Monthly Archives: January 2017

Island traffic advisories

The Florida Department of Transportation will have several projects ongoing on Island bridges beginning April 28, and concluding May 12.

The DOT will have three intermittent lane closure periods on the Longboat Pass Bridge (State Road 789) in the next two weeks, beginning at 9 p.m. Friday, April 29, and concluding at 5 a.m. April 30.

The second lane closure period is from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday, May 1, through Thursday, May 5. The operation resumes Monday, May 9, for the same time period through Thursday, May 12.

Work crews will perform routine maintenance on the structure during the closures, the DOT said.

Motorists are advised to use caution while in the area and expect delays.

The DOT also will conduct overnight work including intermittent lane closures on the Cortez Bridge between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. Thursday, April 28, while work crews perform routine maintenance. A flagging operation will be in progress during the project.

The Cortez Bridge work is scheduled for completion in one night, according to the DOT.

Motorists are advised to use caution when driving on the bridges during construction.

Mediation set in Nally v. Anna Maria

A mediation hearing in the lawsuit filed by William and Barbara Nally against Anna Maria was scheduled for 9:30 a.m. April 26 at the Bradenton law office of Lewis, Longman and Walker. Dennis Stotts, a senior attorney with the firm, was named mediator.

Also scheduled to be at the hearing are attorneys representing Pine Avenue Restoration LLC, which was allowed to enter an affirmative defense in the case several months ago by Judge Peter Dubensky.

The Nallys, who live in Lakeland and own property on Spring Avenue, allege in their suit that the city’s approval of a PAR site plan for 216 Pine Ave. was inconsistent with its comprehensive plan and land-development regulations.

Dubensky recently granted a motion to have William Nally dropped as a petitioner in the case.

Barbara Nally is represented by the Sarasota law firm of Lobeck & Hanson.

The same law firm represents Robert and Nicola Hunt of Anna Maria in a lawsuit against the city filed in December 2010. That action is similar to the year-old Nally suit as it alleges the city’s approval of a PAR site plan for 308 Pine Ave. was inconsistent with its comprehensive plan and LDRs. No hearing date has been set in the case.

BBPD arrests Ga. fugitive

Bradenton Beach police arrested a Georgia woman on a warrant for aggravated stalking in her home state.

Danya Renee Spell Wills, 32, of Lake Park, Ga., was taken into custody April 20 in the 300 block of Gulf Drive North in Bradenton Beach.

A Bradenton Beach Police Department report stated Officers Tom Ferrara and Jay Higgins were on patrol when they found Wills asleep on the sand at about 1:40 a.m. April 20.

The woman told the officers that she was from Georgia, where she had been in a substance-abuse program.

When the officers checked her record, they found an active warrant for aggravated stalking and learned that authorities in Georgia were seeking extradition.

Volunteers on watch, ready to walk

With Gulf of Mexico temperatures in the upper 70s, the crew that monitors sea turtle nesting on Anna Maria Island is on watch.

Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring held its annual orientation meeting April 19 at Holmes Beach City Hall, where the more than 70 volunteers involved in the non-profit program picked up T-shirts, tools and instructions.

The 2011 nesting season officially begins May 1, but already turtles are nesting on the Atlantic coast. And, said AMITW executive director Suzi Fox, when the Gulf temperature reaches 80, female loggerheads soon begin to crawl ashore to nest.

The earliest first nest recorded on the Island was laid on April 29 in 1997. Last year’s first nest was recorded on May 23.

This season, AMITW has a seasoned volunteer team, with all veteran walkers and coordinators returning to monitor sections of the shore.

“They are well-trained, dedicated people,” Fox said of the crew. “The best people I know.”

The volunteers’ role is to collect data on turtle nesting from May through October. Volunteers, assigned a day of the week and a section of the beach, walk at about dawn looking for signs of activity — that a female turtle has crawled ashore in the early part of the season and that hatchlings have crawled to the Gulf in later in the cycle.

Numerous details are recorded about nests and crawls — dates, dimensions, temperatures, locations — which various local, state and federal governments use to assess the loggerhead population, renourishment efforts and the impact of coastal development.

AMITW data is sent to Manatee County, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, the Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“We need to be extremely accurate,” said Fox, noting that some form of data collection has taken place during turtle nesting seasons since 1982.

As they did last year, walkers on the beach between Pine Avenue and Bean Point in Anna Maria will monitor nesting shorebirds. Walkers also will monitor bird nesting in a small section of Bradenton Beach.

