Tag Archives: CORTEZ

Coronavirus Florida: Cortez fish company staying afloat

Fishing boats are still leaving the docks in Cortez, but coronavirus has changed the specifics of where the hauls wind up. Karen Bell, president of A.P. Bell Fish Co., said “we’re holding our own” when asked about the impact the virus has had on the fish house she owns in the historic village of Cortez that sends seafood all over the world. Business is far from brisk, but demand is still there, even if the target has been altered. “It (the virus) shifted everything around,” Bell said. “People are still eating but they’ve changed how and where they eat.” Of the fish being unloaded now, 60% are coming from inshore, 40% offshore, Bell said. Before the virus upended the economy, it was the other way around. >click to read< 10:20

Mullet on the run, fishermen running into rough weather, waters

“We had a little lick today,” Jason Walker, 45, of New Smyrna Beach, said Dec. 18. Walker has worked as a mullet fisherman for 22 years. He called a “lick” a small catch, while a “load” would be a big catch. When there’s a load, the parking lock at the Cortez, Bait & Seafood Retail Market, 12110 Cortez Road W., is full of trucks towing trailers loaded with the commercial fishing boats, which carry the catch on board after a good day on the water. “No loads this year,” said Walker, who still anticipated big catches to come. >click to read< 16:26

Cortez fishing giant and business leader named Manatee County’s Outstanding Agriculturist

Karen Bell was supposed to present a talk on the $11 million Manatee County seafood industry. Or, so she thought.,,, “I am just shocked — thank you so much — because, and I thought, Scott, I thought we were here for you,” Bell told the crowd, and Scott Moore, a charter boat captain and conservationist who is being inducted into the Manatee County Agriculture Hall of Fame. “I’m just shocked that you all got one over on me.” Bell serves on local and national boards representing the seafood industry and the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council Reef Fish, >click to read< 16:59

Start of stone crab season in Cortez is worst in recent memory

Theories abound but one thing is for sure: The current stone crab season is off to one of its worst starts in recent memory for the oldest active fishing village in Florida. It’s that bad. “There’s nothing. There’s no crabs around because it’s all dead,” said John Banyas, a fourth-generation fisherman from Cortez.“The latest from our 400 trap haul was only 4 pounds, a record low in these local waters,” said Banyas, 52, who is also the owner of Cortez Bait & Seafood Inc., Swordfish Grill & Tiki Bar and Cortez Kitchen. >click to read<07:42

Florida Fishermen to cast vote against net ban

Local commercial fishermen plan to petition Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) next month to place an amendment on the November ballot reversing the gill net ban. Mark Coarsey, of Fishing for Freedom’s Manatee County chapter, has been collecting signatures in support of lifting the net ban at the annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival in recent years. He will be taking them to the last of five CRC meetings in the state on Tuesday, March 13, from 1-7 p.m. at the University of South Florida Student Center, 200 Sixth Ave. S. in St. Petersburg. >click to read< 17:53

Linda Brandt: Mullet is so much more than bait

I grew up thinking mullet was only for bait and smoking for dip. That was probably because when I went fishing with my dad, he used mullet for bait. And because he fished with a rod and reel and mullet are mostly caught with cast nets, they didn’t show up freshly caught on our table. Apparently I have been missing out on not only one of Florida’s oldest delicacies, but a piece of state history as well. >click to read< 15:30

Cortez helps Florida fishing communities hit by Irma

Residents of the Cortez historic fishing village are reaching out to provide aid to fellow commercial fishermen in Chokoloskee and Everglades City in the wake of Hurricane Irma. The donation drive kicks off at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19, at Bradenton Elks Lodge 1511, 2511 75th St. in Bradenton. Collection will continue through 4 p.m. with items being delivered to a distribution point at the Chokoloskee Church of God on Wednesday morning. click here to read the story 08:44

Saturday and Sunday! Stone Crab Festival in Cortez! Be There!!

The Stone Crab Festival,  held along north Sarasota Bay in the historic Cortez commercial fishing village, returns for its third year Saturday and Sunday. Organizers are promising  “tons of food and drinks, live music, and boat loads of fresh stone crab”  and “all vendors on site are local artisans from the surrounding area.” Read the rest here 09:30

Cortez in running for “Ultimate Fishing Town” title

Bradenton.com – CORTEZ — Manatee County’s historic fishing village is a contender to be voted the “Ultimate Fishing Town.” Cortez was nominated for World Fishing Networks’ Ultimate Fishing Town contest,

putting the community in contention for a regional prize of $3,500 or grand prize of $25,000. “I just think Cortez is coming into its own,” Karen Bell said. “People are learning to appreciate commercial fishing.” continued