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Old 02-27-2017, 04:18 PM   #1
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Default The stuff legends are made of

The stuff legends are made of



As a Florida native I became 'hooked' on fishing at a very early age. By the late forties I was already fishing the waters of Tampa Bay. In the late fifties I began fishing the off shore Gulf of Mexico waters. Fantastic could not even begin to describe the fishing way back when. And the best part...NO NOAA. Grouper and snapper fishing became a passion with me. Over and over again I would hear reports coming from a legendary place known as the far off Florida Middle Grounds. I had to see for myself what this natural fish bowl was all about. Finally, by the middle seventies, I could take it no more. Enter Hubbard Marina's Florida Fisherman l and the man himself, the bigger than life legend, Captain Wilson Hubbard:

On my maiden voyage this man among men was our Captain. Tradition, love of the water, of fishing, and, most importantly, family, was everything to Captain Wilson Hubbard. There could never be another Wilson Hubbard. Or could they?
February 17, 2017, Captain Bryon Holland was at the helm. And what a trip it was. With Captain Bryon we 'filled the boxes:

February 24, 2017, as we board our home away from home for the next 39 hours, the Florida Fisherman ll, we cannot help but wonder, can we do it again?

Our Captain today, Captain Garett Hubbard, has, at the tender young age of thirty three, become a legend, a legend following in the footsteps of Captain Wilson Hubbard. Captain Garett Hubbard, The stuff legends are made of:

Captain Garett Hubbard was born, raised, and still resides in South St. Petersburg. During his early years much of young Garett's childhood was spent on the waters around Hubbard's Marina. When "turned loose to cruse John's Pass" young Garett, along with cousins and siblings, looked in amazement as the boats unloaded their catches. Ice cream money? No problem! There was always boats to scrub.
At age six Garett caught the "bug" on the Florida Fisherman ll's maiden voyage from Louisiana to Madeira Beach, Florida. At that time dad, Mike Hubbard, and uncle Jeff, introduced this young man to Mr. Amber jack. Only one major problem, sea sickness was common for young Garett. Finally, as a teenager, this was no more a problem.
Garett Hubbard, along with good friend Eddie Ma, honed their fishing skills off the docks and beaches of Pass-A-Grill. This love of the water turned into a job on the Miss Pass-A-Grill. The LEGEND begins. During High School years Summers and weekends were spent on the water as a deckhand on this well known head boat. At 18 Garett earned his OUPV Captain's license and attended his freshman year at Texas A&M Maritime Academy. After one semester Captain Garett realized that running ships for a living wasn't going to cut it. "I need to be fishing." After earning his 100 ton Master's license, it was back to being a deck hand and then Captain of the Miss Pass-A-Grill; a dream come true. After attending St. Petersburg College, and earning a B. S. in Finance from USF, Captain Garett, then 25 years old, began working for the family at Hubbard's Marina. Then, " something I could only dream of, Captain of the overnighters", Captain of the Florida Fisherman ll. "At thirty three with two young boys of my own , I am so proud and grateful to be a part of Hubbard's Marina." The Legend Continues:

Can this young Captain still fish? You had better believe it. That huge smile is for real:

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Old 02-27-2017, 04:19 PM   #2
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Captain Garett Hubbard is ready, and so are we. Soon beautiful Madeira Beach, Florida, will be only a distant memory. We are on a mission, a mission began in 1928 by Captain Wilson Hubbard:


It will take many hours to reach the far off Florida Middle Grounds and vicinity. Most eat and sleep; not Mr. Eddie Sumrall:

Finally, the hard to catch, eat and run, mangrove snapper are also ready for dinner:


Even the red grouper join the party:

It's snapper city:




Fellow Tampa native, Mr. Marshall Cott, graduate of Tampa Catholic High School, is proud of his trophy blackfin tuna:

Looks like Mr. Sumrall can catch more than king fish:



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Old 02-27-2017, 04:21 PM   #3
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Wonder what the morning will bring?

Will & Jon re-ice the catch for the long day ahead:

The red grouper are ready for breakfast:


Not to mentions the gags and AJ's. Mr. Brendon Baldwin, proud Robinson High School graduate, goes to work:


They are not the only ones that are hungry. Black beans over perfectly steamed white rice and a hot off the grill Tammy special Cuban sandwich, on Tampa bay's best Cuban bread, is a feast fit for a king, a Florida Fisherman:
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Old 02-27-2017, 04:21 PM   #4
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Chef Tammy is always 'around the action!'

Florida at it's best!




Serious about catching fish...Ever hear of a fishing coach on a head boat? We have! When Mr. John Martin speaks, we take notes. Mr. Arshad Hussain, originally for Pakistan, now lives in Lexington, Ky. What an honor having this gentleman on the Florida Fisherman ll. This was Mr. Hussain's first trip on the Florida. Hope to see him again soon and often:

John leads by example:




The cobia do not want to be left out:

It's been a wonderful day. The fishing, food, comradeship, and weather have been outstanding; Picture Florida Perfect. But it's the people, people such as Tampa's own Marshall Cott, and Pakistan's Mr. Arsgad Hussain that make the trip what it is, a real adventure! Wonder what the evening will bring?

With Captain Garett Hubbard in charge, anything is possible. Look at the fish lined up around the demise of that once proud ship:

The fights are on:



Strong men are brought to their knees:



The deck of the Florida is covered with AJ's. Only one major problem, the near 'extinct' red snapper will not leave us alone. They, along with gag grouper, have been impossible to get away from all night, day, long:


Time to go home. Let's end our trip as it started, with blackfin tuna:

Box number 1 has long since been iced down and sealed. Box number 2:

Before we hit our bunks, let's visit Chef Tammy. One major problem, that lasagna has way too much meat and cheese in it. Those hunks of sausage are really something:

After Captain John's great ride home, Captain Garett docks the Florida:


Waiting for us at the dock are the biologist of the FWC. What an honor having these hard working, dedicated, scientist with us. They collect real, not NOAA, data:


That big smile on Mr. Hussain's face is for real:

Even the man himself, Captain Dylan Hubbard, is taking pictures:


You know it's a good catch when you fishing coach, Mr. John Martin, brings our fish out on a wagon:

The stuff legends are maid of, Captain Garett Hubbard, a modern day legend following in the footsteps of the man himself, Captain Wilson Hubbard, is proud to hand out jack pot money.

Grouper 15.8 pounds
Amber jack: 48 pounds
Snapper: 7.8 pounds
Be sure to catch the action in this 'action packed' video of our trip. (click on the following Youtube link)



Bob Harbison Florida Outdoor Writers Association
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Old 02-28-2017, 07:46 AM   #5
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One of these days I'm going to make the trip down to do this.
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Old 02-28-2017, 08:30 AM   #6
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No mystery fish this week Sir? Well done as always.
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Old 02-28-2017, 09:39 AM   #7
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Did not catch a mystery fish on this trip. Maybe next time around.
Guys, it will be a great honor to welcome our North Florida friends to the Florida Fisherman ll. Hope you are not camera shy!
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