“The birds are already on the beach,” Fox said. “The least terns, the black skimmers — more are coming every day.”

Nesting by the numbers
Read The Islander each week to follow developments during turtle-nesting season.
Number of nests: 0
Number of hatched nests: 0
Number of hatchlings: 0
Source: AMITW

FWC examining dead turtle
A dead green turtle was found in a Key Royale canal April 19.

An Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch volunteer collected details about the turtle, which was missing its head.

The information will be reviewed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said AMITW executive director Suzi Fox.

Island police blotter – 04-27-2011

Anna Maria
• April 16, 700 block of North Shore, theft. The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office investigated a theft that occurred sometime between late March and early April. Someone stole a kayak paddle that was leaning against a seawall.

Bradenton Beach
• April 16, 100 block of Bridge Street, battery. The Bradenton Beach Police Department arrested a 31-year-old Palmetto man for alleged misdemeanor battery. BBPD said five witnesses saw the man strike another person without provocation.
• April 17, 100 Gulf Drive North, warrant. MCSO deputies arrested a 31-year-old Bradenton man on a bench warrant for violation of probation.
• April 20, 300 block of Gulf Drive North, warrant. BBPD arrested a 32-year-old Georgia woman on a warrant for aggravated stalking.
• April 16, 4500 block of 123rd Street West, battery. The MCSO responded to a report of an argument. A woman allegedly slapped a man three times and spit in his face.

Holmes Beach
• April 15, 6600 block of Gulf Drive, theft. The Holmes Beach Police Department responded to a resort, where a woman reported the theft of her purse from the beach. The purse contained cigarettes, a lighter and feminine hygiene products.
• April 15, 300 block of 68th Street, burglary. The HBPD responded to a report of a burglary that included conflicting descriptions of a suspect from a witness. Later, the HBPD was informed that property taken was returned.
• April 15, 5400 block of Marina Drive, criminal mischief. The HBPD responded to a store, where the manager reported that someone shot a side window with a pellet gun. A mangled pellet was found.
• April 17, 5400 block of Marina Drive, fight. HBPD received a report of a scuffle between two people. A third, attempting to break up the fight, accidentally broke the glass in an office window.
• April 18, 5300 block of Marina Drive, theft. HBPD responded to a business, where someone stole a dry-erase board from the parking lot. The board was valued at $150.
Streetlife is based on incident reports and narratives from the Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach police departments and the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

Sports – 04-27-2011

Youth basketball season starts, awards season at KRC

Key Royale golf news
It was a busy week at the Key Royale Club. There were the usual rounds of leisure golf, plus a Stag Day competition and the 43rd annual club awards dinner April 17. Trophies and plaques were awarded by club president Craig Humphreys and women’s golf chair Meredith Slavin.

Tom Nelson received the President’s Cup trophy, while Dean and Judy Christensen took honors for mixed-couples champions. Jan Turner received the women’s nine-hole championship award, while Bob Soos took home the 18-hole men’s handicap hardware. Also recognized were Ernie Hauser, champ of the men’s 75-and-over handicap tournament and men’s and women’s club champions, John Estoc and Jean Holmes.

Humphreys handed out a couple of other awards, including the “I Only Play on Days Ending in Y” award to Larry Pippel for playing more rounds of golf than other members. Barry Izzard was recognized with the “You’ll Never Believe I Made Par” award. He was presented with the tee box he destroyed on the ninth hole. Izzard’s tee shot hit the box and ricocheted backward onto the eighth fairway. A three wood, wedge and one putt produced his “methodical” par.

The men of the Key Royale Club celebrated their 43rd Stag Day April 21. This year’s spring event featured a $10,000 hole-in-one challenge sponsored by Jim Mixon Insurance. There were no holes-in-one to report among the 74 golfers.

A shotgun start by Col. Bob Elliott got things going for the stag players at 9 a.m. Club champ John Estoc captured individual low gross for the day with a 2-over-par 34, while Dick Eichorn won individual low net with a 5-under-par 27. Eichorn also was part of the team low-net winners with Larry Pippel, Tom Warda and Vince Fanton. They combined to card a 15-under-par 113. Merrit Fineout won closest to the pin on hole three, while Dick Rouse was closest to the pin on the $10,000 hole.

