The Florida Fisherman ll will be on dry dock for six weeks. Good time to take a look at fishing today and what it took to get there.
First up Pelagics!
Captain Wilson Hubbard, A true visionary, was instrumental in the building and development of John's Pass Village, the Boardwalk, and Pelagic fishing as we know it today.
Before moving to John's Pass in 1976, the Hubbard deep sea fishing fleet operated out of Hubbard's Fisherman's Pier in Pass-a-Grille.
In 1954 Captain Hubbard bought his first head boat, the Miss Pass-A-Grille:
In 1956 Captain Hubbard began marathon 18 hour trips for hardened fishermen/women on the
Miss Pass-A-Grille l.
The very popular 1/2 day & full day trips were being run on the Miss Pass-A-Grille ll & lll:
In 1971 Captain Hubbard initiated overnight trips to such far off fishing places as the Florida Middle Grounds on the Florida Fisherman l:
These original overnight trips out of Pass-a-Grille departed at 12:00-midnight Friday night a returned to the dock at 6 P.M Sunday evening. The catches were phenomenal. When Captain Hubbard relocated his business to John's Pass in 1976, the overnight trips departed John's Pass at 8:00 P.M. Friday evening and returned 6 A.M. Sunday morning. Often Pelagics were targeted on these extended trips.
In 2004, the second generation of the Hubbard family took over ownership of Hubbard's Marina fishing operations, with Mark Hubbard as president and general manager. Mark built on what his dad, Captain Wilson Hubbard, had started by running 39, 44, and 63 hour trips on the state-of-the-art Florida Fisherman ll:
Day trips are being run on the ultra-modern Friendly Fisherman:
Per Captain Mark Hubbard:
"There's probably been six companies who tried but couldn't continue the Middle Ground trips. Some made it for three or four years, but couldn't make it go. It's a difficult trip. We seem to have narrowed it down to where it works for us. The hours and days have just stuck with us for 35 years and withstood the test of time."
"Fishermen are just a different crowd from years ago. We get pure sportsmen now. People require more comfort today and so we have more modern amenities." The Florida Fisherman ll is fully air conditioned, has very comfortable bunks, two fresh hot water showers, individual live bait wells, and a full time cook. "We have seen more go-fast boats that can be out there in two hours, especially after the development of 4-stroke outboards. Hang two or three of those motors on the back of a big center console, and they can get out quick. But fuel prices are knocking these people off their horses."
But these 'horses' can be tamed when the expense is shared by a large number of anglers on a party boat or 'head' boat.
Exactly how good is party boat Pelagic fishing? Let's take a look...