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

Let’s go fishin’.

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.

Thank you all for great season I’m taking a week off to catch up.

This has been a productive and busy year so far and I’m thankful but beat. I need to do some boat catch up and so I’m down from 1 August till 11  August for R&R. This West wind has kept us inside and therains come at any time so Mother Nature is making this easy. My best guess is an early Fall so don’t wait too long to make Septenber and October reservations. We can expect to enjoy even better fishing action as things begine to cool off. I’ll be busy most of November if things work out as I plan. I’ll be back up and going strong mid-month after a short brerak, thank you all. Captain Van Hubbard

Some tarpon still around Boca Grande and snook along the Venice Beaches.

Our fishing has been good when weather has allowed us out. we endured rain and hig winds several day but I made the best of it. I spent Wednesday in Orlando at the ICAST tackle convention. it was impressive lots of new gear and all the big names were in attendance. I even shook hands and spoke with our Govenor Rick Scott briefly.

There were way too many things to share the exsperience with you but it was very educational for me and I’ll have some neat new tools to share with you on our fishing trips. the most important point I’d like to share is that our fishing industry is growing and going strog right now!

We are enjoying great action trips near shore right now catching snapper, some grouper, barracda, little tunny and seeing a few permit and king mackerel. inside the snook are active and a few redfish are around also finally. trout are fine just smaller and perfict for the famly trips with the kids. Some jacks, ladyfish, flounder and all are adding excitement too.

We still have tarpon if you don’t mind looking around for them. It is not crowded and fun to poke around exploreing. Lots of manatees and dolphin for your entertainment also. Fishing is fine from Boca grande to Venice right now. Come on down and give it a try soon. Let’s go fishin’ now! Captain Van Hubbard


Captain Van Hubbard

P.O. Box 146
Placida, FL 33946



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