The men played a nine-hole, modified Stableford game April 20. The team of Bob Soos, Tim Friesen and Terry Schaffer took first place with a plus-five. Hoyt Miller won the individual title with a plus-six, one point ahead of Quentin Talbert.

The women were on the course April 19 for a nine-hole individual-low-net match in four flights. Marcia Helgeson and Jean Holmes both carded 2-under-par 30 to tie for first place in Flight A.

Helen Pollock fired a 5-under-par 27 to take first place in Flight B by four strokes over second-place finisher Ginny Nunn.

Barb Lindwall’s 2-under-par 30 gave her a two-shot win over second-place finisher Jan Turner in Flight C.

Flight D saw Trish Kruger take first place with a 2-under-par 30, two shots better than second-place finisher Sandy Burrill.

Pieter Thomassen and Don La Torre both carded 4-under-par 28 to finish in a tie for first place during a men’s nine-hole individual-low-net game April 19. Gino DiClemente, Vince Fanton, Jim Dickenson and Chet Hutton tied for second place at 3-under 29.

The men played an 18-hole individual- and team-low-net golf game April 18. Harrold McKammish, Dennis McKammish, Tom Lewis and Dick Eichorn combined to card an 18-under-par 248 to take team first place. Earl Ritchie fired a 7-under-par 57 to capture first place in the individual-low-net category.

AMICC b-ball league
The 2011 youth basketball season is under way at the Anna Maria Island Community Center. With teams in five age groups ranging from 5-17 years of age, there’s league basketball action almost every night at the center.

The action got started in Division III for players age 8-9 when Cortez Kat Charters took on Agnelli Pool Service. Agnelli opened up a 2-0 lead on a Ben Barreda basket, but never led again as Zach Fernandes dominated, scoring 10 points in a row to give Cortez a 10-2 halftime lead.

Agnelli Pool went on an 8-2 scoring run led by four points from Luke Marvin and two points apiece from Conal Cassidy and Barreda, but Joey Theil scored 10 points and Fernandes added four points and four assists to close the game out with Cortez Kat Charters on top 24-10.

Ross Built defeated Beach Bistro 32-18 in their season opener in Division II for ages 10-11. Twins Jake and Andrew Ross scored 12 points apiece to lead Ross Built, which also received six points from Luke Valadie and two points from Ethan Helvey in the victory.

Matt Manger-DeNigris scored six points to lead the Bistro, which also received five points apiece from Michael Latimer and Trent Boring. Jordan Cooley’s two points rounded out the scoring for Bistro in the loss.

Walter & Associates earned a 41-34 victory over A Paradise Realty in the Division I age 12-13 opener behind 19 points from Nehimiah Goode and 16 points from Moriah Goode. Seth Walter added four points and brother Jack finished with two points to round out the Walter scoring.

Justin Aracena scored 15 points to lead Paradise, which also received 13 points from Cameron Brauner. Reese Helvey and Montana Modderman each added two points in the loss.

Horseshoe news
Five teams emerged from pool play and were left to battle for first place during April 23 horseshoe action at the Anna Maria City Hall pits.

The first round produced a couple of blowouts punctuated by Gene Bobeldyk’s and Tom Rhodes’ 21-0 win over Ron Pepka and Carl Samuelson. Herb Puryear and Bruce Muro rolled past Jeff Moore

21-4 in their first-round match. Puryear and Munro drew the bye into the finals and watched as Rod Bussey and John Crawford easily defeated Bobeldyke and Rhodes 21-12.
The final was another blowout as Bussey-Crawford rolled past Puryear-Munro 21-4.

Three teams qualified for the playoffs April 20 with Herb Puryear and Bruce Munro earning the bye into the finals. Gene Bobeldyk and Marvin Gangemi defeated Dave Lansaw and Rod Bussey 21-9 to advance to the finals. Bobeldyk-Gangemi defeated Puryear-Munro 22-15 to claim the day’s bragging rights.

Play gets under way at 9 a.m. every Wednesday and Saturday at the Anna Maria City Hall pits. Warmups begin at 8:45 a.m. followed by random team selection. There is no charge to play and everyone is welcome.

