Last Updated on January 30, 2022 by Eric Bonneman

The coastal ecosystem around Bradenton, Florida provides numerous opportunities for great inshore fishing.

One of the main features of the area is the Manatee River, which provides freshwater to the estuary on the south side of Tampa Bay. The estuary stretches into the nearby areas of Terra Ceia Bay, Palma Sola Bay, and Anna Maria Sound. There is a variety of marine habitats to fish within this 15-mile section of coastline, including healthy grass flats, deep cuts, mangrove shoreline, oyster bars, creeks, rocks piles, and man-made structures. All of these options are within a short scenic boat ride across waterways that are mostly protected from wind and waves.

The species we catch vary throughout the seasons and conditions but generally include redfish, seatrout, snook, tripletail, flounder, spanish mackerel, sheepshead, and even tarpon. There are many more species that we can catch regularly in the area as well.

On a typical day, Capt Nate will pick you up at the dock after catching bait for the day. The plan will include fishing a variety of spots to target the most active fish based on the results of his recent fishing trips. If you have specific fishing interests, make sure to discuss them with him when you are booking your trip. Capt Nate spends many days a week on the water and has developed an intimate understanding of the area’s fishing patterns.

Two of the favorite species in the area include tarpon and snook. Both of these fish are powerful with extreme fighting ability. Snook are present year-round in the area, changing their location and feeding behavior based on the water temperatures and other conditions. By finding warm water and structure that is holding their preferred bait we can hook up with this fun sport fish.

Tarpon are on an entirely different level. Adult tarpon are massive, regularly up to 150lbs. Tarpon pull like a freight train and routinely leap completely out of the water. This requires specialized gear and techniques. They migrate through the area in the spring when the nearshore water temperatures reach the mid-60s, generally beginning in April. In ideal conditions, these monstrous fish can be sight fished, which is an unparalleled fishing experience.

All of these opportunities can be had within a short ride from Bradenton. If you want to experience this amazing inshore fishery, book your trip with Capt Nate now as the most popular fishing dates book up fast.