8-6-2013 Fishing blog by Captain Van Hubbard
Venice to Boca Grande fishing still offers several options.
Many of our kids are starting back to school soon, so it’s back to weekends for the kids. Most recent trips have been for the younger anglers and its fun for all. I try to make it entertaining for the kids while teaching them about our waters and wildlife. Their enthusiasm is a blessing to share and experience. Their energy and awareness also inspire me; we motivate each other. These adventures have been a blessing for families to share.
The trick to successful trips is for parents or grandparents to sit back and let me take over. Keep the camera ready and let them play. If they want to enjoy the minnows in my Dorado’s big live well, let them. I get them to help me throw minnows to chum gamefish. The more involved the better. We take time to check out the dolphin, birds, and manatees. If things get slow we crank up the Evinrude E-Tec and ride around exploring, we can even stop and look for sharks teeth if they like. It’s all about the kids and if they are smiling we are doing our jobs. PS it’s a hundred dollars less for kid’s trips; they are easier to entertain.
Fish has been productive most trips. We have caught numbers some days and a few quality snook to show off and brag about too. The tides are more important now than usual because of the significant rain and downstream runoff. It’s harder to see thru the darker tannin stained waters. The fish are even more colorful but finding them can be challenging.
Snook, snapper, and few mackerel are the best bets right now. They are running around all of our areas passes. The minnows are small but abundant and easy to catch if you have a tiny mesh castnet. Redfish are around but require more patience and effort. Trout are down in Charlotte Harbor around Boca Grande. Mackerel should be dropping in around the Venice pier any time. We are fishing early around the heat and showers.
I’m expecting some good action in September when snook season opens up. The mackerel are improving everyday and should peak in late October or early November depending upon our weather. Kings will improve soon and few available now just farter out around the artificial reefs. Fish will begin to bunch up for fall soon. Line up reservations as soon as you can.
Thank you for your support and business. Captain Van Hubbard. <www.captvan.com
Captain Van Hubbard’s report and observations for 7-25-13
Crazy weather keeps this years fishing challenging.
It is a beautiful day to wake up and I’m thankful; but this fresh west wind makes things difficult. Its eighty degrees and the suns not up yet. Welcome to summertime life around here. The overcast last week was actually a blessing if you missed the rains. We still have fish and fun if the heat doesn’t bother you. This is when my big T-Top really helps. I find we all tend to migrate to the shade as it heats up. The breezes are wonderful if not too strong. The freshwater runoff is still an issue but fish are always here and still need to eat. I’m just spoiled and used to seeing our targets. This year has been wonderful and even with weird weather very productive. Business has been great even though it’s slowed down now but I needed time to catch up on chores and relax a little. Not as young as I was but not as old as I will be tomorrow! It’s nice to take some time to reflect and remember the many blessings and special folks and fishing we have enjoyed.
The kid’s trips are perfect fit for me and the families. I enjoyed a nice cook out with a friend and his family at Boca Grande last evening. We talked, shared fish stories and watched the girls play. I couldn’t think of a better way to end a day.
Snook and snapper seem to be the best bet right now. They are abundant and close. The minnows are growing but still small so it’s a good fit. Trout are around and we do have some redfish if you want to but in the time and effort. Spanish mackerel are due anytime and I think we could find a few tasty pompano if we went looking for them. If the winds allowed we have kings and a variety of fish in the nearby Gulf if weather permitting. Tarpon are scatted but available if you put in the time! No sitting ducks right now but plenty of fish scattered from Boca grande to Venice and up into Charlotte Harbor too; we can play with depending upon conditions.
If you are planning to eat a Venice snook when it opens for harvest it’s past time to lock up some dates! The season opens September First and should peak in October sometime. Fishing will remain good until the cold weather comes south sometime in November. Everything else is biting then too so don’t miss out. The mackerel migration will be hot off of Venice Beaches in October too with lots of action and liberal bag limits to bring home some fish.
Watch the weather next week it’s that time of the year. Thank you, Let’s Go Fishin’ soon. Captain Van Hubbard <www.captvan.com>
My overdue, used to be weekly, fishing report and forecast.
I do apologize for my tardiness but I’ve been busy and slipped up. Thank you for your patience and support; fishing and business are great. I do have plenty of open dates but they frequently book up at the last minute and keep me out of mischief.