Anna Maria Island Community Center Basketball League schedule

Instructional Division (ages 5-7)
April 29    6 p.m.    WCAC vs. Coastal Orthopedic
April 30    1 p.m.    Beach Bums vs. WCAC

Division III (ages 8-9)
April 29    7 p.m.    Oyster Bar vs. Kat Charters
April 30    12 p.m.    Oyster Bar vs. Agnelli Pool

Division II (ages 10-11)
April 27    6 p.m.    Connie’s vs. Southern
April 29    8 p.m.    Bistro vs. Connie’s
April 30    10 a.m.    Ross Built vs. Sandbar

Division I (ages 12-13)
April 27    7 p.m.    Walter vs. Eat Here
April 30    11 a.m.    Holy Cow vs. Eat Here

Premier Division (ages 14-17)
April 27    8 p.m.    Dips vs. Ralph’s

Island real estate transactions – 04-27-2011

643 Key Royale Drive, Holmes Beach, a 5,100 sfla / 6,300 sfur 4bed/4bath/2car garage bayfront pool home built in 2005 on a 117×151 lot was sold 04/06/11, Sack to Culbertson for $2,000,000; list $2,390,000.

789 North Shore Drive, Anna Maria, a 1,718 sfla / 2,698 sfur 3bed/3bath/2car Gulffront home built in 1983 on a 50×125 lot was sold 03/31/11, Gilliard to Brown for $1,100,000; list $1,299,000.

603 Ivanhoe Ln., Holmes Beach, a 3bed/3bath/2car canalfront pool home built in 1972 on a 90×105 lot was sold 04/04/11, Moriah Financial Group LLC to Davis $727,500; list $799,000.

2600 Gulf Drive, N., Unit 45, Anna Maria Island Club, Bradenton Beach, a 1,195 sfla / 1,451 sfur 2bed/2bath Gulffront condo with shared pool built in 1984 was sold 03/30/11, Roaldi to Klaus for $685,000; list $699,000.

522 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria, a 1,254 sfla / 2,197 sfur 3bed/2bath/4car pool home built in 1988 on a 52×145 lot was sold 04/04/11, Buckley to Booth for $460,000; list $495,000.

2716 Gulf Drive, Unit 205, Gulf Cabins, Holmes Beach, a 1,155 sfla / 1,400 sfur 2bed/2bath Gulffront condo with shared pool built in 1981 was sold 04/05/11, Blackwood to Davis for $420,000.

2412 Avenue B, Bradenton Beach, a 2,984 sfla / 5,375 sfur 4bed/4bath duplex with pool built in 2001on a 50×100 lot was sold 04/08/11, Central Mortgage Company to Juma for $400,000.

518 56th St., Holmes Beach, a 1,288 sfla / 1,914 sfur 2bed/1bath/1car canalfront home built in 1954 on a 82×86 lot was sold 04/07/11, Kirk to Yood for $400,000.

533 69th St., Holmes Beach, a 1,739 sfla / 2,180 sfur 2bed/2bath/2car canalfront home built in 1968 on a 85×122 was sold 04/08/11, Simon to Kaleta for $385,000; list $429,000.

207 72nd St., Holmes Beach, a 1,840 sfla / 2,586 sfur 3bed/2bath/2car home built in 1971 on a 65×105 lot was sold 04/11/11, Fletcher to 207 72nd Street Cottage LLC for $350,000; list $399,500.

5805 De Palmas Ave., Holmes Beach, a 1,150 sfla / 1,300 sfur 3bed/2bath pool home built in 1970 on a 50×101 lot was sold 03/31/11, Blue Cat LLC to Wiggins for $325,000; list $349,000.

6250 Holmes Blvd., Unit 49, North Beach Village, Holmes Beach, a 1,536 sfla / 1,955 sfur 3bed/2½bath/2car condo with shared pool built in 1993 was sold 03/31/11, Hosking to Stepo for $325,000; list $350,000.

Jesse Brisson, broker/associate at Gulf-Bay Realty of Anna Maria, can be reached at 941-778-7244.

Obituaries – 04-27-2011

Thelma Caveny Traylor
Thelma Caveny Traylor, 88, of York, S.C., died April 21.

She attended York schools and graduated from Kings College in Charlotte. She later worked at M. Lowenstein and Cannon Mills as a bookkeeper.

Service and burial were in York.

Mrs. Traylor is survived by daughters Margaret L. Caveny of Holmes Beach, Pat and husband Billy Benfield of Rock Hill, S.C., and Sandi and husband Freck Branch of McConnells, S.C.; sons Bill Caveny of York and Bobby and wife Barbara Caveny of York; brother Claude Youngblood; eight grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.

