Hubbard's Marina Fishing Report
by Hubbard's Marina Staff
Inshore Fishing Report
It was a turbulent week of weather this past week especially at the start of the week making conditions stirred up, muddy, and cold to start most of the week. This leads to a better action on some of our more winter time ready species inshore.
Sheepshead action was prolific around the area this past week as they seem to thrive on that cooler, stirred up, and turbulent water. They were active around local bridges, docks, piers, jetties, and seawalls feeding on shrimp, crabs, clams, oysters and even barnacles. However, small pieces of shrimp and fiddler or mangrove crabs are great options when targeting the sheepshead. Especially using lighter tackle like 15-20lb test and 1ot hooks with minimal weight.
Black drum also were more active feeding this past week around the local docks, piers, jetties, seawalls, oyster bars, and some flats. We see them most often on live shrimp or crabs, but you can sometimes see them on the soft plastics. They are similar to sheepshead; the dirty, muddy, stirred up conditions seem to turn them on feeding wise. Back in the bay we see them more, but we do see them in our passes and along our flats on the way to the passes from the bayous, creeks, rivers and back bay areas.
Snook action was happening, but you had to find those wind protected shorelines with the deeper water pockets or potholes. Using the afternoon sun to warm up the back bay mud and finding those sunbaked coast lines for more actively feeding fish was a good option too. Slower moving soft plastics, swim baits, and artificial shrimp were good options. However, live shrimp or white bait has been a great option too!
Redfish were feeding better on the flats in the afternoons when the sun was able to warm up the shallower flats, mangrove shorelines and oyster bars. Also, residential dock lines were good options, especially those close to the flats or mangroves where the redfish could stage and let the bait come to them. As water cools, they become more and more opportunistic, trying to move around less and less.
Trout action was steady around the area, but good numbers of fish are hard to find. Many local fishermen are concerned over trout numbers especially in some areas like fort de soto, but you are able to find them if your fishing those edges, potholes, and cuts adjacent to the flats. Like redfish and snook the slower soft plastics were king with the live shrimp as a great live bait option.
Nearshore Fishing Report
This past week was a tough week near shore due to the extreme weather at the start of the week stirring up our near shore waters. We really had to work for the fish and we had to fish as deep as possible to find some cooperative fish. We saw waters stirred up as deep as 200ft offshore, but the near shore waters just were completely milked out. The bite finally started getting better Tuesday but not until we were 80-100ft of water. However, with water never really clearing up we had to fish beyond 60-70ft all week to really get any decent action.
The mangrove snapper bite was good to us this past week, and that’s one good thing about more murky water conditions; it mimics that overcast cloudy or night time condition that the mangroves favor in their feeding behaviors. We saw a more active mangrove snapper bite around 70-100ft of water thanks to that stirred up condition. They favored the cut threadfin on the double snell rig, or the live shrimp. Luckily, due to the stirred up conditions we were seeing them bite even heavier leaders in the 40-50lb range but normally we have to use 30lb or even less to get them chewing. With the dirtier water you can get away with heavier leaders and still get these leader shy fish to eat well.
Lane snapper were also feeding very well for us when we were able to get deeper to somewhat clearer conditions. The squid pieces, live shrimp and smaller chunks of threadfin were good options for lane snapper with around 30-40lb leaders and 3-4ot hooks.
Red grouper were tricky this past week near shore with the stirred up conditions and we didn’t see much of any red grouper feeding near shore. However, offshore we were able to get them chewing, but the stirred up near shore conditions made it tough. Squid strips, threadfin and live pinfish were good options.
Hogfish were tougher this week for us near shore too with bumpy conditions and stirred up waters it made it tough to target those guys. However, we did catch a few around the 40-60ft range. However even that area was stirred up from the rough conditions which made it tricky.
Offshore Fishing Report
This was the first time in a very long time we saw even the deeper offshore waters get completely muddy from a cold front. Typically even big tropical systems struggle to get the water this muddy offshore. However, the big front produced wave heights in the 15-18ft range in our offshore waters early this past week. Those conditions were able to make our water even 150-200ft of water resemble the 40-80ft water quality. Absolutely impressive weather conditions were produced from this last big front.
Luckily our 44 hour was able to sneak out there prior to the big weather and they did really well on big mangrove snapper in good supply, nice red grouper in respectable numbers, a few nice scamp and plentiful vermillion, porgies, almacos, and even some yellowtail with a monster cobia surprise.
Then on the backside of this crazy weather we sent out a 39 hour and they did well too despite the stirred up water. The mangroves were just frothing out there ready to jump into the boat. We are seeing an incredibly large average sized mangrove snapper right now offshore. Plus, the red grouper bite improved a bit for us and we brought home nearly three dozen keeper red grouper! We saw a good number of decent sized scamp grouper on the threadfin and pinfish. Like the 44 hour, we had a good number of big vermillion, porgies, almacos and some nice yellowtail snapper too. No pelagic action on the mid week trip due the stirred up conditions. However, once it clears and calms we should see a big resurgence in the pelagic action offshore.
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