James Robert Bradley Sr., 78 of Weeki Wachee, Florida passed away on April 30, 2020. He was the son of Glenn Walter Bradley Sr. and Angelina Garcia of Tampa, Florida and great-grandson of Capt. Robert Duke Bradley of the Massacre of Darby. He was Born in Tampa where he attended Plant High School, Class of 1959. After high school, he went on to graduate with a Degree in Education from the University of Tampa. He then served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1959-1965. Jimmy later moved to Indian Rocks Beach where he served on the Planning and Zoning Board in 1978. He was a certified open water scuba diver and an accomplished captain in the Tampa Bay area; winning many awards and earning a reputation as a grouper and tarpon expert. He was a member of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla and Merrymakers Club, where he was a pirate in the yearly Gasparilla Parade. While working at Tampa Whole Sale Liquor, Jimmy was awarded sales-man of the year many times and won several trips around the world.
After 25 years of sales, he retired and moved to Weeki Wachee in 1983. He began charter fishing again in Hernando County, Florida and this is where "The Big Daddy" was born. He won more tournaments and awards than can possibly be mentioned. Capt. Jim Bradley was a world record holder who was sponsored by the "Big Guys" including Penn Reels, Mercury, Johnson, Berkley, Ande Line, and Oceanwave Sunglasses, just to name a few. He has been featured in Florida Sportsman, Gulfcoast Angler, Tampa Tribune, Salty Sols Fisherman's Fishing Report and Hooked on Fishing with Capt. Bill Miller. His Charters were booked a year in advance which included an array of celebrities such as Tony Dungy, Joe Marciano, State Representative John Laurent, as well as many Tampa Bay Lightning Players including Chris Gratton, Rob Zimuner, and Pat "Gabber" Jabloski. Numerous Sports writers reached out for charters and articles over the years such as Ted Sweeny, Frank Sargeant, Robin Simley, Tom McEwen, Mel Berman, Vic Dunaway and many more.
Not only did he fish he also, successfully ran Captain Brad's Seafood in Hernando Beach from 1994-2003. During this time, he operated the largest wholesale business of bluecrabs on Florida’s West Coast. Jimmy continued charter fishing until 2006. After retirement, he followed his passion for bluecrabbing and mullet fishing keeping himself on the water as much as possible. When it came to fishing, his knowledge was unparalleled. He was the go to guy for anything fishing related for decades. Anyone who knew the "Big Daddy" called on him, for the latest fishing reports. We know we will see him again, down in the islands fishing the pilings with his good friend KeKe Macaloousa. Capt. Jim Bradley was a legend, who will never be forgotten on the water or in our hearts.
James R Bradley Sr., was preceded in death by his daughter Rebecca Lynn Bradley. He is survived by his Wife Deborah "Debbie" C. Bradley, Son James Robert Bradley Jr., Daughter Melissa Marie Tillson; Grandchildren Amanda Crecelius, James Robert Bradley III, Dylan Tillson, and Bentley Tillson. He was loved by many and will be missed by all.
There will be a Celebration of Life at a later date. An update will be released as soon as a time and location are determined.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James R Bradley, Sr., please visit our floral store.