Patricia ‘Patty’ Hurley Graham
Patricia “Patty” Hurley Graham, 71, a 21-year resident of Cortez, formerly of Guilford, Conn., died April 19 in Bradenton. She was born in New Haven, Conn., Sept. 24, 1939.

Mrs. Graham was a parishioner of St. Bernard Catholic Church, Holmes Beach. She was proud of her Irish heritage. and was known to be creative, artistic and especially revered for her cooking.

A family celebration of her life is being planned for a later date. Memorial donations may be made to Tidewell Hospice, 5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota FL 34238, or online at

Arrangements were entrusted to Brown and Sons Funeral Homes and Crematory 43rd Street Chapel. Condolences to

She is surived by her husband of 42 years, Donald; son Lester Montgomery of Branford, Conn.; grandson Justin Montgomery, granddaughter Sharon Montgomery Tarantino of Bradenton; three “bonus” children, Pamela Graham Walz of Ellenboro, N.C., Jonathan Graham of Boiling Springs, S.C., and Debra Graham Rhodes of Cortez; seven additional grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; and three nieces, Renee Boyington of Madison, Conn., and Janice Florio and Diana Panagrossi, both of Branford, Conn.

Gerhard John
Gerhard John, 80, of Anna Maria Island and Halstenbek, Germany, died Aug. 8, 2010.

There will be a memorial service at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 30, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 6608 Marina Drive.

Mr. Gerhard is survived by wife Karin; son Dirk and wife Nicole; daughter Ute; and grandchildren Lara and Arne.

Joseph M. McDonald
Joseph M. McDonald, 76, of Cortez, died April 19 following an auto accident. He was born in Cortez Feb. 6, 1935, and was raised there.

Mr. McDonald served in the U.S. Air Force. He was a life-long commercial fisherman at Cortez. In his later years, he fished with nephew Harry Mofield, also a commercial fisherman.

A memorial luncheon to celebrate Mr. McDonald’s life will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, April 28, at Bayside Banquet Hall, 4628 119th St. W., Cortez.

Mr. McDonald is survived by wife Patsy (Ort); daughter Peggy; grandchildren Patsy Powell, Travis Cox, John Foster and Josey; and siblings Jane (Treglown), John, Judy (Augsburger), Jacqueline (Mofield) and Joyce (Davis); and many nieces, nephews and great-grandchildren.

Alice M. Platt
Alice M. (nee Connelley) Platt of Anna Maria Island, formerly of Buffalo, N.Y., died April 15.

Service was in West Seneca, N.Y.

Mrs. Platt is survived by her hustand of 64 years, William J.; son William J. and wife Patricia, Debra Anne and husband Richard Lawrence and Gary and wife Rita; grandchildren Brian and wife Julia, Christopher and wife Kristy Lawrence, Sean and Michael; and great-grandchildren Chase and Camryn Lawrence.

Fishing – 04-27-2011

Spring offers variety for Island fishers

Whether you want to stalk gator trout on the shallow grass flats or reel in keeper gag grouper on nearshore structures, now is the time to do it.

Fishing around Anna Maria Island, whether inshore, nearshore or offshore is exploding with life offering a variety of species in one day of fishing.

Inshore, trout and redfish action is productive. Spotted sea trout are lurking around the deeper edges of the grass flats. Try using soft plastics or suspending hard baits if using artificials. For live bait, shiners are working well, and so are live shrimp under a popping cork. For the reds, dock fishing is still productive, but if you’re tired of fishing around the docks, try fishing around schools of mullet on the shallow flats. The reds follow the mullet schools looking for any small shrimp or crab they might spook up from the bottom. Snook are making an appearance although not a great one like years past.

The nearshore and offshore bite has turned on considerably. Bottom dwellers such as gag grouper, red grouper, all types of snappers, hogfish and grunts are being reeled up in numbers. Start at depths around 100 feet for best results.  Migratory species such as kingfish, cobia and amberjack are being caught in numbers around the same areas as the bottom fish. Don’t forget to keep a flat line out with a live bait while bottom fishing.

Last but not least, tarpon sightings are becoming more frequent as the waters warm up. Keep your eyes peeled for pods around the passes and along the beach. The bite hasn’t really taken off yet, but it’s right around the corner.

Phil Kirkland at the Sunshine Skyway Bridge South Fishing Pier says pier fishers are catching a variety of species. Whether fishing day or night, the pier provides a great habitat for a number of predators. Daytime hours are producing catches of kingfish and Spanish mackerel. “Most of the kings are being caught on big threadies,” says Kirkland.

