MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. - Every Friday morning, Captain Dylan Hubbard of Hubbard's Marina joins Good Day to fill viewers in on his fishing forecast as we head into the weekend.
Here is his fishing report for July 24, 2020.
Mangrove snapper action is still going well throughout the area right now. Essentially, any structure around the area will hold hungry mangrove snapper including docks, bridges, seawalls, jetties, rock piles, piers, and others. If there is a place to find cover and bait, they'll be around the mangroves ready to eat.
Using some chum is a great way to get them feeding more actively. O then start or end of the tide is best time to target them, so you can free line or use minimal weights and still feel their quick bites. Small pieces of bait and lighter tackle is key for the mangroves. However, they are so thick we are seeing some guys catching them on the flats using soft plastics.
Snook action was a little slower this past week due mostly to weather making it difficult to target them. However, that turbulent condition still has them feeding well. During the day the beaches, flats and mangrove shorelines are all holding hungry and active snook. At night, passes are where they are feeding best around the docks, bridges, and jetties. Using soft plastics, swim baits, lipped plugs and flairhawks are all good options to target snook. For live bait, they are eating just about anything, but the live shrimp or pigfish are the most commonly used baits. Big snook will take cut bait on the bottom or even small live mullet or ladyfish!
Redfish action was a little better this past week around the area as the rain had those fish moving and feeding more actively. Rain pushes more freshwater into the bays and passes and moves their prey items around and stirs up the water making it murky and full of food for the redfish to spread out and actively feed. Outgoing tides we have been seeing them in the passes and on the beaches. Incoming tides have been better in the back bay areas on the flats and mangrove shorelines.
Trout are feeding through the area too, and the bite has been steady on edges of the shallower flats or on top of the deeper flats during the day. At night, bridge lights and dock lights are holding plenty of hungry trout. Soft plastics are best for trout, but live shrimp or white bait are great live bait options for them.
Triple tail are still around the bay and along our beaches, but, lately, they have been down in the water column or even on the bottom. Using split shots to sink your live shrimp down a marker buoy or trap line is a great way to find some nice triple tail around the bay area right now.
Tarpon are still here but are getting more tricky as its gets later in the summer season. Typically, by early to mid-August, most of those fish have moved on. However, there is a contingent of ‘resident’ tarpon that hang out in the Tampa Bay area all year. These fish are hanging around the bridges of the bay right now and still at the mouth of passes and around Egmont key were still seeing plenty of nice fish being caught and released.
The weather has been super tough this past week for near shore fishing. We haven’t been able to get out there most of the week, but we did have a good weekend and start of the week before this tropical rain and winds put a halt to our fishing opportunities.
This past weekend, we saw some good action on lane snapper, a few mangroves, and some red grouper around 60-100 feet on our 10-hour all-day and our private fishing charters aboard the HUB.
It was a great time to use dead bait over the weekend behind the weather. When the water is stirred up and dirty, that dead cut bait is the best option to start fishing your near shore spots. Also, keep in mind behind the weather, the fish will often be congregated on those bigger near shore structures like bigger ledges, rock piles and artificial reefs.
The mahi mahi bite was not happening for us this past weekend but that does not mean they have disappeared. Behind this rain, I would imagine they would be out a little deeper for a while until the near shore waters clear back up.
Besides, these guys occasionally showing up the pelagic action is pretty much nonexistent near shore right now until you get offshore past 100 feet of water.
The weather has just plain stunk out there offshore this past week. Luckily, we were able to get a 39-hour out there this past weekend but besides the big boat, there weren’t many other options.
We were able to get a nice big pile of fish this past weekend on our 39-hour trip. However, it was not an easy feat due to a picky bite.
We really had a tough night bite, and during the day was more of the same. We kept on it and we stumbled across a nice show towards the end of the day and the fish finally chewed for us and we pulled hundreds of fish off two spots to end the trip with a bang -- and a full limit of red snapper too!
The fishing has been a little picky, but if you stick, move and keep hunting, often times we are getting them either early morning or later afternoon.
The mid-day bite has been a little tough lately due to the heat and currents. Hoping that this tropical system stirred things up enough to shake up these fish for the last few days of the private rec season and the last week of the fed for hire season for red snapper.
Remember, the private rec season ends at midnight on the 25th of July and the fed-for-hire season ends midnight on August 1. I would bet that the private rec season will see a fall extension, but the fed-for-hire season will likely stay unchanged.
Gag grouper have been a little tough out there compared to the start of June, but we did have a pretty good weekend this past weekend ahead of that low pressure pushing into our area. I have a feeling that is what made the gags start chewing well for us.
There are good numbers of them still in the offshore waters you just have to look hard for the biomass and then they got to be willing to eat.
Red grouper fishing has been steady out there from around 100-160 feet of water around those hard-bottom bait shows, shell-bottom and those potholes. However, the mangrove snapper fishing has been tougher this summer with a really spotty showing of mangroves.