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Native Floridian

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  1. Native Floridian

    March begins on the Florida Middle Grounds and Vicinity

    Now! Let's talk about Gag Grouper. The Florida Fisherman ll fishing coach, Mr. John Martin, has been fishing Florida waters for a lifetime. John, a fellow Florida native, graduate of the University of Florida, is one of the best when it comes to catching Gag Grouper. Good at catching Gags? Want to be even better? Talk to John. John is on virtually every weekend overnight trip. He is more than willing to share his vast knowledge: John does a great deal more than tell us how... He shows us! Last year was an excellent year for harvesting Gag Grouper; this year is starting out even better: Next up, the 'endangered', often impossible to get away from, American Red Snapper. Last year the Florida Fisherman ll overnight trips averaged over 170 American Reds a trip. Captains Garett and Bryon have been doing this on a very regular basis: For headboats the 2019 American Red Snapper season begins June 1, and closes August 2. The American Reds are running BIG and ready for a fight. For now it's catch and release. All indications are it's going to be another outstanding year: Sunday morning the Florida docks with a very impressing 'mountain' of fish: Look at that smile as our Captain, Captain Bryon Holland, hand out the $$$ to the jackpot winners: Ever wonder what we do with that 'mountain' of fish? Simple! Ever try a real fish sandwich on real Tampa Cuban bread? Hot off the grill tuna and kings are hard to beat: And now what for many in the deep south has become a way of life... southern fried fish and cheese grits: Ever wonder what we do with that 'mountain' of fish? Simple... Never A Problem! Guys & Girls, over a month ago I was operated on for a massive, life threatening, hernia. I spent a week in Florida hospital followed by three weeks in Hamilton House trying to recover. I am now home, but remain under strict doctor's care. At 77 recovery is slow. Please say a little prayer for me. Thank you! I need all the help and understanding I can get. Bob Harbison
  2. Native Floridian