During the day, sheepshead are targeted using fiddler crabs and sand fleas. Fish up to 3 pounds are being reported. Flounder are still hanging in the shallows around the beginning of the pier.

Kirkland suggests fishing white bait directly on the bottom for these flat fish.

During the night time hours, pier fishers are encountering mangrove snapper and gag grouper using white bait and threadfins under the pier. Spotted sea trout are responding to small jigs tipped with peeled shrimp for scent. The highlight of night fishing at the pier is looking for cobia. Cobia have been cruising the pier at night with fishers reeling up catches up to 41 inches.

Capt. Rick Gross of Fishy Business Charters says fishing off the beaches out to 8 miles is the ticket. Gross is targeting wrecks, ledges and nearshore reefs to produce drag-screaming action on kingfish and Spanish mackerel. Fishing live bait is Gross’ choice for targeting most reef dwelling species. Shiners and threadfins to be exact. “Most of the kings are schoolies,” Gross says, “but there are some bigger ones in the mix.”

Gross is targeting bottom species on the nearshore structures. Mangrove snapper, keeper gag grouper and flounder to 5 1/2 pounds have been coming off the bottom to eat the shiners Gross is using for bait. “The mangoes we’re catching are big enough that their tails stick out of a 5-gallon bucket,” Gross says.

Inshore, Gross is catching spotted sea trout on the deeper flats around Anna Maria Island. “Don’t be surprised if you start catching some big Spanish while you’re fishing for trout,” Gross says. “The deep-water grass edges are where it’s at.”

On a final note, Gross is catching snook up to 30 inches using white bait on the outgoing tide around the mangroves.

Jonny Keyes at Island Discount Tackle says beach fishers are having a great time targeting migratory species along the western shoreline of Anna Maria Island. “Look for schools of big jack crevalle,” Keyes says. “They’re cruising the shorelines and they’re hungry.”

For the jacks, fishers are using silver spoons, yellow jigs and white bait. Also, along the beaches bluefish, ladyfish and Spanish mackerel are looking to gorge on small bait schools. Look for diving birds and usually you’ll find the fish.

Moving a few miles off the beach, fishers are catching keeper gags, mangrove snapper and flounder around the reefs. “When you hook up, reel your fish in quick,” Keyes suggests. “Big barracuda have infested the reefs and won’t think twice about biting your catch in half on the way up.”

The mangrove snapper bite is in its early stages. As the water temps climb, the fishing should get better. Keyes suggests dropping down a live shiner cut in half for best results for these tasty little reef dwellers.

Capt. Sam Kimball of Legend Charters is fishing nearshore and offshore structures using a variety of baits to catch a variety of species. Bottom fishing is producing nice catches of mangrove snapper, gag grouper, flounder and Key West grunts. Using live shiners on the bottom is producing the gags and snapper, while shrimp or frozen squid is brining up Key West grunts and flounder.

Kimball is using live baits such as threadfin herring and shiners to fish the upper part of the water column. Kingfish and Spanish mackerel have been the targeted species for this method of fishing.

Other species being caught by flat-lining baits behind the boat include blue runners, bluefish and gag grouper. Yeah, that’s right, gag grouper. They must be hungry to leave their holes in the reef to come up and eat a bait. Not only is it exciting to see a gag blow up a bait on the top, but it also results in quite a battle on light tackle.

Kim Shearer of Annie’s Bait and Tackle says reports from the backwater have been good. Snook are being caught using white bait on the flats along the mangrove-lined shore of Sarasota Bay.

Sheepshead are still biting around the docks and local fishing piers. Live fiddlers are the best bait for the convict fish. Both redfish and spotted sea trout are caught using live shrimp.

Offshore fishers are reporting cobia and mangrove snapper around nearshore structures. Live pilchards are the bait of choice. Key West grunts are making a good showing on the reefs. Live shrimp or squid is working well for the tasty little scrappers. On a final note, Shearer adds, “We’re seeing a lot of nice kingfish coming back to the dock.”

Looking to turn your kids onto fishing and encourage conservation of our natural resources? Head to the Green Bridge Fishing Pier in Palmetto, FL on Saturday May 7, for the 25th Annual Jerry Hill Memorial Kids Free Fishing Tournament.

This free catch-and-release tournament is open to kids ages 7-14. Registration is between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. the day of the tourney. Each child must have his/her own rod and reel. For more information, call 941-794-2806.

