- October 8, 2014
East County’s Steve Jourdenais might have loved his part-time acting job as a pirate the past 21 years, but when it comes to being a fisherman, he always has been the "reel" deal.
Now Jourdenais, whose alter ego is “Captain Shark,” is opening a new business he said will be the real deal as well — Pirate’s Den Bait & Tackle at 2711 Manatee Ave. E., Bradenton.
His new bait shop will open across the street from the State Road 64 boat dock, and will be hard to miss, designed with its dark brown logs to look like a huge treasure chest.
“I’ve wanted to do this my entire life,” said Jourdenais, who is 56 and has been fishing for half a century.
He talked the owner of a used car lot into selling the property to him. His official grand opening will be Nov. 11, but he will open the doors to customers by the end of October.
“I’m all about the sea, the whole boating life,” said Jourdenais, who travels to events playing the role of a pirate. “Being a pirate seemed like a fun way to be someone else. I put on my outfit and I become Captain Shark, I put a voice on and drive the kids and ladies crazy.”
Now he wants to serve fishermen. The bait shop will sell the usual fishing poles, bait and fishing attire, but Jourdenais wants it to be more.
He wants to provide the community with a place to hang out and swap stories, whether related to the sea or otherwise. He is placing tables and chairs outside his business for people who just want to mingle. He said a food truck will be in the parking lot throughout the day.
Jourdenais will have drive-up bait and ice for those who don’t have time to park.
His bait collection will include live shrimp, pinfish and fiddler crabs, among other staples. He will offer marine supplies for people using the State Road 64 boat ramp.
“I want people to know that they are valued, and that I value their hobby,” he said. “Fishermen spend a lot of money.”