    March begins on the Florida Middle Grounds and Vicinity

    How good are Threadfin Herring for bait? Well! At this time Amberjack season is closed. It won't be for long. The Florida Fisherman ll record AJ stands at 110 pounds: Let's beat it this year. For now it's catch-and-release: To talk about Amberjack is to talk about a fight. Another real fighter, with NO closed season, is the I'm faster, stronger, better than you king fish: To talk about fast is to talk about tuna. Today not too many target tuna, wish more did. In years past the tuna fishing has been outstanding. It still could be when we visit... Interested in grouper? Red Grouper offer a challenge. This colorful, great eating, member of the grouper family is hard to target:
  3. We who call the Sunshine State home are blessed to have outstanding fishing, hunting, and weather most cannot even dream of. In addition, we have some of the best schools in the country. I am ever so proud to be a Florida Native who had been fishing and hunting in our Paradise on earth for over seventy years. I am a product of Tampa's Jesuit High School, and the University of Tampa. I am proud to be a lifelong member of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology: In 1970 I married Thelma, the girl of my dreams. Thelma was born on a mountain in Tennessee: Fishing and hunting were in her blood: We had three daughters, Dee, Barbara, and Betty. Thelma & Betty are now doing their fishing and hunting in heaven. Dee still lives in Tampa. She is my daughter, my best friend, my everything: Dee has two daughters, my granddaughters, Stephanie and Danielle. Stephanie: Dee and Danielle of years ago: Danielle now lives in Texas. Love to fish & hunt? Well! She's Bob's granddaughter: Danielle Bird is a real woman. Danielle has two sons and a daughter. Bailey, you can be proud of your Mom. Fishing out of Gilchrist, Texas, Red Fish are no match for young Bailey. A 12# test leader and shrimp resulted in, as it has so often in the past... For Danielle and Bailey fishing and hunting did not just happen; they, like their Granddad, Great Granddad, were born into it. My fishing and hunting career began with my parents in 1948. There is not an inch of Tampa Bay I have not seen; not fished. After a lifetime of fishing on my own I decided to give headboat deep-water overnight head boat fishing a try. At that time Hubbard's was located at Pass-a-Grille: In the mid seventies Hubbard's moved to John's Pass. The headboat of choice, the Florida Fisherman l. Gosh! That boat is huge. Let's give it a try. I Will never forget my first trip with the man himself in charge, Captain Wilson Hubbard. Never saw so many fish in my life. Huge grouper, snapper, and ever Cubera snapper were everywhere. To say I was 'HOOKED' would be an understatement. Today, over forty years later, I am still as 'HOOKED' as ever: I am so proud of out State and love to showcase what we see and enjoy every day. I began contributing to the Tampa Tribune, Tampa Times, just after my Jesuit days. Numerous years ago the 'OnLineFisherman' (OLF) recognized my abilities and recommended me for the very prestigious Florida Outdoor Writers Association. I have been an active member ever since: Florida is home to many outstanding marinas, marinas catering to not only tourist, but to those who take their fishing to the next level. Ever since 1928 Hubbard's has been doing just that. Fourth generation owners, operators, Captain Mark, and son Captain Dylan Hubbard, are ever so proud of their legacy. Captain Wilson, sir you can be proud of what you started so many years ago. It's in good hands! March 1, 2019, let's go see what those huge smiles are all about: Fishing the fabulous Florida Middle Grounds and vicinity will put smiles on even the most serious anglers. Will, tell us what to expect and how to prepare for the battles sure to come: Many 'regulars' salt down their bait of choice, the ever so popular Threadfin Herring. Did you know that the Threadfin Herring family contains 40 different species:
  4. The Florida Fisherman ll does 1/2 day We in Florida take our family and our fishing seriously. The family that fishes together, stays together. Young Captain Garett Hubbard is a dedicated family man and an outstanding Captain. If it can be caught... Captain Garett Hubbard can and will catch it: On extended over-night trips, day trips, or 1/2 day trips Captain Garett, in his own words, finds the fish that are "chewing"! Will this Captain among Captains 'find the fish' on this 1/2 day adventure? Come along as we find out together. Watch as Captain Garett explains to us, 45 seconds into the video at the end, exactly what to expect. Think this is not serious fishing for serious fishermen/women? Think again! Joining Captain Garett are two of the best mates ever to sail, Geno (L), and Dusty: Today we will be sailing on the state of the art, Florida Fisherman ll: 1/2 day head boat fishing did not start today, or yesterday, but decades ago when Captain Wilson Hubbard pioneered 1/2 day fishing on the Miss Pass-a-Grille ll. The Miss Pass-a-Grille ll is a story in itself. It was built by Mr. Roy Rumans in his back yard at the Sunny Rest Trailer Park: Prices we a 'little' different from today: When Captain Wilson Hubbard purchased the Royal Pearl he changed the name to Miss Pass-a-Grille ll: Omar has been fishing with Hubbard's ever since he was a teenager. Way back then Omar fished only 1/2 days on the Miss Pass-a-Grille ll. "I could easily catch all the grouper I wanted on 1/2 day trips." Today this man of the sea fishes 1/2 day to 63 hour trips: But there remains one little problem with Omar... He is a graduate of Tampa Catholic High School; I graduated from Jesuit. Two of the very best schools, but bitter enemies on the football field. Next time you talk to Omar ask him which team has dominated for the last 19 years. The American Red Snapper is no match for Omar: And yes! That's Captain Garett Hubbard, top, showing off what he does best. OK! So Captain Garett is an expert when it comes to Red Snapper, but what about the fabulous eating, fun to catch, Grey Snapper? Why do 10,000 happy anglers a year fish 1/2 days on Hubbard's boats? Let's go see. The Florida is ready and so are we: Pappy, we will be fishing in a little over an hour. One of you great breakfast sandwiches sound great: Wow! What a way to start the day. Geno makes sure we are ready for the adventure sure to come: Looking good: Let's try for a real prize... Tremendous eating, hard to fool, the elusive Hog Fish loves live shrimp: Now that's one to remember: What better way for a young couple to spend Sunday morning: Only one problem, catching all those fish requires a lot of energy. Burger time! Wow, Pappy, those burgers didn't have a chance. Watch 8:09 seconds into the video: This is looking good, really GOOD! Young, old, man, woman... These trips are for everyone: This has been one we will never forget. Until next time when we do it all over again... Welcome home: Why do 10,000 happy anglers a year fish 1/2 days on Hubbard's boats? And the good times have just begun... Catch the action in this short on the water video of our trip: https://youtu.be/gELOTq24kj0 Guys & Girls hope you enjoyed this adventure as much as I enjoyed bringing it to you. It was special to me in that after returning home I was immediately operated on for a massive life threatening hernia. I spent a week at Florida Hospital and three weeks at Hamilton Rehab Center. Recovery is slow but on-going. Please say a little prayer for me. Thank you so much!
  5. Fabulous 39 hour adventure on the Florida Fisherman ll How good is your eyesight? I took the following pictures directly from the 1/25/19 video. See if you can spot these 8 pictures in the video: Bob Harbison Florida Outdoor Writers Association
  6. Winter Cold and Rough Water Fishing--- Florida Fisherman ll Style! Traditionally January fishing tends to be cold and rough: But in Florida January fishing can be really HOT! The Florida Fisherman ll is ready, and so are we. Let's go! We will be targeting Mangrove Snapper, Vermilion Snapper, and Red Grouper. Will, first mate on the Florida, makes sure we are ready. When Will talks, we listen: Often night fishing on the Fabulous Florida Middle Grounds and Vicinity is outstanding. Night lights are really appreciated: Let the fights begin: Talk about 'HOT'! Day time fishing is just as 'HOT'! Can't help but wonder where they have been and where are they going: Why is Florida known as the Fishing Capital of the World? Even in January: Traditionally January fishing tends to be cold and rough. Cold, rough, and FANTASTIC! Talk about 'FANTASTIC'? How about coming home... In the money? What an honor sharing our Florida with you. Catch the action in this action-packed video, Winter Cold and Rough Water Fishing--- Florida Fisherman ll Style! https://youtu.be/evxdOBGBi5k A special thanks to Captain Dylan Hubbard and Mister John Martin for making this report possible.
  7. Native Floridian