I’m doing a lot of children’s trips these days and prefer them. While I’ll still fish adults the kids boating, wildlife, and fishing trips are for less then adult trips. So ask and let me know your needs. On kid’s trips we do what they want; not adult fishing! Please be sure the camera batters are charged because these adventures are family memories to cherish! These trips are treasures for all of us.
We still enjoyed some awesome Boca Grande tarpon action on Monday and Tuesday with Paige from Nashville. We didn’t land them like we wanted but we hooked and fought several fish and were surrounded by schools of tarpon most of our trips. The fish were all sizes and slow moving schools that looked impressive. They bit good early on crabs and slowed with the brighter sunshine. We frequently had several schools of a hundred or more silver kings surrounding us. The issue was which school to try; boats were not a problem until later in the day when rookies arrived. These fish are not dependable now but we can stumble into hot action and you can’t catch fish if ya don’t try?
Snook action is slowed way down but still plenty of smaller fish from Venice south to Boca Grande; perfect for many of the younger children that have blessed me with their company. These kids are so inspirational with their joy and smiles. Kids trips are the very best fishing available because of their energy and innocence, just beautiful. I do expect much better action with better tides soon. Remember that it’s time to lock in your dates if you are going to take advantage of the September opening for harvest!
Redfish and trout are available down in Charlotte Harbor but challenging in Lemon Bay right now because of all the rain runoff we have. It’s rained over two feet here in about six weeks! If you want a longer six hour trip we can go down and chase em but not in four hours.
Minnow are abundant but still very small! With luck they will grow up and stay around for Fall fishing? You must use a ¼ in net! Weather is crazy and different every few days. Rains have been early and or late, some days light others down pours. The over cast is great and very comfortable.
Snapper are smaller but everywhere right now. I pan fried one up for lunch it was great. Spanish mackerel are due to drop in here soon? No way to know when but I’m hearing about good action around Tampa Bay already and few are here now.
Again I’m sorry to neglect this but will see about getting back on track. I’m writing a couple of weekly columns again and it’s great to be communicating to more folks like you. Thank you, Captain Van Hubbard <www.captvan.com>
6-30-13 blog for Captain Van Hubbard web and report.
It’s a roller coaster but we are enjoying good fishing most of the time from Boca Grande to Venice.
The busy season is winding down and I’m thankful that is has been so good; both the fishing and the business. I am so excited about my kid’s trips. They have grown into a significant portion of my trips and are the most fun. They just want to have fun and exploration is much easier than dependable fishing. We usually get something to bite and then try to see what interests the young guests. If they want to look for sharks teeth on the beautiful white sand beaches it’s fine, or swim, or look for dolphins and manatees, it is fine! Most days we can find a manatee or two, sometimes a bunch. Dolphins are so abundant they can be nuisance fishing; they want to eat our release fish. It’s cute to observe but hard on fish populations. Just the boat ride excites children that if it’s new.
Our weather controls our comfort levels and fishing. We need our rainy season but it is supposed to be calm and clear in the mornings and scattered thunderstorms in the late afternoon or evenings. We endure some normal times and many days of morning west winds and rain at any time. It’s challenging to match our fishing to the conditions. We can bay fish in windy conditions but the Gulf gets rough especially on west winds. Our waters are silted, milky which makes tarpon hard to locate cuz you can’t see them. We have enjoyed good action when ever we can match trips and conditions.
Our tarpon have seemed even bigger than normal the last week or so. Several silver kings over two hundred pounds have been reported by friends. We will have tarpon to play with for at least a week or two. Snook are doing well and it is catch and release but a lot of fun to experience the screaming drag from a big snook run. The kids have enjoyed some impressive numbers and trophy snook too. The bite was so good last week we had to go exploring because they were bored catch fish every cast!
We have some trout and redfish if you want to poke around and seek em out. Snapper should be available near by and we can even keep a gag grouper if we screw up and catch one. Spanish mackerel are due to reward our efforts when we try near the passes.
Life is good; I’m thankful for the wonderful lifestyle fishing allows us. Let’s go fishin’ soon cuz it’s good fer us! Captain Van Hubbard
Hi Capt Van,
Here are the other pictures we took. My girls and I had a blast fishing for Snook last week with you. We caught plenty of fish, had non-stop action and kept their interest in fishing, outdoors and ecology. Thank you for the tickets to Mote. We went up on Thursday, had fun and learned a lot. We also hit the gift shop! As you requested, here are some pictures attached. Please send the pictures you took as well. I will make sure to put in a good word for you on Tripadvisor.