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
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.
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
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
It was wonderful to get away for a few days but I’m glad to be back home.
The Florida Keys are a great place to visit but too crowded for me. I’m happy to call my Venice to Boca Grande stomping ground home. It sounds like I missed some rain and that there are still plenty of fish around to play with when you are ready. School starts locally next Monday so get the kids out now if you can. I enjoy the family trips but with school starting there will be even less boaters next week. It’s hot so I recommend early trips.
Our waters are still clear mostly and fish are abundant. This bright moon is waning now so I expect even better action as it gets darker next week. We still have snapper and trout to eat. Spanish should show up very soon. Tarpon are around if you have the patience to hunt them down. Snook are fun for catch and release plus some redfish are showing up. Outside we still have the barracudas and other species depending on winds.
Let’s go fishin’ soon. I’m ready. Captain Van Hubbard.