    Full Moon Fantastic

    Another great one!~
  8. Native Floridian

    Huge full moon CATCH

    On last week's 39 hour trip Will caught a beautiful Mutton Snapper on a new DAIWA SK slow pitch jig: Looks like this new jig is also good for Grouper: Did you know that African Pompano is a member of the Jack family, and is also called a Cuban Jack? This species of Pompano can be found in virtually all tropical waters including the Pacific Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, West Africa, and our own Gulf of Mexico. The All-Tackle record, 50 pounds, 8 ounces, was caught 4/21/1990 by Tom Sargent, Daytona Beach, Florida. Once again the Florida's fishing coach shows us how: Is just before the full moon the best of times? Well! We are always glad to welcome the had working, dedicated, FWC biologists. This is REAL data: And now for our mystery fish. This is a tough one: Catch the action in this short action-packed video. Be sure to watch Will go for the GOLD: https://youtu.be/20aVpOpTbCI A very special thanks to Mr. John Martin, and Captain Dylan Hubbard for making this report possible.
  9. Native Floridian

    Huge full moon CATCH

    Huge full moon CATCH The January full moon is 1/21/19 @ 12:17 A.M. Snapper have a tendency to go a little 'crazy' during this time of the month. The Mangrove and Yellowtail Snapper should be on fire: Friday, January 18, 2019, Ten A.M., Tammy and guest are ready for a 44 hour marathon adventure deep into the very heart of our Gulf of Mexico. The Florida Fisherman ll will be fishing the famous Florida Middle Grounds and vicinity just before the full of the moon. To many this is the best of times. Let's go see: This is looking good. Box number one is stuffed full, and the snapper are still on fire. And now the rest of the story. Will McClure has been the first mate on the Florida for over ten years; he is one of the best. Will goes for the GOLD in what has become known as, 'The Great Line Toss'? Hit or miss? Only one way to find out... Watch 2:06 minutes into the video at the end of this report. Will makes sure we are ready for the fights sure to come: After a great Tammy meal and a good day's rest, let the fights begin: Mr. John Martin, fishing adviser on the Florida Fisherman ll, has been fishing Florida waters for decades. He is very knowledgeable and eager to share his vast experience. John can make a good fisherman and excellent fisherman. John leads by example: We listen: Think Kings are not still around? Think again:
  10. Trolling on the Florida Fisherman ll Florida is known as the Fishing Capital of the world and for very good reasons. Florida's 7,700+ lakes, 10,550 miles of rivers and 2,276 miles of shoreline are teeming with fish. In the Sunshine State there is most always a place to wet a line. And 'wet a line' we do... According to a recent 'VISIT FLORIDA' study anglers spent 46.3 million days fishing in Florida. Tourists from all over the world spent 4.8 million days fishing in the Sunshine State. Many who do not own their own boats enjoy excellent fishing on the many headboats that fish offshore Florida waters. Fourth generation owner/operator, Captain Dylan Hubbard, of Hubbard's Marina is ever so proud of his heritage. Captain Dylan's Granddad, Captain Wilson Hubbard, ran his first headboat in 1954. The catches were outstanding. In the late fifties Captain Wilson introduced the art of trolling on a headboat. The prices were a 'little' different way back when: Today Captain Dylan is every bit as serious about fishing as Captain Wilson Hubbard ever was. He is always there to see us off and wish us well: The catches are very good: What about Captain Wilson's, 'art of trolling'? Is trolling on a headboat still going strong? Join us as we take a look with on the water pictures & video: Catch the action packed video of Trolling on the Florida Fisherman ll https://youtu.be/TQM33A4IJk4 Over 46 million days a year spent fishing the waters of the Fishing Capital of the World, and for very good reason! Bob Harbison Florida Outdoor Writers Association
  11. Native Floridian

