Monday, March 18, 2013

More Than Just a Lunch Spot for Boaters- Annie's Bait and Tackle, Cortez, Florida



"Come see us for a taste of Old Florida" -Annie's Bait & Tackle proudly proclaims on their website.  Brian and I decided to experience Annie's for ourselves.  


Our day of boating started at 6:00 AM, entering the water from a Sarasota boat ramp.  It was supposed to be sunny and warm that day.  Instead it was windy and chilly.  Luckily I had on one of Brian's waterproof jackets or else I could not have made it!  


32 inch Redfish we caught in Brian's over-sized jacket
After getting bait under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, we finally made it to our first fishing destination around 9:00 AM.  This spot was peaceful and serene.  Then the fish started coming. We caught beautiful redfish and trout.  One after the other!  


Finally getting into character for pictures!
Brian insisted on me getting a picture with some of the fish.  Of all the years I grew up fishing with my dad, that was the first time I had ever held a fish for pictures.  They were slimmy yet serene.  Looking at their intricate fish scales with their many colors up close and into their eyes makes you well aware that there definitely is a God.  


Inside Annie's Bait & Tackle
I checked the clock and it was already 1 p.m.  It is amazing how quickly time flies when you are doing what you love with the one you love! We were famished.  Brian has been talking about how great Annie's Bait & Tackle is for months now.  After about a 5 minute boat ride, we pulled into this little hole in the wall.  The place was packed out with people of all ages....some came by boat and other by car.  


Assortment of bait and tackle
Annie's opened over 35 years ago.  The owners always dreamed of escaping the mundane life of 9-5 and purchased the shop 17 years ago.  They are a one stop shop for Florida boaters and fisherman.  Not only do they have terrific food, they also have fresh (and frozen) bait, fuel, and fishing licenses.  Additionally, they offer charter fishing, tour rides and parasailing.  


Spicy Cuban Sandwich
As we sat down, the men next to us started chatting away. My JETS sweatshirt was a conversation starter. This was because these men are from Rhode Island. They told us they always make a point to stop by Annie's while staying in Sarasota.  Brian and I decided to both order the spicy cuban. Although, Annie's is well known for their grouper sandwich and hamburgers.  

It was delicious! As we finished our meal, the Rhode Islanders headed out.  A few minutes later, the waitress dropped two "one free beer" coins in front of us.  The Rhode Islanders bought us our next round of beers!  


Local fisherman feeding pelicans at Annie's
As we were leaving, more people starting piling in.  Some were there to eat. Some were there to pick up a six pack for a boat ride.  Some were there returning from an Annie's charter fishing trip.  

 We spent the rest of the day going to different fishing spots.  I ended the day with an inshore slam- a trout, a redfish and a snook!  As we headed back to shore, the sun was setting.  It was the perfect end to a perfect day.  


Sunset at the end of the day
Make sure you stop by Annie's Bait & Tackle
Hours: 6:30 AM- 9:00 PM Daily 
Kitchen Hours: 11:30 AM- 8:00 PM Daily  
(941) 794-3580
 
A special thanks to Brian Sawyer for providing photos.
 
 Annie's Bait & Tackle on Urbanspoon