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Secret weapon for Hogfish

Secret weapon for Hogfish
In 'Targeting Mangrove Snapper' we saw how difficult it can be to fool the elusive Mangrove Snapper.

The Hogfish is even harder, much harder.
Let's take a look:
Hogfish belongs to the wrasse family & is the only known member of its genus. The Western Atlantic Ocean is home to the Hogfhish. The 'Hogs' habitat begins from the Bermuda region, goes south towards the Caribbean Sea and the northern part of the Gulf of Mexico, and extends to the South American coastal region. The Hogfish uses its elongated pig-like snout to rummage and graze for crustaceans. Juvenile Hogs start out as female and then become male as they mature. Hogfish have been recorded to live up to eleven years. The current Florida record Hogfish stands at 19.8 pounds caught off Daytona April 28, 1962, by R.E. Data.
Most Hogfish are harvested by spear fisherman. They can be caught on hook-and-line, but, due to the nature of the beast, it's not easy.
Fourth generation owner/operator of Hubbard's Marina, Captain Dylan Hubbard, is a Florida native who has lived his entire life in Central Florida. To say fishing is in his blood would be an understatement:

On August 25, 2019, Dylan and his wife welcomed generation #5, Mr. Jack Wilson Hubbard:

If it swims, and can be caught, Captain Dylan can and will catch it:

The 'difficult to catch' Mangrove Snapper:

Captain Dylan loves to share his vast knowledge:

Captain, Sir, we have no time for drugs; we are too busy fishing.
"Too busy to go fishing" NEVER!

During the cooler months the Hogfish are on fire, but remain extremely hard to catch.
Let's take a look at Captain Dylan Hubbard's...
'Secret weapon for Hogfish
"Hogfish bite is super hot right now, especially around 40-70ft of water we are seeing the hogfish chewing well. They take a bit to get dialed in on but once you find their areas they are really loving the live shrimp! Lighter tackle approaches work well especially with a minimal weight like a ¾-1oz weight and a 3-4ot hook with around 30lb floro leaders. I like to use a spinning rod and reel with around a 4000-5000 series reel and around 20lb braided line with that 30lb leader super long to ensure these guys have no shot at seeing your braid anywhere near your bait. These guys love hanging around adjacent to the harder bottom areas. Small ledges, rock piles, or flat hard bottom with lots of relief seems to work best to keep those hogfish around. Right now the ‘secret’ weapon has been our use of 8mm red beads on our knocker rigs. So we use the methods described above to make a knocker rig style set up but between the weight and hook we ad around 4-5 of these 8mm red beads. Seems pretty silly and goes against my minimalist approach to hog fishing but we cannot deny it’s results as of late."
Captain Dylan Hubbard
Only have a 1/2 day to fish? No Problem:

The all-day boats are doing even better.
Captain Frank started as a deck hand who worked his way up to Captain. He and Smokey have been a team for years:

Ladies are always welcome:

Captain Frank's daughter.
Like Father, like Daughter...


  • harbisonharbison Posts: 4,312 Captain
    Captain Anthony and son are two of the best.
    Hogs beware:

    Think women can't fish? Think again!

    The future of our sport:

    We do not catch many Hogfish on the extended deep-water trips. Spear-fishermen do well, but they are not targeted on the long range trips. The ones that are caught tend to be very large:

    Captain Garett Hubbard has become a legend in his own time:

    Will has been with Captain Garett for well over ten years:

    Hogfish, regarded by many as one of the best eating fish ever to swim:

    Thanks Captain for sharing with us your..
    Secret weapon for Hogfish

  • clarosaclarosa Posts: 669 Officer
    edited January 15 #3
    Been making these in my garage and using them on the charters I've been running and they work like a charm. I've sold a few on ebay and people seem to love them! https://snappaslappa.com/collections/gear/products/hogballs-bofaballs-hogfish-jigs-earlball-jigs
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 4,312 Captain
    Fantastic!  Thanks for sharing. 
  • suprastevesuprasteve Posts: 176 Deckhand
    One word: speargun!
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 4,312 Captain
    Speargun:  From what I understand most Hogs are take via speargun. Would like to know more. 
  • conchydongconchydong Pompano BeachPosts: 6,419 Admiral
    edited January 14 #7
    One thing to remember is they look a lot larger underwater. Before you pull the trigger, try to make sure it's a keeper. Hate to kill a animal in vain.

