check out this link:

Manatees are becoming more prolific in our Johns Pass and local waters as they continue to warm. We are seeing large groups of manatees around Egmont Key and even a few in Boca Ceiga bay. Join us for a relaxing dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour for a chance to see a few, or join us for a ferry ride to Egmont for an even better chance to spot a Manatee. For more info on our dolphin watching nature cruise and eco tour that offers guaranteed dolphin sightings check out this link:

The three hour shelling trip is tons of fun at Hubbard’s Marina and offers great chances for tons of shells and beautiful sights! This relaxing cruise is very fun for the whole family and offers great sightseeing, time on the island and even a chance to spot the local wildlife too! For more info on our special 3 hour shelling cruise, or all the trips out of Johns Pass visit this link:

Our sunset cruise with free beer and wine is now a daily cruise once again as the weather gets nicer! Join us sometime soon for a fun filled trip and a beautiful view of the sunset. It’s the best bar on the water guaranteed! For more info on the sunset cruise, visit this link:

Upcoming up at Hubbard’s Marina: We have three more 12 hour night mangrove snapper fishing trips coming up this April, who’s ready for some night time snapper fun? Join us on April 15th, 22nd or 29th for some specialty trip fishing aboard one of these unique 12 hour night snappers. These night trips offer 8-9 hours of fishing time in 70-120 foot of water 15-35 miles from shore targeting mangrove snapper, porgies, vermillion, yellowtail and more! The 12 hour specialty trips are $129 per angler, to find out more:

Don’t forget that Hubbard’s Marina offers a very wide variety of private charters off of Johns Pass along with our party boat options. Many people don’t realize how many different boats and options we offer for these private excursions. At Hubbard’s Marina we have 4 smaller fishing vessels for charter than can take 1-6, 7-14 or 14-24 plus we have two large party boats that can allow 17-110 so no matter what your groups size and no matter where or how they want to fish or cruise we have the perfect charter options for you and your group no matter your size! Check out the options at this link, and fill out the form to get your very own detailed quote based on exactly what you’d like included and what you’d like to target:

We have two of the long range day time 12 hours offering a little fishing time in the super deep waters 40-60 miles from shore. These are for advanced anglers only, just like any of our specialty trips. On April 7th and 28th you can come join us for the hunt for big jacks, fat grouper and snapper. These special 12 hour day trips are completely different than the night 12 hours. The day trip goes super far unlike the night snapper that stays closer to shore! Due to the long run you don’t get a bunch of fishing time, but you do get to fish 120+ foot of water during a day trip. This 12 hour trip is the same price as the night trip, its $129 per angler. For more information on the trip:

April 8th, 15th, and 19th we have more chances to try our very special 39 long range overnight fishing trip to the Florida middle grounds and surrounding areas. These trips offer around 20 hours of bottom fishing time and around 14 hours of trolling time as well! Not only do you get the weekend on the water, but you also get to take home a two day bag limit too or double what you could keep during a typical day trip. The 39 hour trips are $329 per angler and to find out more:

Like our 39 hour but have you ever wanted more night fishing time during the trip? Try our unique 44 hour full moon trip that offers a full night of fishing on a full moon rather than the partial night of fishing time the 39 hour offers. The next 44 hour is coming up April 22nd. This trip gives you around 25-26 hours bottom fishing time and tons of daytime trolling on the way out to the bottom fishing areas. This 44 hour offers two day bag limit much like the 39 hour offers. To learn more about our 44 hours check out this link, but don’t forget that you can’t book our 44 or 63 hour trips via our website you still have to call us for these very special trips at (727)393-1947 but here’s the link to learn more:

Our first 63 hour deep drop pelagic trip of 2016 will be April 28th! These trips offer tons of fishing time in the 300-1,200 foot range and plenty of trolling time for the pelagic fish as well. We also have two more schedule before dry dock in September check out the specialty trip schedule to see all the 63 hour dates in 2016. To see more about these Johns Pass trips, check out the video on our new 63 hour deep drop pelagic trip page on the brand new website here’s the link:

Keep in mind that 44 hours and 63 hour trips must be booked via phone, and cannot be booked via our online reservation system. We will be addressing this issue soon when we re do our online reservations system. Once this is done you will be able to book every trip through that system.

Captain Charlie Conner
Fish Tales Charter
Johns Pass