    Re-Visiting Two Guys And A Hog

    Thank you so much. It's been a wonderful life. Still going strong. Began the new year in the woods:
  12. Native Floridian

    Golden Years Hunting in Florida

    Today, thanks to modern medicine, our older generation is living longer than ever before. A new Pew Research Center analysis finds that 97% of United States counties saw an increase in their 65-and-older population since 2010. Florida, which has long attracted snowbirds and retirees, is one of the nation's grayest states. Overall, 19.1% of the Sunshine State's population is 65 and older, the highest percentage in the nation. To many of us hunting is not just a hobby, but a way of life. To be successful year after year requires a great deal of time and effort. Unfortunately, as we approach our 'Golden Years', many of us can no longer do the, 'way-of-life' things that mean so much to us. Hunting is no exception. Charging after dogs hot on the trail of a huge boar through swamps, hunting old logging four wheel drive roads, using our Warren winch to pull our 4X4 truck out of Florida swamps... Forget it! Must we give up, 'Golden Years Hunting in Florida'? No way! Alternatives do exist. One such 'alternative', high-fence is enjoyed by thousands from one end of the Sunshine State to the other, and for good reason... It's fun; fun to be enjoyed by young and old alike. And the best part, we have all the fun; someone else does all the work. When done properly, by a real outfitter, the 'fun' lever can be off the chart. As in the wild smaller pigs can be relatively easy to harvest; the BIG boys are a completely different ball game. Not only are they smart, very smart, but they come equipped with a nose that, fence or no fence, gives them an advantage that often defies the imagination. They did not grow to trophy size without taking full advantage of their outstanding sense of smell. They remain on high alert. A good cover scent helps, but the best solution is to make sure the wind is blowing in our faces, away from our trophy. Perry, Florida's Two Guys And A Hog, has been offering, 'the 'fun' lever can be off the chart', hunting for over a decade. These top-of-the line outfitters cater the young as well as the 'Golden Years' hunters: Many of us love to celebrate special occasions. Talk about a place to celebrate. In December of last year I celebrated birthday number 77, and wedding anniversary number 39, at Two Guys And A Hog. I wanted a real trophy in honor of my late wife. It's almost dark; the really big boars have kept their distance. Honey, maybe next trip. Hold on! Look at that big one. He is running through thick cover over fifty yards away. It's now of never... BAM! Hog down; hog down and out. Thanks to Francisco, my trusted guide... Thelma can be proud of her husband. What a way to end the year. Let's begin the new year by leaving big city, Tampa, in search of another real trophy Florida wild boar. Many of the Sunshine State's cities have experienced a population explosion. But small-time Florida is still alive and well. Before arriving at Two Guys we pass through Otter Creek. As of 2018 Otter Creek had a population of 132, it own post office: And Hershel's quick stop DELI and Country Grill: Family owned and operated, Hershel's has been serving the people of Otter Creek for decades. Not too many places offer smoked mullet dip, conch dinners, or alligator meat. Hershel's does! Thanks to places like Hershel's old time Florida will remain alive and well for decades to come. Time to go hunting: The BUNKHOUSE and fire place are outstanding: The father/son team of Mr. Terry Goff, retired Tampa Police Sargent, and son Kevin enjoyed the BUNKHOUSE before hunting the next morning, and what a hunt it was. Our retired Sargent put his Savage .30-06 to good use. His son, Kevin, is an expert with his Remington model 7400 chambered in the ever so popular .308 caliber. Let's see if Francisco can do it again. First up... Plenty of corn. Here is where that 'nose' can be used against even the biggest Florida wild boar. Hopefully the smell of that corn will be too much temptation. Francisco goes to work: Hogs love to follow trails. When we have a very long, well traveled, fence line trail, plenty of water, and corn, we have a winning combination: Let's share the action with fellow sportsmen/women: That fence line feeder is working well, but the BIG boys are staying in the thick timber. Finally! He knows I am there and is on high alert: Ever so slowly I reach for my Marlin 1850 stainless guide gun. With the cross-hairs of my 3X9 Nikon scope just under his ear I touch the trigger and release the unbelievable power of that mighty .45-70 ULTRAMAX 405 gr. power-house. Hog down! Watch the 'kill-shot' 4 minutes, 40 seconds into the video at the end of this presentation: Thank you Francisco; you are the best. This best-of-the best guide has been with Two Guys And A Hog for ten years. Guatemala, you can be proud of your native son: Talk about a trophy to be proud of: Must we give up, 'Golden Years Hunting in Florida'? No way! A 225 pound Florida wild boar with huge cutters is a trophy to be proud of. After all, ' Alternatives do exist'! Follow the action in this short in the field action packed video: https://youtu.be/qgcjuMdaIxk What an honor sharing, 'Golden Years Hunting in Florida' with you. Next time around join me and I will feature you in my report.
