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 Nov. 27, 2020.
Snook action is going well around the Bay Area right now, especially in the estuary areas as many of the fish start to move back in the bay as the water cools.
You can find them active on the grass flats, mangrove shorelines and we're starting to see them at the mouths of the creeks and rivers. Closer to the mouth of the bay, we are still seeing some very late-season fish along the beaches during the day too, but numbers are much lower than the summertime peak.
The passes are still holding some fish too -- at night on the incoming tide seems to be the peak time lately. This week, the white plastic paddle tail and flairhawk style jigs were the favorite around the passes at night. During the day on the beaches, flats and shorelines they are love the live white bait, live shrimp or swim baits along with the soft plastic paddle tails.
Redfish action is steady throughout the area as well. Cut bait has been king for these guys, but we're seeing many bite on the slow-moving soft plastics on the bottom from DOA shrimp to paddle tails. Live shrimp with minimal weight will also work for the redfish bite. They are moving into the canals lately and still plenty of fish out on the flats in the passes and along the mangroves. This time of year, you can still find the big schools of feeding reds from time to time on the flats.
Trout action has picked up nicely as of late and will continue to improve with cooling temperatures. We are seeing these guys around those grass flat areas where there’s a nice roll, drop off, pothole, or some sort of ambush spot they can hang to feed actively on all the passing bait. They are loving live shrimp or white bait but a variety of soft plastics work but I suggest the artificial shrimp like the DOA shrimp. We are seeing these guys at night around the docks and bridge lights too.
Sheepshead action is really heating up as the waters continue to cool. The best places to find them are around the bridges, docks, piers and other structures. However, you can find them on the oyster bars too and when you find an oyster bar, mangroves and a bridge or dock close by you have found your sheepshead honey hole! They will eat a variety of small crabs from mud crabs to fiddler crabs and even mangrove crabs.
They love cut oysters or clams. You can use barnacles even or small pieces of shrimp. Small hooks and light tackle and minimal weight if any at all is preferrable to target these great eating and fun fighting fish.
Mackerel action is going well around the beaches, mouth of the bay and passes. We are seeing some of these fish even travel up in the bay around the deepest edges of the flats and hanging around the bridges busting bait schools. There are a few kingfish mixed in at the mouth of the bay too so you never know what you may hook up with out there. They are holding around the artificial reefs and rock piles at the mouth of bay as well. The best time to target the mackerel from shore would be in the earlier morning from around sunrise to mid-morning when water is at the clearest.
Flounder are starting to pick up still, nothing wild yet but they will get better and better as the waters continue to cool. Look for them on the bottom in the sandy areas adjacent to the flats, structures or dock lines. They hang right on the bottom and love live shrimp or small bait fish to venture too close to their sandy hideouts.
Tripletail are biting well around the crab buoys along the shoreline. It's a great time to get out there and do some sight fishing. You may even run across the occasional cobia while cruising the buoys so be ready for him too!
The tripletail love the live shrimp or even artificial shrimp tossed close to their buoy hide out. You can also find them on floating debris, channel markers, and sometimes even dock lines. We found a big tripletail this past week hiding under a coconut just off the beaches.
Near shore and offshore
The fishing is HOT out there near shore and offshore right now when the weather is good and the weather looks great this weekend until Sunday night.
I cannot stress the importance of taking advantage of this weather window while it is here! We are going to have a few cold fronts this coming week. It seems that will make the first half of the week and then the coming weekend not so fishable and conditions less than perfect to get out there to target these waters.
Looks like we will have little weather windows to get out our mid week 39-hour next week and our 39-hour for the weekend but they both will be bumpy compared to the perfect weather our 44-hour full moon trip will have this weekend.
The hogfish bite is going extremely well now and seems to only want to improve. We are seeing quite a few on our half-day trips and some all days are seeing more than two dozen! They are biting best around 40-80 feet of water right now on the lighter tackle and live shrimp. The hogfish love small ledges, hard rock bottom areas with seafans and low relief and will even venture out on that shell bottom adjacent to the hardbottom areas.
We target them by anchor fishing areas we know are holding the hogfish. Once you catch one in an area you know there are more around. They are super leader-shy and slow to bite so you have to fish a spot for a little while to see if there’s one ready to chew. Once you catch that one there’s often a handful or two more to catch before the bite dies off. Then you got to move onto the next one and start the process over.
These guys can fight too, and fishing for them with lighter tackle makes it a ton of fun. We do catch them deeper than 80 feet of water, but typically we target them in this range because the deeper you go the more competition they have for those shrimp at the bottom and the more difficult it becomes to target them specifically.
Gag grouper action is picking up near shore and offshore we are starting to see them more and more. From around 30-40 feet to around 80-100 feet, the gags are becoming more prolific and aggressive. We are seeing them on the big live baits and heavier tackle around the ledges. However, they are tricky to get up off the bottom once your lucky enough to entice them to eat.
Red grouper action is going very well near shore and offshore from around 70-110 feet we are seeing a great bite and offshore up to around 160 feet we are seeing some steady action too. Red grouper love big dead baits or even those live baits in the medium size range. We are seeing these guys on that hard-bottom area mixed in with plentiful lane snapper, few mangroves and some vermillion.
They love potholes of flat hard-bottom that’s holding a nice bait show.
Mangrove snapper action is going well right now offshore and we're seeing some steady action near shore too. Around 80-140 feet is a great area to target the mangrove snapper right now with some threadfin chunks on your double snell rigs.
We have a full moon coming up Monday, so this weekend should have an incredible mangrove snapper bite especially at night as these guys will feed heavily before the moon. Then after the moon, around 1-3 days, we will see the same active feeding from the mangrove snapper near shore and offshore. Great time to get out there and target these fun to catch and tricky fish.
Kingfish action is steady near shore and offshore we are seeing them from the beaches to the deepest offshore waters on the trollers, flat lines and even sometimes the vertical jigs or knocker rigs. They are spread out but we are seeing some big fish from time to time.
Blackfin tuna are picking up out deep past around 120 feet of water and we should see more and more of these guys as the water continues to cool. Their less desirable cousins that are a ton of fun to catch, bonita, are incredibly thick right now and pervasive through the near shore waters from the mouth of the bay out to around 15-20 miles we are seeing huge numbers of bonita tearing up bait schools mixed in with the mackerel and the occasional kingfish.
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