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Top Fishing Charters in Cortez
Fishing in Cortez
The fishing community of Cortez is one of the oldest not just in Florida, but across the States. A thriving fishing village in the late 19th century, this settlement is now one of the last commercial fishing villages in the area. But, sportfishers will find ample opportunities here, as Cortez fishing charters are the most convenient way to sample the very best of Florida fish.
Fishing is not the only thing you can do in Cortez, though no one will blame you if spend days exploring the bays, flats, and mangrove-lined shores. Step back in time and take a tour of the Florida Maritime Museum; or take a stroll down the palm tree-spotted beachfront. This is the sun-drenched Florida you’ve heard of.
Cortez fishing spots
Tucked right behind Bradenton Beach, Cortez looks out on the Palma Sola Bay. A quick boat ride south will get you to the rich fisheries of the Sarasota Bay. Head north of the village and you’ll soon be near a mashup of fisheries where the Manatee River empties into the Tampa Bay. On the worst of days, there will be some bites. On the best of days, it will be an inshore heaven.
Palma Sola Bay
Fishing Palma Sola Bay means a good deal of Snook, Speckled Trout, Redfish, and Black Drum. These waters are a good starting point for novice anglers, wade fishers, and kayak fishing enthusiasts. Fishing becomes extraordinary come fall, but even early months of the year can give you a nice surprise.
Sarasota Bay is just around the corner from Cortez, holding a healthy stock of Mangrove Snapper, Speckled Trout, Redfish, Black Drum, Flounder, and Mackerel. The game is on already in January where on a warm day you can get hefty Trout and some Redfish. As the water heats up, more baitfish will show up and give your target species a good reason to follow.
Tampa Bay has hundreds of hot spots where you can try anything from wade fishing to trolling for some Gag Grouper. Yep, it’s possible. The usual catches are Snook, Redfish, Tarpon, and Black Drum, but don’t be taken aback by an odd Kingfish foraging around.
The bay has a lot of artificial reefs where deeper waters produce real magic and where you can get Mangrove Snapper by the dozen. To make sure you don’t miss some of the action, book a trip with a local guide who’ll help get you the fish.
Gulf of Mexico
For centuries, the Gulf waters served as a well where commercial anglers stocked up on bread-and-butter fish that was then used to feed the nearby settlements. These days, the Gulf is a top place for sportfishing, no matter what you want to fish for. When you head offshore, you’ll find Spanish Mackerel, Kingfish, and Cobia. Then comes some great bottom fishing for Snapper and Grouper, and finally speed-loving Mahi, big Amberjacks and who knows - even a Wahoo.
Fishing out of Cortez will give you a chance to try numerous techniques. Stay around the flats and sounds and sample some of the tastiest (and feistiest) inshore species.
To get Redfish and Trout you will need to be good at light tackle game. Sight fishing for Redfish is always an interesting way to spend the day. Soft plastics or shrimp will get them going.
If you’re looking for Snook, seek sheltered waters, near grassy flats and use feather jigs.
The Tarpon will be on fire come summer, but you can get them already on warm March days. Experienced anglers should definitely try fly fishing.
If you’re looking for something a bit more extraordinary, how about wade fishing? Find a local guide, put your boots on, and come explore these honey holes.
Once you hit the Gulf waters, trolling and bottom fishing can get you far. Spanish and King Mackerel are strong opponents but trolling can get you an enviable catch, especially if you fish live bait such as mullet or sardines. Far offshore, you can troll for Tuna and Mahi, or even get Sailfish.
Bottom fishing around offshore reefs and wrecks will get you Grouper, Snapper, and Amberjack. But that’s just the beginning. Head 80 miles offshore and Cortez deep sea fishing will leave you speechless as you get to fight dozen Grouper and Snapper species.
Need to know
Anglers fishing aboard a licensed Cortez fishing charter don’t need a saltwater license. A way to a productive day on the water is to hire a private charter as these provide all the tackle, bait, lures, and gear, so you can focus on fishing. It’s always best to check with the captain before you set out to get fish.
No matter how far you’re planning to fish, you should pack sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, an extra layer of clothes. On offshore trips, you should bring Dramamine in case of motion sickness. You’ll also want to bring food and drinks, although some charters also provide food and beverages.
Cortez Fishing Seasons
Cortez Fishing Calendar
What People Are Saying About Cortez
Laid back relaxing environment. No one bothers you.
"April fishing trip"
Get ready to enjoy yourself and have tons of fun!
Top Fishing Techniques in Cortez
Top Targeted Species in Cortez
- Size 2 to 6lbs
- Food Value Good
- Game Qualities Low
- Habitats Inshore, Nearshore
- Size 20 to 40lbs
- Food Value Average
- Game Qualities Good
- Habitats Offshore, Reef, Wreck
- Size 10 to 20lbs
- Food Value Average
- Game Qualities Average
- Habitats Inshore, Nearshore, Offshore, Reef, Wreck
- Size 3 to 15lbs
- Food Value Good
- Game Qualities Excellent
- Habitats Inshore, Flats, Backcountry
Top Fishing Charters
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