Last Updated on February 18, 2022 by Eric Bonneman

Terra Ceia Bay is a 3,900 acre body of water just north of Bradenton. The bay’s coastline includes Terra Ceia Aquatic Preserve and Emerson Point Preserve. These parks were established to protect the bay estuary from development along its shores.

The bay features miles of mangrove shoreline and islands, expansive seagrass flats, oyster bars, passes, rock piles, man-made structures, and backwater bayous.

There are also two creeks, Frog and McMullen creek, that feed the bay from the northeast.

The wide variety of environmental features provides excellent habitat for a large number of gamefish. Terra Ceia bay is a short scenic boat ride from Anna Maria Island, allowing you to be fishing minutes after launch.

The bay holds a variety of fish all year long. The species we target while fishing in the bay varies by season, but generally includes snook, redfish, trout, sheepshead, flounder, and even tarpon.

a picture of Fishing The Flats of Terra Ceia Bay with Captain Nate

On an average day fishing the bay it is very likely that you will catch an inshore slam in Terra Ceia Bay, catching trout amongst the seagrass flats, redfish from the nearby bars and points, and snook from the miles of mangrove edges.

Catching snook is an all-time favorite of our clients. This beautiful and powerful fish is often found hiding near structures, waiting to ambush bait. They strike aggressively and fight hard, with powerful above-the-water head shakes and jumps.

Snook are also challenging to catch as they have sharp gill plates that can cut your line and they will often run to structure.  Snook can be found in the bay year-round, although they feed most aggressively during periods of warmer water temperatures.

Snook are great to eat, during the seasons anglers can keep one fish between 28 and 32 inches. The seasons run from February through May and September through mid-December.

a picture of Fishing The Flats of Terra Ceia Bay with Captain Nate

Captain Nate is an expert fishing guide for this area. He has been fishing Terra Ceia Bay and surrounding waters for over 30 years. He loves coaching clients of all skill levels and abilities.

When planning your trip, talk to Capt Nate about which species are on your bucket list and what you hope to achieve during the trip.

Now is the time to book your inshore fishing trip to Terra Ceia bay for the upcoming spring and summer seasons – as the best days will be reserved well in advance.