If you’re looking for a fishing charter in Bradenton, Florida – whether because you are in or visiting Bradenton, Sarasota, Anna Maria Island- or just looking for an alternative to Tampa Bay, we will go over the information you will need in order to plan your trip.
The Bradenton Fishery
The fishery here in Bradenton is full of diversity and is home to some of the most sought-after nearshore and inshore gamefish species in all of Florida. Being directly connected to Tampa Bay (the state’s largest open-water estuary), being fed by river systems, and with a direct flow from the Gulf of Mexico, this area truly has it all.
The open grass flats and backcountry areas, intermingled with oyster bars, are home to snook, redfish, seatrout, tarpon, black drum, spanish mackerel, flounder, snapper, and grouper. And that just names a few of the species available here. The best part is that no matter what time of year you are planning your Bradenton fishing charter, there is always something biting.
When To Fish
As mentioned, this fishery is active all year long. However, there are seasonal spikes for certain species. In the early spring all the way through fall, this area is truly alive. This is when the warmer water draws in more activity, baitfish begin to school in, we have the yearly tarpon migration, and this stretch of the year is the best to go after an inshore slam.
In the cooler months, the action doesn’t drop off – it just changes. Redfish and black drum go up the river during the coldest days, while the flats can come alive, as soon as the sun comes up, on most days. Redfish, sea trout, snook, and black drum show themselves regularly. You’ll find great shots at pompano, grouper, and snapper as well. Kingfish and permit also make appearances during these months.
The area is home to resident tarpon that are active most of the year, but the “big show” is during the yearly tarpon migration. This is usually when most Bradenton fishing guides switch gears to solely targeting these monster tarpon. They come in, in droves, and are ready to take your presentation. You will probably get more to spit the hook than you will land, but when you do land that monster – epic.
The annual tarpon migration usually occurs between late April and lasting through to the end of July, and there are Tarpon fishing charters dedicated just to this.
What To Bring
The best rule of thumb is to pack light. These charter fishing boats are already set up with most of your main needs for a day of fishing. This includes your fishing license, rods, reels, tackle, bait, iced down coolers, safety equipment, and insurance. That said, you should pack along some personal necessities, such as:
- Weather Appropriate Clothing
- Polarized Sunglasses
- Appropriate footwear like sandals or light soled shoes (please do not wear black soled shoes or boots of any kind)
- Phone (for pictures and video)
What Not To Bring
Don’t bring much more than what you see on the above list, it is best to stick with exactly just those items. But definitely avoid things like wearing dark-soled shoes or boots (marks the deck of the boat), large coolers, lounge chairs, etc.,.
Where To Get Picked Up
There are numerous pickup possibilities in Bradenton, but the main place utilized is the 59th street boat ramp (5900 Riverview Blvd., Bradenton, Fl). This location brings you right into the heart of the fishery and has parking spaces available. Plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to the official charter time. If you do wind up running late, you should call your Captain immediately.
Area rates may change over time, but the current rates break down as follows:
- 1/2 Day $500
- 3/4 Day $700
- 3/4 Day Tarpon $750
- Full-Day Tarpon $1200
Planning & Reservations
If you’re not sure of the best time of year or have any kind of questions about planning – the charter fishing guides in Bradenton are ready to help you address those issues and help make those plans.
However, most guides now have online reservation systems that allow you to secure your charter through the website 24/7. These show real-time availability and lock in your deposit for your chosen day – which holds the reservation.
We have such a system here