Venice FL Fishing Charters ~ Englewood FL Fishing Charters

Offering full and half day Venice FL fishing charters and Englewood FL fishing charters with Capt Van Hubbard. Venice FL and Englewood FL have superb year-round light tackle inshore fishing for Tarpon, Snook, and Redfish.

Reserve your fishing charters with one of the most respected local fishing guides, Capt Van Hubbard, 941-468-4017.

Tarpon fishing charters with Capt Van HubbardAre you looking for a fishing charter with lots of excitement, screaming reels, giant jumping fish? Call Capt. Van Hubbard and Let’s Go Fishin’. Capt. Van Hubbard is one of the most experienced and knowledgeable inshore fishing guides on Florida’s Gulf Coast. He has been a professional, USCG licensed year round guide since 1976, and has been fishing Venice FL and Englewood FL, including Charlotte Harbor and Boca Grande since 1981.

Capt. Van is an International Game Fish Association (IGFA) certified captain offering Venice FL fishing charters for Tarpon, Snook, Redfish and other seasonal species. Capt Van’s extensive local knowledge makes him a great choice for other “non-fishing” eco-boat tours offered, like: shelling, bird watching, photography, remote island trips and lunch or dinner cruises.

Captain Van offer fishing charters for angler of all skill levels, and has fishing trips designed specifically for kids.. CLICK HERE for more information on kids fishing in Venice and Sarasota Florida.

Here is what Frank Sargeant – outdoor editor Tampa Tribune, editor Florida Sportsman magazine, and award winning outdoor writer – had to say about Capt. Van:

Captain Van Hubbard is one of the best-known and most successful fishing charter guides in Florida. I’ve had the pleasure of fishing with Van both inshore and off, and he has never failed to put me in the fish. And, he may hold the unofficial record for most Snook caught and released in a day—his grand total of 158 marks him as one of the best in the business.

I’m also impressed by the fact that Van pays his dues as a conservationist — he has been a leading voice for habitat preservation and fish conservation for more than a decade.

I’m proud to number him among my friends and fishing partners.

Frank Sargeant

VVenice fishing improves with ever warm day.

2015, February, 19th. Fishing is bouncing around as much as our weather.

We certainly can’t complain about cold here with the ice box everyone else is enduring. It has been chilly by our standards recently. The fish are as confused as we are. We’ve enjoyed some good action on the warmer days. It’s predicted to get back into the mid-seventies for Sunday; Spring should arrive down here in Venice soon. March is almost here and bookings are looking good for me; so please make your reservations ASAP! The grandchildren are coming and we both want to share time of our beautiful Charlotte Harbor waters with them. Family trips are my favorite; smiling kids are the best.

Trout and pompano were providing some fine fun and great eating before the cold weather shut us down. Weather warms up as fast as it chills so we will back at it this weekend. Sheepshead are hungry and will turn on as soon as we can get to them on the near-shore Gulf reef system. The structures are scattered from Boca Grande south, up past Venice Beach in about forty feet of water from three to seven miles out. They also hold some cobia, snapper, and flounder frequently. When waters warm back up into the seventies the migratory mackerel, sharks and so forth will travel into our waters. We have fish now and it will improve every time it warms up until Summer.

I’m very excited about the next few months fishing. March and April the Spanish Mackerel are due; fast, fun, tasty, and abundant. The action frequently gets too fast to keep up with. Their larger cousins the kingfish will move in and scream our drags. The Spanish run up to five pounds and kings usually average about twenty!  Sharks actually become a problem many days because they can be hard to get away from. They even chew up some of our mackerel. Everything follows the baitfish schools. We just watch for local water temps to reach about seventy degrees.

Snook fishing opens in March and usually picks up at about seventy-five degree water temps mid-month. We need those minnow schools for bait to turn on snook. Englewood’s Ski Alley was off last year and I’m anxious to see how we do this summer. We usually get good snook action off Venice beaches about May. Tarpon will begin to move into Boca Grande in late April to early May and peak in June.

Life is treating me well so far; I’m looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones as our season progresses. Lots of good things happening in fishery management and the future outlook is good too. Thank you, Captain Van Hubbard

Let’s go fishin’ soon.

Fishing blog for February 2015. Captain Van Hubbard

We have enjoyed good fishing action on most trips recently. This last week was cooler than previous and it did slow things down some. We have had some nice pompano and a mixed bag to go with it. This is down with Doc’s Goofy Jigs sweetened with a tip it of fresh shrimp. We drift on still days and anchor if our drift is too fast. This is casting and bouncing along the bottom to entice bites. We have been catching Spanish Mackerel, trout, ladyfish, a few sheepshead and variety of pole benders. We move around a lot to try and keep up with moving fish. The scenery is awesome with dolphin actually becoming a nuisance because they are always hounding us.  Some folks are obviously feeding them since they hang around so much. We frequently see manatees and a lot of other wildlife to enjoy.