Send fishing reports to

Islander Calendar – 04-27-2011

Wednesday, April 27
11 a.m. — Einstein Circle discussion on “Is Marriage Optional?” at the Studio at Gulf and Pine, 10101 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria. Information: 941-359-4296.
5 to 8 p.m. — Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce business mixer hosted by SteamDesigns at the Anna Maria Island Historical Museum, 402 Pine Ave., Anna Maria. Information: 941-778-1541. Fee applies.
5:30 p.m. — Sock-puppet craft program for teens at the Island Branch Library, 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-6341.

Friday, April 29
9 a.m. — Arbor Day tree planting at Lou Barolo Park, Highland Avenue at Fourth Street North, Bradenton Beach. Information: 941-713-1763.
10 a.m. — Arbor Day tree planting at Kingfish Boat Ramp, 752 Manatee Ave. W., Holmes Beach. Information: 941-713-1763.
10:30 a.m. — Arbor Day dedication of a new pocket park in memory of William Petring between Fifth and Sixth Avenues on the 40th Street right-of-way, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-713-1763.
11 a.m. — Arbor Day tree planting at Bayfront Park, 316 N. Bay Blvd., Anna Maria. Information: 941-713-1763.

Saturday, April 30
8:30 a.m. — Beverly Neville of the Friends of the Island Library will speak to the Kiwanis Club of Anna Maria Island at the Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe, 4000 Gulf Drive, Manatee Public Beach, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-7888.
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Prescription drug take back initiative at Holmes Beach Police Department, 5801 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-708-5804.

Monday, May 2
6:30 p.m. — Tim Sheffstacc of Island Tattoo will speak at the Artists’ Guild of Anna Maria Island at the Episcopal Church of the Annunciation, 4408 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-6694.

Wednesday, May 4
1:15 p.m. — Gulf Coast Writers meeting at the Island Branch Library, 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-496-4462.

• Tuesdays, 12:30 p.m., duplicate bridge at the Episcopal Church of the Annunciation, 4408 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-3390.
• Tuesdays, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., Coffee and Conversations for Seniors at the Anna Maria Island Community Center, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria. Information: 941-778-1908.
• Wednesdays, 6 to 8 p.m., teens meet at the Anna Maria Island Community Center, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria. Information: 941-778-1908.
• Wednesdays, 10 a.m., Settler’s bread sale at the Anna Maria Island Historical Society museum shop, 402 Pine Ave., Anna Maria.
• Alternating Wednesdays, 11 a.m., memory loss support group at the Longboat Island Chapel Aging in Paradise Resource Center, 6200 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key. Information: 941-383-6491.
• Wednesdays and Saturdays, 9 a.m., players pitch horseshoes in the pits at Anna Maria City Hall, 10005 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria. Information: 941-708-6130.
• Fridays, Senior Adventures Group meets for outings to various locations. Information: 941-962-8835.
• Saturdays, 8:30 a.m., Kiwanis Club of Anna Maria Island meets at the Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe, Manatee Public Beach, 4000 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach.

Thursday, April 28
7 p.m. — Outdoor Spring Fling concert at State College of Florida, 584 26th St. W., Bradenton. Information: 941-752-5252. Fee applies.

Coming Up:
• May 7, 10th annual Island Run for the Children’s Academy of Southwest Florida.
• May 7, Anna Maria Elementary Spring Fling, Anna Maria Island Community Center.
• May 7, Mother’s Day brunch and fashion show, CrossPointe Fellowship.
• May 7, Sister Keys clean-up, gather at Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant, Longboat Key.

Save the Date:
• May 13-14, Anna Maria City Pier Centennial Celebration, Anna Maria.
• May 21-22, Relay for Life, Coquina Beach.

AME calendar
Save the date for the following Anna Maria Elementary School happenings:
• April 27, 10:30 a.m., American Red Cross assembly, auditorium.
• April 28, 9 a.m., Manatee Historical Park field trip for fourth-graders.
• April 28, 8:15 a.m., Kiwanis Club of Anna Maria presents Bringing Up Grades award certificates.
• May 7, 6 p.m., Giddy-Up Spring Fling, Anna Maria Island Community Center.
AME is at 4700 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach.
For more information, call 941-708-5525.

Send calendar announcements to Please include the time, date and location of the event, a brief description and a contact via e-mail and phone.