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 May 7, 2021.
This week has been another active week of snook moving into the passes from the back bay waters. We are seeing snook really start to move out into the passes and onto the beaches right now as waters continue to warm.
This weekend’s light front should not slow down their progress too much and we should see big-time summertime numbers of fish start to choke the passes, especially at night around the bridge lights and dock lights. They feed during the day too but are definitely most active at night around the passes.
There is still plenty of fish around the flats, mangrove shorelines and rocky shorelines and islands of the bay too. However, many of the larger fish are starting to stage up for their summertime spawn near shore.
We are seeing active redfish action too lately, especially around the dock lines and local bridges adjacent to the passes during the day. We are still seeing them active through the night but the snook action picks up so much many lose sight of the plentiful redfish that are stalking along the bottom.
During the day, around those grass flats, mangrove shorelines and oyster bars of the bay is where we are seeing active redfish action.
Trout are still biting well too, especially at night around dock lights and bridge lights where water is moving and allowing the trout to stage up and ambush passing baits. We are really seeing many of these fish on the DOA shrimp and soft plastic paddle tails but plenty to be had free-lining shrimp or white bait too on lighter tackle.
Sheepshead are backing down dramatically now, giving way to the more aggressive and more plentiful mangrove snapper we are seeing around the bridges, rock piles, and structures of the Bay Area. It’s a great time to get out there on lighter tackle and capitalize on the first great amassing for these good-eating, fun-to-catch fish.
Black drum are still fairly thick around our local bridges and larger dock structures. These guys mainly look for crustaceans along the bottom and will take a shrimp, but the cut crabs along the bottom are the best options for big black drum.
There are still a few flounder around the local potholes and edges of shallower grass flats. Drifting the sandy passes and bouncing a soft plastic along the bottom slowly is a great way to target them. The bite has slowed down but overall, still there are plenty of active flounder around the area.
Do not forget that we are coming up on a particularly important FWC meeting yet again this coming May 12 and 13. This upcoming meeting will be discussing Goliath grouper regulations and perhaps an extremely limited season on them, shark issues and interactions with fishermen, and finally the issue on snook, redfish, and trout and perhaps reopening these species.
Remember, anyone can attend these meetings and you even have a chance to speak during the meeting if you so choose by following the prompts given during the meeting. However, if you do not feel comfortable talking about the issues or you will not have time to attend the meeting. You can always write in with public comment letters ahead of the meeting too. On the agenda page, you will find a link to the public comment form that allows you to write in your comments to the commission prior to the meeting. Remember, you have to do so about 4-6 days prior typically, but no date has been set yet for this deadline. You can view the agenda, reports, and make advanced written public comments on these items by visiting this link.
Near shore and offshore
The move to targeting more deepwater near shore waters is paying off. We are not seeing as many the grey snapper or white grunts, but the lane snapper, vermillion snapper and mangrove snapper are so active around this 70-100 feet mark, they are more than making up for the void left behind the grey snapper we typically target on our shortest closest to shore trips. like the 5-hour half-day.
Hogfish bite has slowed down considerably also further pushing us to try fishing deeper. However, the real push to deeper waters away from where we have been doing so well on the hogfish the past 5 months or so has been the green grass or algae, we are seeing in the area right now.
Around these areas of that green stuff, we are not able to catch as many fish and many lights and or weights are coming up with bundles of this mess wrapped around them. This is why it makes it tricky for the fish to find our baits in-between spots.
However, out deeper around that 70-100 feet of water, we are seeing some big lane snapper biting well on chunks of threadfin or live shrimp. We suggest trying to take a warm bath or shower after each day and then apply this stuff to it topically.
Further offshore, we are seeing some big mangrove snapper hanging around the potholes and ledges we are targeting for big red grouper, scamp grouper and others beyond 120-160 feet of water. It is a beautiful time of year to take advantage of this diverse action we are seeing too while on one of those long-range adventures.
We are seeing lighter loads and smaller crowds right now on the longer trips. While in just a few short weeks, when red snapper season and gag grouper season opens on June 1, we will see maxed-out fishing trips until the season dwindles down when the kids go back to school during the day.
So, capitalize on the lighter loads and extra one-on-one time with your favorite local charter captains and crew before the boats start to fill for the summertime.
The amberjack have been tough to find in large quantities, so far, but we’re remaining hopeful we will be able to locate some larger keeper-sized fish in greater concentrations soon. They have been tough the past few years and the only really good push of fish we have seen was following those bigger hurricanes that passed us to the west and pushed into Alabama and Panama City areas. These storms pushed a lot of fish our way. However, since then it has been much more difficult to hone into these fun-to-catch, exceptionally-large fish.
The pelagic action has been steady out past 120 feet of water with seemingly the most plentiful blackfin tuna with the occasional kingfish mixed in. We even saw some blackfin tuna get caught while amberjack fishing the past few days on our 30-hour long-range overnight fishing trip.
TERMS OF REFERENCE
INSHORE – from the back bays out to the bridges and including right on the beaches
NEAR SHORE – from the beaches out to 20 miles, or up to 100ft of water
OFFSHORE – from 20 miles or 100ft and beyond
For more fishing reports, photos, videos and more check out Hubbard’s Marina on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or Snapchat. Just simply search "HubbardsMarina" and do not forget our family motto, "If you’re too busy to go fishing, you’re just too busy!"