I’m expecting the sheepshead bite to improve dramatically after this Full Moon. Our winter has been very mild and this seems to be setting the sheepshead run back a couple of weeks. They are just starting to show up around the flats edges and near passes. As they bunch up they get aggressive and are much easier to catch. While these may not be a glamor fish they are fun to catch and very good eating. Nice white flaky filets. We frequently stop by the Stump Pass grille to fry some up after our trips. That’s really fresh fish.

It won’t be long before our kids start getting out for Spring Break and Easter Vacations. It’s time to set up your reservations so you can be sure we get to share a day on our beautiful waters. These experiences are exciting and memorable.   Family time on the water is always remembered as we get busy with everything else. Just think about your childhood fishing experiences and smile.

Snook and tarpon will be back in our picture from Venice to Boca Grande, before you know it so don’t procrastinate on those reservations either. We have some awesome mackerel fishing as the Spring migrations cruise by Venice Beaches, starting in March. The sharks will be following along and hungry if you want bigger bites. On your line of course. While we think it’s chilly now when it gets into the 40s friends from the north just laugh and hope they see these temps for highs.

Please check out and like the Facebook Captain Van Hubbard pages plus our links to Trip Advisor too. Thank you all and Let’s go Fishin’ soon. Captain Van

Merry Christmas from Captain Van Hubbard.


          We are into the Holidays already; please find time for friends and family to share outside too. Life is so busy for many of us, it seems impossible to find the time we need to keep up, much less play. Quality of life is what life is about making your time count; share family time now. Time at meals and inside is fine but nothing compares to a family outing of boating and fishing. Don’t put the emphasis on catching keep it focused on fun.  Let the birds and dolphin entertain you. Watch the kids and guests smile as they encounter all the treasures Mother Nature shows us.

          It is important to consider weather as you plan your outings because she can dramatically alter trip plans. We enjoy awesome weather about half of the Winter season here but the other half can be cold to us. Also consider that we freeze at 50 degrees and our Northern friends are in shorts smiling. We do want to miss the rainy periods but they are actually rare now anyway.

          If you going boating be sure that your guide understands you desire. Communication is critical to your satisfaction. If the operator doesn’t clearly understand your wants it’s not easy to accomplish them! This sounds simple just clearly spell out your perfect trip and let us try to put it together. The fish catching part can be challenging but not impossible if you are realistic. Let us know if you want to go out into the Gulf or stay into the inside waters. We can cruise Lemon Bay or run south into Charlotte Harbor for more natural surroundings. But we are not always great mind readers so please help both of us.

          Fish species available now usually include trout, redfish, ladyfish, sheepshead, pompano and many other possibilities. We can target something or try for the most action. Everyday is unique and some day’s fish bite great, others they keep their mouths shut too much. We can always find something fun to enjoy. Make the best of whatever we encounter and smile a lot; you could be back at work.

          We all want to purchase the best gift we can for loved ones; your time is the most precious gift you can offer. Share it freely with family and friends now! If you are purchasing things try to be sure they are suitable for the recipient? We have many specific styles and types of fish and fishing it’s hard to match their needs. Take them with you shopping and give them your budget to select something they will use. While this lacks the Christmas morning factor it is shared time enjoying each others company; that folks is what we want? Don’t forget the literal gift we all received and be thankful for all our blessings.

          You can purchase a gift trip to be used at a later date if you desire. Email and we’ll work the details out; that’s the entire commercial I’ll do. Thank you all for your support and shard time together. Please have a Merry Christmas and safe journeys. Captain Van Hubbard/Venice Fishing Charters.

King mackerel are due to turn on off Venice Beaches.

2014 October 13th Web update.

Finally; my motor is fixed and I’m up and running.

          I started off on a beautiful morning two weeks ago; the plan was to slip in a half day trip before I went to St Pete to celebrate my birthday with family and friends. Everything was fine until we headed out Stump Pass and my faithful motor got very sick. It turned out I had blown the engine and everyone did all they could to help as fast as possible. It took a week to ship a new block from Wisconsin. The good news is Stump Pass Marina service dept checked it out found the problem. Because this was a major job we transported it to Gulf Coast Marine the Evinrude dealership in El JoBean for overhaul. George, Jim, and their entire staff performed miracles. The new block came in Thursday afternoon and I was ready to roll Saturday afternoon. My sincere thank you to everyone for the extra efforts; the motor runs great again. New equipment is expensive but warrantees are valuable. Payments are a pain but at least I know what my monthly bills are. Evinrude has stood behind their products; if you have trouble. Nothing is perfect but when you have problems everything depends on your dealer and manufacturer; I’m impressed with Evinrude, Stump Pass Marina, and Gulf Coast Marine; they all worked hard for me.

