The 2024 Guide to Fishing in Bradenton

If you’re looking to fish in Florida, you can’t beat the waters around Bradenton, Anna Maria Island, and Sarasota. These spots are packed with a variety of fish and offer great fishing whether you’re experienced or just starting out.

Here, every trip out on the water could land you a great catch, thanks to the many different great fishing spots—from the quiet inshore areas, to the deeper nearshore waters.

In Bradenton and the nearby islands like Anna Maria, you’ll find plenty of Snook and Redfish. Head a bit further out, and you’re in prime territory for some serious Tarpon fishing. Whether you’re chasing the thrill of a big catch or just looking for a chill day fishing, you’re in the right place.

If you’re planning to hit the waters here this year, knowing where to go and what you’ll find can turn an ordinary fishing trip into an unforgettable adventure. Let’s see what these waters have to offer in 2024.

Inshore

The 2024 Guide to Fishing in Bradenton

Bradenton inshore fishing can really hit the spot if you’re after variety. The shallow waters of the Manatee River, Palma Sola Bay, and Sarasota Bay are where you’ll find plenty of Redfish, Snook, and Spotted Seatrout. These spots are perfect whether you like casting in clear water or cruising through the seagrass and mangroves.

  • Redfish (Sciaenops ocellatus), known locally as Red Drum, are plentiful and can be caught using live bait, such as shrimp or mullet. These fish are known for their distinct, spotted tail and robust fight.
  • Snook (Centropomus undecimalis) are a prized catch and are often found around bridge pilings, docks, and other structures. They require precise casts and strong tackle due to their powerful runs and sharp gill plates.
  • Spotted Seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus) are frequently targeted for their aggressive strikes and abundance. Early mornings or late evenings are ideal times to catch these voracious feeders.

Nearshore

The 2024 Guide to Fishing in Bradenton

Heading just a bit off the coast of Bradenton, Anna Maria, and Longboat Key, you’ll find some great nearshore fishing. This area is a hotspot for a bunch of fish like Grouper, Snapper, King Mackerel, Bonita, and Cobia.

You’ll run into plenty of Gag Grouper and Red Grouper around here. They like to hang out around reefs and shipwrecks, and they give a good fight when they try to duck back into their hiding spots. For Snapper, especially Red Snapper, they’re all over the place, and you can catch them with pretty much any kind of bait. Whether you’re using simple gear or something a bit more advanced, you’re good to go.

Don’t forget about King Mackerel—they’re a blast to catch because they make these wild, long runs when hooked. Trolling with live bait or shiny spoons works well with them. Also, keep an eye out for Bonita and Cobia; they’re exciting catches that can really spice up your fishing trip. So if you’re looking for some action-packed fishing with a variety of fish, this is the place to be.

  • Grouper species such as the Gag Grouper (Mycteroperca microlepis) and Red Grouper (Epinephelus morio) are common. These bottom dwellers are often found around reefs and wrecks, making for an exciting challenge as they tend to retreat into structure once hooked.
  • Snapper, including the popular Red Snapper (Lutjanus campechanus), are abundant and can be caught using both live and cut bait. Techniques vary from simple bottom rigs to more sophisticated setups depending on water depth and current.
  • Kingfish A.K.A. King Mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla) are a thrilling catch, known for their long, fast runs. Trolling with live bait or spoons is a favored method among local Floridian fishermen.
  • Bonita (Euthynnus alletteratus) are smaller members of the tuna family. They’re known for their hard, aggressive strikes and quick runs, making them a fun challenge on light tackle. Trolling with small lures or casting with jigs are effective ways to hook these energetic fish.
  • Cobia (Rachycentron canadum) are known for their sleek, powerful bodies, and can be a thrilling catch. They’re often found around structures like buoys and wrecks. People like using live bait such as crabs or small fish to attract these strong fighters.

Tarpon Fishing Charters

The 2024 Guide to Fishing in Bradenton

Tarpon fishing in Bradenton and its surrounding waters is world-renowned, especially during the annual migration from May through July. These majestic fish, often exceeding 100 pounds, are a highlight for sport fishers.

  • The waters around Anna Maria Island and the mouth of Tampa Bay are prime spots for Tarpon (Megalops atlanticus), attracting anglers from all over the world. Most fishermen from around here use crabs, mullet, or artificial baits to get their attention.
  • Techniques for catching Tarpon vary, but the challenge is always worth it. These giants are known for their spectacular jumps and incredible stamina, making them one of the ultimate catches in sport fishing.
  • Fishing for tarpon can be tough—they’re strong, they jump a lot, and they don’t give up easily. But if you’re up for the challenge, landing one is an unforgettable experience.

Bradenton Fishing Charters


Whether you’ve been fishing for years or you’re just looking to try it out, Bradenton and the nearby islands are great spots to fish. You’ll find a wide range of fish species, beautiful views, and excellent fishing spots here.

Ready for your next big catch? Come down to Manatee County, and head to Bradenton. Grab your fishing gear and get ready to cast into some of the best fishing spots on the Gulf of Mexico.

Native Charters

Looking to hook some serious fish on Florida’s Gulf Coast? Native Charters has got you covered. We know the best fishing spots in Bradenton and the surrounding waters for snagging everything from Snook, to Redfish, to monster Tarpon.

Ready to have a blast on the water—and maybe brag about the big one you caught? Book your Bradenton fishing charter here—Let’s go fishing!

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