MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. - The weather – and water – are finally warming up ahead of Easter weekend and Captain Dylan Hubbard of Hubbard's Marina at John's Pass in Madeira Beach says pleasant temps paired with a full moon set up the perfect scenario for a fun weekend of fishing.
Captain Hubbard the full moon is bringing a lot of moving water, which hopefully means a great opportunity for catching a lot of good eating fish.
There's a lot of bait moving around in the back bays and right now. Look forward to a little weather window and try to capitalize on.
Remember the three Ps of inshore fishing: points, pockets and passes, which working well, inshore.
Look at mangrove shorelines, where the fish are stacking up. Those points could also be a jetty system or appear or rocky shorelines. Any of those points are where fish are able to sit in the lee of that current.
Look for pockets on the grass flats, a little pothole on the edge of a flat, or deeper areas adjacent to docks or other structures.
Whether it's a little cut in the back bay, moving into a bigger bay, or rivers or passes like John's Pass or Clearwater Pass, they're all good areas to look for feeding fish right now.
Trout (courtesy Dylan Hubbard)
The trout are feeding well in the area. Especially on those deeper flats and edges; 3 to 6 feet of water is a good area to look for trout.
Snook are active in the back bay around grass flats, especially smaller to average-size snook. And then as you move towards the passes, bigger snook are feeding well in the early morning and through the nighttime.
Anglers are seeing more redfish lately around grass flats, oyster bars, and even some dock lines adjacent to those areas.
Snook (courtesy Dylan Hubbard)
The pompano action is also going well in sandy passes and along the gulf beaches.
Some sheepsheads are still around, but they're giving way to more mangrove snapper. The mangrove snapper bites are picking up as the water starts to warm up, but right now, hit up your local docks, piers, bridges, or jetties for a great shot at either. They both respond well to light tackle with small shrimp pieces.
Mackerel (courtesy Dylan Hubbard)
Near shore, the big news is mackerel and kingfish, both still dominating nearshore waterways. A few kingfish are around, too. There's also an increase of red grouper this past week, especially in deeper nearshore waters -- about 80 to 100 feet deep.
Hogfish bite has picked up a little with the warming weather.
Hogfish (courtesy Dylan Hubbard)
Hubbard said you also never know when you might see a cobia or sailfish in nearshore water.
"It's an exciting time to have that pitch rod or that flat line out while you're out there, bottom fishing offshore in deeper water," he sid. "We even caught a yellow mouth grouper this past week out there in deeper water, 140-180 ft. is where we're targeting those bigger grouper."