Bradenton, Florida is home to excellent inshore fishing all year-round. During the winter targets and tactics may change, but the fishing remains as hot as ever. We also get to mix in some added species that do really well this time of year, pompano and black drum – but that is far from it.
Winter Target Species
While it may seem that summertime favorites take a backseat during the winter months in Bradenton, it is not quite true. What actually changes is the bait and tactics. That said, you can have a great opportunity to catch any of the following:
- Black Drum
Where To Find Wintertime Fish
These species, during the cooler winter months, tend to be a little more active up in the intercoastal (around docks), rock piles, oyster beds, bridges, or any similar structure. However, it is always a game of water temps. In Florida, it is very common for a day to start off cool but warm up fairly quickly. In this, with the sun out and the tide moving at the right time, the flats and backcountry will come alive with activity.
Targeting Wintertime Pompano
Winter is one of the best times to target Pompano in Bradenton. The tactics you use are pretty simple and can land you a mixed bag of species along the way. Live shrimp is generally the go-to for pompano, but a pink jig head tipped with a piece of frozen shrimp can serve you just as well.
Finding Pompano can be a little tricky as they move around pretty quickly. However, sticking around and form of drop off on the flats, along the beach, or in passes will be key. This even includes fishing humps in the flats, the terrain change does not need to be drastic.
To catch a mixed bag, even if just rigged for Pompano, stick with the shrimp and combine the areas fished. Hitting drop-offs as mentioned above as well as those intercoastal docks and bridges can lead to a day of steady action. Spending a day like this can bag you pompano, sheepshead, black drum, and plenty more.