    “Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway

  • harbisonharbison Posts: 4,312 Captain
    Good advice.  Thanks!
    Hogs are so hard to catch on hook & line. 
    To me the 4 legged beast are much easier to harvest.

  • clarosaclarosa Posts: 669 Officer
    One word: speargun! 
    Oh I've speared a couple in my lifetime, but the challenge of catching them is fun as well. 

  • harbisonharbison Posts: 4,312 Captain
    Absolutely fantastic picture. Have never seen that many before. 
    Started fishing the Florida Middle Grounds during the mid seventies. Seldom catch a Hog on the Grounds. Ever use a speargun on the Grounds?
  • clarosaclarosa Posts: 669 Officer
    harbison said:
    Absolutely fantastic picture. Have never seen that many before. 
    Started fishing the Florida Middle Grounds during the mid seventies. Seldom catch a Hog on the Grounds. Ever use a speargun on the Grounds?
    Tons of hogs on the grounds..big ones but I have never speared there. Friends have though. I stay under 60'
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 4,312 Captain
    Thanks!   Good to know. 
    We seldom catch them. However, we do not target them. 
  • saltydog7seassaltydog7seas Posts: 48 Greenhorn
    MG hog from a few years ago. I shot them for years nearahore and in the grounds. I only caught a few hook and line by accident. Then I took a trip with Tommy Butler and he taught me how to target them on hook and line. They are close, big and dumb in the winter but I prefer to stay on the boat and catch them than freeze shooting them.
  • saltydog7seassaltydog7seas Posts: 48 Greenhorn
    I like to shoot the 4 legged kind too. Lol
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 4,312 Captain
    Good to know. Thanks!
    "I like to shoot the 4 legged kind too. Lol"

    Me to!

    Love sharing with fellow sportsmen/women:

    -20 could be a 'little' chilly for this Florida native. 
    Dream # 2...

  • saltydog7seassaltydog7seas Posts: 48 Greenhorn
    I'm with you on that temperature. I've heard from several people that a lot of Russian strain boar escaped from a club in Perry just west of 19 and have run amuck. I shot the hog in my pic at my club on the east side of Perry. 
    This year Green swamp has had more hogs than I have ever seen. They tore up my deer spots. I was hunting there yesterday morning and got surrounded by a huge sounder in the dark. Same thing happened a week ago out there. Unfortunately, both were before legal shooting hours. Some scary stuff for sure. I've been charged by hogs 4 times.
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 4,312 Captain
    Would love to harvest a Russian. There is absolutely no way I could take the extreme cold. 
    Hunted Aucilla WMA, and Buck & Boar Hunting Club for decades. Both are near Perry. Would love to have seen one of those Russians. 
    Have not hunted Green swamp in many years. Way too crowded for me. Glad to hear the hogs are plentiful. Sorry about your deer spots. 
    Love to hog hunt at night. One good thing about private land, they can legally be hunted 24 hours a day 12 months out of the year. 
    " I've been charged by hogs 4 times."  Same here. I remember one time I was hunting this old logging road, shot one, he immediately charged and hit the door of my truck, knocked me back onto the seat. That hurt! 
    This monster circled my truck, came back around front looking for me, bad, very bad, mistake. He will never do that again. I sent him to hog heaven.
    Many time the 'week-end-warrior' gang has criticized me when I talk about being charged by hogs that were not real happy with me shooting at them. OH! They will never do that.  
    Guess they do not hunt the same hogs we do.  
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