Cortez Bait & Seafood

12110 Cortez Rd.
Cortez, FL  34215
Mon-Sat, 10-6 | Sun 11-5

Wyre's Got the Seafood, Cortez Bait and Seafood Expands

Written by Patti Pearson on 23 August 2016.

“I’m just another Bozo on the bus,” is what James ‘Wyre’ Lee told me when I asked him what his title was at Cortez Bait & Seafood. He actually runs the place. He has since 2007 when, just prior to this August, it was a little wood shack tucked in between Cortez Kitchen and Swordfish Grill.

But after spending some time with him, I got it. He’s not into titles. No pomp and circumstance for him. I didn’t even get the fish stories about ‘the one that got away.” He’s a straight-forward, down-to-earth island man, with light blue, dreamy eyes that have seen their days of being filled with sea salt.

“I don’t fish anymore,” he says, and he was an avid commercial fisherman most of his life. It was the net bans in ‘95 that left a really bad taste in his mouth.

“It was a political land grab,” he says about the net ban, that forced him and many others out of the business of catching bait or whatever else the nets were producing back in the day. He’s still bitter about it after all these years.

Read the full story on The Sarasota Post