  13. Captain Joe Drew's first 39 hour Florida Fisherman ll trip Native Floridian or tourist there is always things to do, things to see, at Madeira Beach's famous John's Pass Boardwalk. Never to be overlooked is the Florida Fishermen Lost At Sea Memorial... The Fisherman's Prayer: Flying high, proud, over the Memorial is the Stars & Stripes: Unveiled October 29, 2011, this beautiful memorial is for the 133+ who were lost at sea in our area since 1933. Two-thirds of the bodies were never found. 55% of those lost were recreational fishermen. Like to try something different? You will never forget the Boardwalk Grill's Lobster Roll: Like to fish? After all, fishing is what Madeira Beach is all about. Captain Dylan Hubbard explains in detail what to expect on a 39 hour adventure deep into the heart of our Gulf of Mexico: Captain Dylan introduces one of Hubbard's newest Captains, Captain Joe Drew; Captain Joe is very proud of his 100 ton Masters license: This young Captain is backed by years of experience. Many celebrate special occasions on the water. No better way for a father to show his love for his son than a Thanksgiving 39 hour fishing trip on the Florida Fisherman ll: Last year Captain Bryon Holland showed us, first hand, how to celebrate Thanksgiving: Can this young Captain guide us on a Thanksgiving trip to remember? Only one way to find out. Join us as we fine out together: Captain Joe is all excited; so are we: First mate, Will, makes sure we are ready for the fights sure to come: Friday night: Mr. Larry Miller is so proud of his first Mangrove Snapper of the night, and so is Captain Joe: The snapper bite is strong: Tim and his good friend Nick drove from Indiana, 15 hours, to fish our Florida waters. Tim's sister lives in Sarasota: That ear to ear smile on Captain Joe's face says a lot: Mr. John Martin, fishing adviser on the Florida, shows us how it's done: Huge smiles are everywhere: Early Saturday morning, Will and Captain Joe reflect on the night's catch: Justin just caught a red grouper with an FWC tag. Be sure to report any fish caught with a tag; the number is on the tag: This is turning into a major snapper catch: Mr. Larry Miller is one of the best. Larry just flew in from Canada, 29 degrees. 2.5 hours later he was basking in Florida Sunshine and 75 degrees: Captain Joe is a hands-on Captain; he is everywhere: It's Beautiful out here: John films one of the many fights with the big boys. More often than not the fish wins: Talk about 'wins'! Ever see a ham sandwich like this Tammy special: Nick & Tim are showing us why the trip from the Hoosier State was worth the drive: The battles are on-going: Some are too big even for the master: Saturday evening... Look at those smiles: Our 'Jersey Girl' is so proud of us: She knows we have been battling the creatures of the deep for many hours. That Tammy special home-made chili is welcomed by one and all. Great Florida weather, the best of people, and boxes loaded with fish, who could ask for anything more? Well! Let's hit our bunks for the long ride home. Early Sunday morning... Captain Joe shows us how easy it is to dock a huge fishing machine: Can this young Captain guide us on a Thanksgiving trip to remember? Well! Captain Joe Drew's first 39 hour Florida Fisherman ll Trip was really special for this young man, this Captain, this very experienced Captain. Back at the dock: The winning Gag hit the scales at 16 pounds, Snapper 8 pounds. The Harbison family has been involved in fishing and hunting for many decades. Like Father, like grand-daughter, my granddaughter, Danielle: Be sure to 'catch' the action in this on the water video of Captain Joe Drew's first 39 hour Florida Fisherman ll trip. https://youtu.be/CBM1E0oINRE Thanks to Mr. john Martin, and Captain Dylan Hubbard for making this report possible. A special thanks to Mr. John Longo for providing technical advice and proofreading.
  14. Native Floridian

    Granddaughter and Family

    Fishing in Texas.
  15. Native Floridian

    Great Friends and Great Fishing

    Great report as usual.