Captain Van Hubbard is 62 years old and still has a PASSION for fishing! He grew up fishing the Tampa Bay area. Capt. Van is a US Navy veteran. After receiving his honorable discharge in 1970, he moved home and went to St. Petersburg Jr. College with his GI Bill benefits fishing for food & income; he graduated with an AA degree in 1975.
Fishing is in his blood. He worked at Hubbard’s Marina on Fish Famous John’s Pass in 1976 expanding his education. Then earned his captain’s license and started chartering. Capt. Van was fishing almost 300 days a year and learned a lot about fish. He’s slowed now and takes some time off in the outdoors or writing about it, during the off-season of course.
After a several trips to world famous Boca Grande in the 1970s, he moved south tarpon guiding in the Summer of 1981. After this remarkable season of sizzling tarpon catching, Boca Grande became home port. Our fishing has changed and the area has been discovered, but the Charlotte Harbor area is paradise. Captain Van Hubbard has spent more than ten thousand days (30 years) mastering snook, tarpon, and backcountry fishing around the Charlotte Harbor/Boca Grande area, plus the 5 years guiding around Tampa Bay. This extensive fishing experience will help you enjoy your time on the water with him. Boca Grande, Charlotte Harbor, Englewood and Captain Van are all famous for fun action-catching tarpon, snook and other fish.
Van understands “giving back,” a concept practiced and shared by both his Grandfather and old friend Bill Mote. He works with Mote Marine Laboratory, Florida Marine Research Institute, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, and other conservation and research groups. Florida Marine Fisheries Enhancement Initiative board member.
Over the years, from 1986-96, Van expanded into the television business. He hosted and co-produced a well know and award winning TV series called, LET’S GO FISHIN’. He is an active outdoor writer contributing monthly columns in the Marine Times, Woods ‘n Water, and Saltwater Angler magazines. The February 2002 and March 2003 Florida Sportsman Magazine featured articles by this master live bait pioneer about chumming with Minnows and specialized hooks. In 2009 Van’s was featured in Florida Sportsman TV series with show on “circle hooks and kingfish”. With almost forty years of professional experience; Captain Van Hubbard knows Gulf Coast fish and fishing, inside and out.
Associations and Awards
- Founding member and Past President of the Florida Guides Association
- Charter Member and Director of the Boca Grande Fishing Guides Association
- Member, Southeastern Outdoor Press Assoc.
- Active Member and Past President of the Florida Outdoor Writers Association
- Writes a monthly column for “Marine Times” and Woods ‘n Water
- Guest lecturer at numerous boat shows, radio/TV shows, and for civic groups and fishing clubs for decades
- William R. Mote Sport Fishing Guide of the year 1999
- Frank Philpott Conservation Award 2001, from Florida Outdoor Writers Association
- Member Florida Marine Stock Enhancement Advisory Board