          I needed to be sure everything was working so I rode all the way up to Sarasota and back Sunday. A research trip checking water clarity, baitfish schools, and for king mackerel; my friends north of us have enjoyed some good kingfish action already. As I put this together fish seem to be north of us but a front is approaching now. Since it’s stormy I’m writing. This front should push fish down here next week. We saw some mackerel and smaller schools of baitfish Sunday. There were plenty of little tunny or what many call Bonita if you want to test your skill and tackle.  There are sharks, a few cobia, and rumors of tarpon with the baitfish schools heading our way. Our fall mack attack is approaching. When it starts it will be hot and last only as long as weather allows. Watch the weather and move promptly when it’s an east wind or light breeze.

          Inside is fine; baitfish are still available. Snook are open until December, both redfish and trout are open all year. We will enjoy good steady action inside as long as minnows hang around. Everything from here on out depends upon our weather. Fishing will change dramatically when cold fronts drop water temps below 70 degrees. We do have some action year round but winds, especially north winds can hamper our comfort.

          If you want to get in on this action reservations are recommended. We can’t guess what wind conditions are very far out; so always check in as we get close to your trip because we may be able to shift a day one way or the other to enjoy better conditions. Reservations get the first choice of times available. Last minute can work now so it’s always worth the time to call or email. Get out and enjoy the fall fishing action if you can. Captain Van Hubbard

It’s time to go fishing.

2014 September 20th, Web blog.

It was great to take a break and enjoy some down time and now your captain is ready to get back to fishing.

           I enjoyed a nice trip to the Plantation at Crystal River for an Florida Outdoor Writers Conference. Great friends and net working opportunity; I ran into many folks I don’t see often enough. We fished some remote salt marshes and got away from it all. Thanks to our Corporate Sponsors I got to check out several new products to improve our catching and fun. Then I escaped to the woods along the Suwannee River, they still have sturgeon up there.

          So what can we expect for action now? This is the time to enjoy fishing without the crowds. This is the less pressure time to catch fish and not cook ourselves. Snook, redfish, and trout; our main inshore fish targets are ready to bite. They are all hungry and in season for harvest. This special deal is extra incentive to get out soon. We usually fish them with live minnows. Or you are welcome to fish lures or fly if you choose.  The minnows help us make fish more aggressive because I toss em a few freebees. It’s always exciting to actually observe hungry fish feeding. All three are traveling right now so we frequently catch some snook then reds and a few nice trout in the same spots. We can even stop by and have our fish prepared for lunch if you like? The Stump Pass Grille is ready to let us sit back and enjoy your catch with no mess at home.

          Big schools of redfish are beginning to shift from Charlotte Harbor out into the Gulf from the Boca Grande and Venice passes.  This is a, we can get lucky if we try deal. If you don’t look you can’t get lucky. They usually bunch up best around the big moons but I’ve gotten lucky at unusual times. When we stumble upon a school the sight is awesome and a red hot frenzy.

          Spanish Mackerel are already teasing us but will improve next month. These are abundant, fast and fun. The larger kings are due to follow the baitfish migrations into our near shore Venice and Englewood areas any time also. This is the action fishing with liberal bag limits so we have fish to share with family and friends. Both mackerel species are actually under utilized! We are catching enough! If you are not sure you like mackerel please just let me show you how tasty they are when we handle them properly and eat them fresh. I just might share my easy, simple, awesome recipe.

          We can usually catch a nice mess of fish but this action can literally get overwhelming because it’s fast and furious. Multiple hooks ups are common and hilarious fishing fun. Here’s the kicker. Sometimes we actually stumble into unbelievable hot action with everything. As the bait minnows are pushed into hard dark colored balls of baitfish scared by hungry striking fish. You can hook into a large variety of species. We have actually had a tarpon, a king mackerel, and a huge redfish on at the same time one trip. Sharks and cobia are regular tackle busters. Tripletail are due soon, stone crab traps go out on the fifth of October to attract them. Stoners open on the 15th.

          I was tired after a blessed, busy year so far. I need to break to rest and catch up on everything but fishing. It was wonderful to enjoy time off but our weather is finally starting ever so slightly to cool down. Water temps right now are 86; it was still bouncing at 90 two week ago. Our days are shorter; Tuesday is the Equinox; when day light and dark are equal. Baitfish are still abundant. Fish will begin to feed enthusiastically to store fat for winter. I understand winter sounds crazy to anyone that hasn’t lived here. But it gets much cooler by late November.

          The weather control if we can fish out side into the near shore Gulf. The great news is we can almost always safely and comfortably fish inside. So what are you waiting for it’s time to lock in your dates or miss the boat! Thank you and let’s go fishin’ soon! Captain Van Hubbard

Captain Van Hubbard

P.O. Box 146
Placida, FL 33946



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