Cortez, Florida, is a very old fishing village on Sarasota Bay just across from Bradenton Beach (Anna Maria Island) When I was a kid the only bridge to the island was from Cortez. It was a rickety old wooden bridge. When the bridge had to be opened to let boats by, it was done by hand by the bridge tender. It was a turn bridge, if that makes sense. There was a socket in the bridge which attached to a pivot, and he would put his pole in the pivot pole and walk around in circles to open the bridge. In Cortez you still buy the best and freshest seafood from the Gulf of Mexico. I don’t know about the other Gulf states, but here in Florida it is definitely number one. When I was a kid and gill nets were legal, the fishermen would often let us pull their nets to shore, and when we were finished they would give us a fish for helping. In those days there were fish out the wazoo. My old man went out regularly, and they never failed to come back with a locker just crammed full of fish. Those days are long gone. Now fishermen have to go out a couple hundred miles for grouper. And believe me, there’s no better fish for dinner. If you ever come to West Florida, be sure to order a fried grouper sandwich. By the way, Cortez was mentioned in that movie “The Perfect Storm”.
Here are some shots…
This is the Star Fish Restaurant associated with the Star Fish Market, where I buy lots of seafood. It’s very popular. This time of year when all the snowbirds (Northerners) are down, it’s hard to find a seat.
Here are some Spencer Sundays from 2004: