Monthly Archives: December 2016

Sports – 06-29-2011

Adult coed flag football season under way

There were a couple of blowouts and one really close game that highlighted adult coed flag football action on June 23. Agnelli Pool & Spa Dolphins put up 49 points in a 49-20 victory over Slim’s Place Patriots while Sato Real Estate Browns edged Integrity Sound Redskins by a 13-12 score. The last game of the evening saw Island Sun Panthers slip past Beach to Bay Construction Bucs 25-15.

The game of the week, however, saw the undefeated Martiniville Saints romp past Tyler’s Ice Cream Steelers 38-13 to take an early lead in the standings. They sit at 2-0 while the rest of the league is 1-1 except for the 0-2 Integrity Sound Redskins.

The Saints received a huge game from Ryan Moss, who completed 10-of-15 passes for 215 yards and four touchdown passes while also rushing for 53 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Jonathan Moss added two touchdown receptions and an extra point to go along with 93 receiving yards. The Saints also got a good fame from Nate Talucci who finished with a pair of touchdown receptions and 57 receiving yards and Amy Talucci who completed the scoring with an extra-point reception and added one flag pull on defense.

Jonathan Moss led the team with three pulls while Ryan Moss finished with two pulls in the victory.

The Steelers were led by Jason Garden who completed one pass for 15 yards, ran for 15 yards and added 20 receiving  yards and a pair of touchdowns. Chuck McCracken threw for 85 yards and a touchdown while Alan Conley contributed 41 all-purpose yards and scored an extra point.

Garden led the team with three flag pulls while Conley and McCracken each finished with one flag pull in the loss.

Key Royale golf news

The Key Royale Club men played an 18-hole, individual-low-net golf match June 15. Carl Voyles managed the low round of the day with a 6-under-par 58, edging Charlie Knopp and Dennis Schavey by one stroke to claim bragging rights for the day.

The men played a nine-hole, modified Stableford or quota point game June 14. Mike Brakefield took individual honors with his plus 3, while the team of Terry Schaefer, Art McMillan, Al DiCostanzo and Jerry Dahl combined to card a minus 2 to capture the team event.

From the pits

Four teams qualified for the playoffs during June 25 horseshoe action at the Anna Maria City Hall horseshoe pits. Debbie Rhodes and John Johnson wiped out Steve Doyle and Tom Skoloda 23-4, while Jeff Moore rolled past Jerry Disbrow and John Graham 22-7. Moore prevailed in the finals, defeating Rhodes-Johnson 21-12 to claim bragging rights for the day.

Three teams emerged from pool play during June 22 horseshoe action. Ron Pepka and Ralph Richey, a visiting police chief from Florence, Ala., drew the bye and watched as Norm Good and Jerry Disbrow defeated John Johnson and Jay Disbrow 24-16. Good and Jay Disbrow then rolled to a 22-7 victory over Pepka and Richey in the finals.

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.

FWC surveys on shark fishing changes

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s public forum in Sarasota June 23 drew a number of anglers and fishing guides, many of whom disagreed with an FWC proposal to add great hammerheads and tiger sharks to the banned fishing list.

FWC division of fisheries management analyst Aaron Podey opened the forum by saying the FWC wanted public input statewide on three questions before implementing any new regulations:

• Should great hammerhead and tiger sharks be added to the list of shark species prohibited from harvest?

• Should the FWC ban chumming from shore or within 100 feet of a public beach?

• Should the FWC require the use of non-offset, non-stainless steel circle hooks when using natural bait to target, harvest or possess any shark, or just when catching a shark species that does not have a minimum length requirement?

At present, the FWC requires sharks not on the protected list, such as a great hammerhead, bonnethead, bull or tiger, to be a minimum of 54 inches long for harvesting.

Podey prefaced the forum by saying Florida shark populations are dwindling, particularly the great hammerhead and tiger shark numbers. And many local governments have asked the FWC to ban chumming for sharks, or any fish, from public beaches. The input from the statewide meetings will be used to make final recommendations to the FWC, he said.

But Capt. Bill Goldschmitt of Sarasota didn’t accept that the FWC is impartial by getting comments first before making any recommendations. It’s a done deal, he alleged.

“The agenda is to prohibit shark fishing in the United States,” Goldschmitt claimed.

He said he was a commercial fisherman for 25 years before being put out of business, attends many shark-fishing tournaments and runs his own shark tournament.

There are plenty of sharks in Florida waters, he said, but data showing shark populations increasing is never published because “this would go against the agenda” of the anti-fishing animal rights groups, Goldschmitt claimed.

“There is no credible evidence that sharks are over-fished” in U.S. waters, he said. If the FWC adds hammerheads and tiger sharks to its prohibited fishing list, Goldschmitt said he has a group of anglers ready to sue the FWC.

Although only Goldschmitt discussed legal action, some boat captains agreed there is an anti-fishing agenda.

Capt. Shawn Paxton said many anglers didn’t bother to come because “the FWC does not take into account the word of experienced people” he claimed and this is an “effort to advance an anti-fishing agenda.”

Paxton said he wants “practical conservation methods,” not “unenforceable laws” such as a ban on chumming from shore or a ban on hammerhead fishing.

“We practice catch and release,” Paxton said, and he and his brother don’t need a law to tell them to do that. The practice should be encouraged throughout the state, but not mandated for hammerheads and tiger sharks, he said.

Paxton agreed that the use of a circle hook is “very efficient,” to release a fish, but a lot of public education is needed on how to safely remove a circle hook from a shark, or any fish, without serious injury to the fish.

“People are trying circle hooks and finding they work. Don’t throw a wet blanket on what’s working by rushing in a law. Let people learn on their own.”

Brooks Paxton, Shawn’s brother, said a ban on chumming from shore is a waste of money, time and paper.

“It’s not practical. It’s an unneeded and unenforceable law, and I don’t know anyone who chums from shore. And my brother and I have shark fished from shore for 20 years.”

Many anglers and captains commented that public education is needed on how to release a fish caught on a circle hook.

Robert Lavewa, who said he owned an area bait and tackle store for 30 years, said the easiest way to release a shark from a circle hook is to use a pair of wire cutters and cut the lead or the line, leaving the hook in the shark’s mouth. Digging out the circle hook improperly will “damage the shark,” and it will die when released.

“You’ve got a catch-and-release program that really is catch and kill,” he said.

Additionally, some circle hooks cost up to $25, Lavewa said, and the average person will wreck the shark’s jaw trying to retrieve that $25 hook. “In fact, I’ve seen guys wreck a fish jaw for a 25-cent hook.”

Other anglers agreed on the difficulty of removing a circle hook, and a few said a j-hook is much easier to remove from a shark’s jaw.

There was consensus among the anglers that a ban on shore chumming was unnecessary. Chumming from shore doesn’t even work, one angler said.

Podey acknowledged that shark fishing is a popular sport in Florida, and the FWC is not trying to ban shark fishing. The FWC is trying to find a balance to ensure the continued survival of great hammerheads and tiger sharks, but not by eliminating sport fishing.

The catch-and-release program and use of circle hooks are proposals that might solve those issues.

After the meeting, Podey said he believes that whatever is finally adopted by the FWC must include public education on catch and release, circle hooks, and conservation of Florida’s shark population.

The recommendations from the FWC’s division of fisheries management will be presented to the FWC in September at a public meeting of the commission, but no final action will be taken at that time.

“They usually tell us to tweak some of the recommendations,” Podey said.

Any change to existing state fishing regulations would come after the FWC’s January 2012 public meeting in Key Largo, where the FWC would formally adopt any new fishing laws, he said.

The FWC regulates Florida fishing out to 3 miles on the Atlantic coast and 9 miles on Florida’s Gulf coast.

Hand to hand

Anti-drilling demonstrators — about 40 — gather June 25 on the beach near 52nd Street in Holmes Beach for Hands Across the Sand, a global event to promote clean energy alternatives to oil exploration, extraction and consumption. Islander Photos: Lisa Neff

Holmes Beach resident Pete Gross, right, who coordinated Hands Across the Sand at 52nd Street June 25, talks with Bradenton resident Mary Shepard about an initiative to amend the state constitution to ban oil exploration and drilling in state waters.

Manuela Hebert of Anna Maria Island and Tanya Toner of Tampa hold hands during a demonstration June 25 for clean energy alternatives to oil — and drilling for oil. A Hands Across the Sand event also took place in Anna Maria near Cedar Avenue.

At noon, anti-drilling demonstrators hold hands to form a chain on the beach in Holmes Beach. Events took place throughout the world. The first global Hands Across the Sand took place last summer, largely in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

A sign at the beach access near 52nd Street in Holmes Beach advertises Hands Across the Sand June 25.

Hands Across the Sand attracts children and adults to the shore in Holmes Beach.

Harry Davis, Wally the Alligator and Janice Johnson, all of Riverview, join in Hands Across the Sand.

Council seeks to ban horses on causeway

Bradenton City Council’s move to ban horseback riding along the Palma Sola Causeway has some galloping mad and others perplexed.

Only a few causeway regulars surveyed last week endorsed the recent 4-1 council vote for city attorney Bill Lisch to draft an ordinance prohibiting horses on the causeway, a main route from Bradenton to Anna Maria Island.

Councilman Gene Gallo proposed the ban during a meeting June 22. He said horses on the causeway create a health and safety issue and that he had received complaints about horse waste on Palma Sola’s beach and in the bay.

One councilman, Bemis Smith, opposed the move with the explanation that he’s a “small government conservative.” He predicted public response would be against the ban.

The day after the vote, the proposed prohibition triggered a buzz in online forums, at city hall and especially on the causeway — an unofficial survey of beachgoers on the thin strip of shore found about nine in 10 opposed a ban.

“I think the horses on the beach give it character,” said Amelia Turner of Anna Maria. “It creates a beautiful scene. I come here about every day with my dog. I spend more time here than on the beach in Anna Maria.”

Vacationer Henry Ryman of Belleville, Ill., said, “But I was thinking it would be a fun thing for the family to try. What’s the problem? I sure don’t see logic in banning horses and allowing dogs.”

Another vacationer, Elaine Abrams of Paterson, N.J., wondered about domestic animals on the beach and in the water. “We stopped for lunch,” she said. “But I don’t think I’d go swimming in there.”

During the council meeting, public works director Claude Tankersley said that horses contribute to the fecal coliform in the Palma Sola water and that feces and urine contribute to algae growth.

The irony of that concern about animal waste didn’t escape some causeway regulars, as well as Timothy A. Mattox, CEO of Great World Adventures, which operates BeachHorses.com to provide opportunities for horseback riding on the causeway.

For about 13 hours June 14-15, an estimated 3.5 million gallons of sewage spilled into the Manatee River from a broken pipe at Bradenton’s wastewater treatment facility. Mattox said it was “almost laughable” that a city official could maintain that dumping raw sewage has “zero impact but a little horse poop in Palma Sola Bay is a health and safety issue.”

He added that his company endorsed the city’s ordinance requiring people to pick up after their animals, that the BeachHorses.com crew always cleans up after the horses. Also, he said, horses are herbivores, so their waste might be nitrogen-rich but it “dissolves quickly.”

Mattox said he was blindsided by the council vote, which he claimed was based on misinformation and incorrect assumptions.

The proposed ban would bring the BeachHorses.com business to a halt, as well as stop individual horse-owners from riding along the causeway.

“It’s the only public beach south of Jacksonville that permits horseback riding,” Mattox said. “This is not only an issue for business. The causeway is an important venue for all horse-owners throughout southern and central Florida. That little strip of sand is the only one around. There are horse-lovers throughout the state who are up in arms.”

Patrons of BeachHorses.com, from travel writers to vacationers, have posted raves about the Palma Sola experience, and local tourism officials encourage visitors to take rides. Horse-surfing on Palma Sola is the No. 1 tourist activity in Bradenton, according to TripAdvisor.com.

“It’s not just an attraction for tourists who are here,” Mattox said. “It attracts tourists who are visiting other parts of the state — Daytona, Miami, Orlando. Someone goes to maybe South Beach or Disney, but drives four hours to here to go to Palma Sola. We are putting heads in beds.… And with the horse-surfing, made this a unique destination.”

Court renders Stoltzfus moot

The Florida 2nd District Court of Appeal on June 22 dismissed the case filed by former Anna Maria Commissioner Harry Stoltzfus to appeal his recall from office.

The recall was brought by the Recall Stoltzfus Committee formed by Robert Carter in May 2010.

In a brief order, the court said the appeal was “dismissed as moot,” with all appeal judges assigned to the case concurring.

Efforts to reach Stoltzfus to learn if the ruling would be appealed were unsuccessful, as were efforts to reach Stoltzfus attorney Richard Harrison of Tampa.

Stoltzfus was recalled 362-331 in a special election Sept. 7, 2010, after the 12th Circuit Court upheld the legality of the recall committee’s effort that obtained the required number of signatures to hold the vote.

After the committee submitted its first set of signatures to the supervisor of elections office in May 2010, Stoltzfus sued the committee and Carter, claiming the committee was not legally sufficient and the court should declare the recall invalid.

The court held several hearings on the lawsuit, but eventually ruled the committee was legal and the recall election should take place.

Stoltzfus appealed the decision to the Florida 2nd DCA on the grounds he was not given due process, but the appeal court allowed the election to proceed on Sept. 7, 2010, as scheduled. The results were not announced immediately under a court-ordered stay, but were released Sept. 13.

In the same recall election, Gene Aubry was elected 363-333 to serve the remainder of Stoltzfus’ term.

It was the first-ever recall election in Manatee County, according to the supervisor of elections office.

In an ironic twist, Florida law allowed Stoltzfus to seek election to the seat he held in the same election that voters were deciding whether he should be recalled. The possibility existed that Stoltzfus could have been recalled from office, but elected to complete the remainder of his own term.

The Recall Stoltzfus Committee was formed in April 2010 after Stoltzfus’ personal e-mails that pertained to city business were made public following a public records request by legal consultant Michael Barfield of Sarasota.

Those e-mails contained several statements by Stoltzfus that were derogatory to then-Mayor Fran Barford, including one in which he called Barford a “donkey.”

In another of the more than 800 e-mails released, Stoltzfus discussed how a group of residents should sue the city without his name mentioned. Stoltzfus also mentioned he had some sources to fund the litigation against the city.

Stoltzfus consistently has denied any wrongdoing.

Island police blotter – 06-29-2011

Anna Maria

• June 23, north beach, vandalism. Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch reported to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office a series of incidents causing disturbances in a shorebird nesting ground.

Anna Maria is policed by the MCSO.

Bradenton Beach

• June 22, Coquina Beach, medical emergency. Manatee County Marine Rescue and Emergency Medical Services responded to the beach, where a swimmer was found unresponsive in the water.

Bradenton Beach is policed by the BBPD.

Cortez

• No new reports.

Cortez is policed by the MCSO.

Holmes Beach

• June 15, 300 block of 58th Street, burglary. The Holmes Beach Police Department received a report that someone removed items from a rental property and possibly was squatting in the property.

• June 18, 3600 block of East Bay Drive, theft. HBPD arrested a 27-year-old man for allegedly stealing a T-shirt and four pairs of shorts from a store. The man was apprehended in the 4000 block of Sixth Avenue after allegedly fleeing the store. He faces a misdemeanor charge.

• June 18, 300 block of 62nd St., theft. HBPD received a report of a bicycle theft from an open garage. The bike was a blue women’s Huffy beach cruiser.

• June 18, 100 block of 50th Street, burglary. The HBPD received a report of a vehicle break-in. Someone used a large rock to break a passenger window and remove a wallet and mobile phone from the vehicle.

• June 18, 300 block of 62nd Street, theft. The HBPD received a report of a bicycle theft from outside a home. The bike was a purple girl’s bike with a basket.

• June 21, 6500 block of Gulf Drive, theft. The HBPD received a report that someone removed several items left overnight on the beach, including six chairs, a canopy and an umbrella. HBPD informed the complainant that the city’s turtle protection ordinance prohibits leaving furniture and toys on the beach overnight.

• June 21, 7700 block of Gulf Drive, theft. The HBPD received a report of a bicycle theft. The bike was described as green, old and rusty, with three wheels.

Holmes Beach is policed by the HBPD.

Streetlife is based on incident reports and narratives from the BBPD, HBPD and MCSO.

Obituaries – 06-29-2011

Richard Wayne Baker

Richard Wayne Baker, 73, of Bradenton, died June 22. He was born in Atwood, Ill., and moved to Bradenton in 1976 from Tuscola, Ill.

Mr. Baker was a sergeant in the Illinois National Guard and an accountant for A. Paradise Realty in Holmes Beach.

Services will be private. Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel, Bradenton, was in charge. Memorial donations may be made to R.H. Prine Elementary School Library, 3801 Southern Parkway W., Bradenton FL 34205. Online condolences may be made at www.brownandsonsfuneral.com.

Mr. Baker is survived by his wife of 50 years, Nancy; sons Robert and wife Evelyn of Bradenton; Douglas of Altamonte Springs; sisters Nancy Knapp of Elkhart, Ind., and Sue Sadler of St. Joseph, Ill.; grandchildren Zach, Rachel, Christopher, Aubrey, Abi, Mia, Jeremiah, and Henry.

Elizabeth Pierce Moss

Elizabeth Pierce Moss, 93, of Anna Maria, died June 25. She was born Aug. 23, 1917, in Bartow. She first came to Anna Maria with family on vacation when she was 4 years old. Her family purchased the home where she resided on the beach end of Willow Avenue in 1943.

She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Florida State College for Women (later Florida State University).

She moved to Anna Maria in the 1950s where she met and married her late husband Eugene. They taught at Anna Maria Elementary School. The couple was named Anna Maria Citizens of the Year in 2003.

Mrs. Moss was a charter member of the Anna Maria Historical Society and, according to long-time friend Carolyne Norwood, “gave the best tours of the museum of anyone they ever had.” She was assistant city clerk in Anna Maria during the years when Ernie Cagnina was mayor. She was a member of Roser Memorial Community Church for more than 50 years, a member of the Daughter’s of the American Revolution and the League of Women Voters. She was co-grand marshal with Carolyne Norwood of the Anna Maria City Pier Centennial Parade.

A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Friday, July 1, at Roser Memorial Community Church, 512 Pine Ave.

Anna Maria. Memorial donations may be made to Meals on Wheels or Manasota Buds (www.manasotabuds.org).

Mrs. Moss is survived by her children, Jim, Ed and Beth Waters; grandchildren Ryan, David, Brent, Amy, Jonathan, Matthew, Greg, Melanie and Alyssa; and great-grandchild Mason.

Bette C. Riordan

Bette C. Riordan, 89, of Bradenton, formerly of Anna Maria, died April 24.

Mrs. Riordan was a longtime member of Key Royale Club and 70-year member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Memorial donations may be made to the Madame Brett Homestead, in care of Daughters of the American Revolution, Melzingah Chapter, 50 VanNydeck Ave., Beacon NY 12508, for the continued preservation of the historic landmark.

Mrs. Riordan is survived by daughter Elizabeth Davitt and husband Robert L. McDermott of Maidens, Va.; grandsons Peter D. McDermott of Bradenton and Kevin M. McDermott of Maidens, Va.; and great grand-daughter Kaitlyn E. McDermott of Maidens, Va.

Island real estate transactions – 06-29-2011

407 74th St., Unit B, Bay Breeze, Holmes Beach, a 2,098 sfla / 3,459 sfur 3bed/2½bath/2car land condo with pool built in 2005 was sold 06/03/11, Rudek to Aktiebolag for $504,000; list $590,000.

712 Key Royale Drive, Holmes Beach, a 1,562 sfla / 2,572 sfur 3bed/2bath/2car canalfront home built in 1983 on a 70×116 lot was sold 05/27/11, Nowak to Estabrooks for $370,000; list $449,900.

205 65th St., Holmes Beach, a 816 sfla / 1,086 sfur 2bed/1bath home built in 1950 on a 118×100 lot was sold 06/10/11, Norman to Carter & Beach to Bay Investments Inc. for $500,000.

102 68th St., Unit 101, Seaside Beach House, Holmes Beach, a 1,275 sfla 2bed/1½bath condo with shared pool built in 1977 was sold 06/03/11, Perger to Crager for $338,000; list $399,000.

241 17th St., Unit 9, Bradenton Beach Club, Bradenton Beach, a 1,676 sfla / 2,118 sfur 2bed/2bath/2car condo with shared pools built in 2003 was sold 06/03/11, Mercier to Overgard Properties LLC for $335,000; list $339,000.

312 64th St., Unit 308, Sixty Fourth Street, Holmes Beach, a 2,040 sfla / 2,184 sfur 4bed/2bath condo with pool built in 1993 was sold 05/27/11, Federal National Mortgage Association to Bresnahan for $274,900; list $274,900.

611 Gulf Drive N., Unit B12, Imperial House, Bradenton Beach, a 794 sfla 2bed/1bath 55+ condo with shared pool built in 1969 was sold 06/06/11, Staten to Ohlman for $158,000.

2312 Avenue C, Unit 11, King of Hardts Lay Z Liv N, Bradenton Beach, a 651 sfla 1bed/1bath condo with shared pool built in 1979 was sold 06/06/11, Perry to Hogan for $135,000.

611 Gulf Drive N., Unit C16, Imperial House, Bradenton Beach, a 664 sfla 1bed/1bath 55+ condo with shared pool built in 1969 was sold 06/08/11, Reubold to Mackay for $87,000; list $122,495.

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

Fishing – 06-29-2011

Summertime fishing in full swing

If you haven’t noticed, summer is here. With temperatures reaching the upper 90s you may want to plan your fishing adventures a little differently. This is especially important if you pan to fish from shore or on the shallow grass flats from your boat. Remember, the Florida heat not only affects us, it also affects the fish. Most fish we target on the flats prefer water less than 85 degrees. Therefore fishing at high noon on a hot summer day probably isn’t the best time to target shallow-water species. The solution to this problem is to start fishing earlier. Water temperatures are cooler in the morning. If you’re going to catch live bait, plan on being in your bait spot ready to throw the net, the second there is enough light to see. If you’re fishing artificials, the same concept applies. Be at your spot and start fishing at first light. A few degrees in water temperature can make a world of difference.

Another option is to just start fishing at night. Fishing at night can have other benefits other than escaping the heat. For one, there’s less pressure on the fish at night since there are fewer anglers targeting them. Second, if you’re targeting snook, they generally feed better at night anyway. The same applies foe spotted sea trout. At night, small baitfish and shrimp are attracted to lights that shine into the water. For this reason snook ad trout will lurk on the outskirts of the light darting in occasionally for a midnight snack. Not only can you see the fish feeding under the lights, but they’re generally more apt to eat your bait if you present it right.

Bob Kilb at the Rod & Reel Pier says with the hatch bait beginning to appear so are the Spanish mackerel. “We’re not catching great numbers yet,” says Kilb.” But they should be here soon.”

Also around the pier, fishers are catching some over-slot redfish. Try catching small blue crabs and cutting them into pieces to use for bait to catch these reds. If they’re there, they’ll usually eat a piece of crab.

Capt. Mark Johnston of Just Reel Fishing Charters is fishing Sarasota Bay targeting redfish and trout using live shiners for bait. “When I’m using shiners for redfish,” Johnston says, “I like to crush them a little. The reds seem to hit them better that way.” Johnston is catching slot redfish under docks and on shallower flats in the bay. Spotted sea trout are being caught on deeper flats using free lined shiners and also shiners under a popping cork. Again, slot fish have been the norm with a few fish in the 24-inch range. While targeting spotted sea trout, Johnston is catching Spanish mackerel and ladyfish as a by-catch. Lastly, Johnston is targeting tarpon just off the beaches of Anna Maria Island with good results. Fish in the 60-100 pound class have been the norm.

Ken Davis at Rotten Ralph’s on the Historic Bridge Street Pier says

Jonny Keyes at Island Discount Tackle says beach action is picking up with reports of spotted sea trout and snook being caught in the morning and evening. “Look for them running the beach,” Keyes says.

Best bait for either species is a live shiner, although a small ladyfish put in front of a big snook is a sure-fire way to get yourself into the fight of a lifetime.

In the backcountry, fishing the deeper flats is resulting in spotted sea trout, Spanish mackerel and ladyfish. Both live shiners and artificials are producing good numbers. Redfish seem to be a little scattered, although slot fish are being reported.

Moving offshore, the snapper bite is beginning to pick up. All varieties of snapper are being brought to the docks. Red snapper are being caught in water depths of 120 feet and deeper. Mangrove snapper are being caught in as little as 50 feet of water. Live shiners and frozen sardines are working well. Also take some live pinfish for the bigger red snapper.

Capt. Mark Howard of SumoTime fishing charters says he’s been working overtime this last month chasing the schools of tarpon that have invaded the beaches and passes of Anna Maria and Tampa Bay. Howard’s preferred method of fishing for silver kings is to anchor up-tide of the rolling fish and chum with shiners to draw them to the back of the boat. On a recent charter Howard had the tarpon swimming behind and below the stern gulping down chummers resulting in 16 hookups.

Howard has been targeting speckled sea trout and they’ve been “coming over the rails” in good numbers and size. Howard reports landing fish over 20-inches on most of his inshore charters. Howard suggests using a de-hooking device to increase the chance of survival for the smaller trout.

Shiners have gotten small recently so it is imperative to down size your hooks and leader. Howard has gone from using 2/0 Owner live-bait hooks to 1/0 or size 1 Owner live-bait hooks. “If necessary put two shiners on a hook,” Howard suggests.

“Looking forward, the tides for next week should provide for some excellent fishing with big high tides early and very low tides in the afternoon. These tides will concentrate the fish in the potholes and in the passes,” Howard says.

Capt. Warren Girle is fishing a variety of species ganging from grouper offshore, to trout and reds inshore. On a full day offshore, Girle says they caught and released tons of red and gag grouper. “Most of the fish are under slot,” Girle says,” But its non-stop action out there.” Girle is catching mangrove snapper to 16 inches as well as plenty of Key West grunts.

Moving inshore, Girle is wading the flats of Sarasota Bay for redfish and trout. “Target the schools of mullet to find the reds,” Girle says. “The redfish are scattered but the ones we’re catching are ranging from 15-26 inches.

Girle is still fishing tarpon along the beaches of Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key. Live shiners, threadfins and crabs are working well. Fish are averaging in the 100-pound class.

Capt. Logan Bystrom is targeting tarpon along the beached and in the passes both north and south. While fishing the beaches, Bystrom is using live threadfin herring as an offering to entice wary tarpon to bite. The water on the beachside of Anna Maria has been gin-clear in recent days. To aide in stealth, Bystrom likes to use 50-pound fluorocarbon ties to a 6/0 Gamakatsu 4X Strong hook. Also while bait fishing the beaches, Bystrom opts to use a 9-foot casting rod paired with a Shimano conventional reel for better leverage while fighting big tarpon. “You get optimum performance for casting when you use a weighted cork,” Bystrom says. “It’s perfect for the type of fishing we’re doing right now.”

Fish on the beach are averaging 80-120 pounds with bigger fish being caught occasionally. “The fish are a little scattered right now,” Bystrom says. “On the backside of the full moon, the fish tend to head south.” On an up-note, Bystrom predicts the tarpon will school up again around the new moon.

Jeff Medley at the south bait shop on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge Fishing Piers says Spanish mackerel are showing in good number and they’re big too. “all of the hatch bait is starting to appear,” Medley says. “Which in-turn brings in the Spanish Mackerel.”

Small spoons, crappie jigs and Gotcha plugs in the 5/8-ounce size are producing good numbers of fish in the 18-25 inch range. Of course, with good numbers of Spanish mackerel come good numbers of shark. Lemon, bull and bonnethead sharks are being caught on small chunk of Spanish mackerel fished on the bottom. Make sure you have stout tackle. These sharks are ranging from 3 to 6 feet in length. Pompano are still biting in the shallower waters around the beginning of the pier. Love’s lures pompano jigs tipped with a piece of peeled shrimp are working great.

Cobia are still hanging around the end of the pier, although the numbers of fish being seen are dwindling. Get out there while they’re still there and throw a pinfish or threadfin herring in front of one and see what happens. Night fishing around the Skyway piers is producing mangrove snapper. For best results, drift small shiners under the pier and hang on.

On a final note, I want to wish Gabrielle Medley, Jeff’s daughter a happy 8th birthday. Keep catching those Spanish mackerel off the pier Gabrielle!

Send fishing reports to fish@islander.org.

Islander Calendar – 06-29-2011

Wednesday, June 29

5:30 p.m. — “T-shirt surgery” craft workshop for teens at the Island Branch Library, 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-6341.

Friday, July 1

7:30 a.m. to noon — Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch garage sale at 214 69th St., Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-5638.

4:30 to 7 p.m. — The Anna Maria Island Privateers will capture the city of Bradenton Beach at City Hall, 107 Gulf Drive N., Bradenton Beach.

Saturday, July 2

7:30 a.m. to noon — Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch garage sale at 214 69th St., Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-5638.

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Turtle Watch Kids Club on the beach by Coconuts Beach Resort, 100 73rd St., Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-5638.

Sunday, July 3

After dark — Annual fireworks extravaganza over the Gulf of Mexico at the BeachHouse Restaurant, 200 Gulf Drive N., Bradenton Beach. Information: 941-779-2222.

Monday, July 4

9 a.m. — Flag-raising, music and 21-gun salute at the Key Royale Club, 700 Key Royale Club, Key Royale. Information: 941-920-3147.

10 a.m. — Anna Maria Island Privateers Fourth of July parade departs from Coquina Beach, Bradenton Beach. Information: 941-780-1668.

Noon to 4 p.m. — Anna Maria Island Privateers annual scholarship award ceremony and holiday picnic at the Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe, Manatee Public Beach, 4000 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-780-1668.

After dark — Fourth of July fireworks over the Sandbar Restaurant, 100 Spring Ave., Anna Maria. Information: 941-778-8709.

Wednesday, July 6

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

5:30 p.m. — Origami craft workshop for teens at the Island Branch Library, 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-6341.

Ongoing:

• Tuesdays, noon, Rotary Club of Anna Maria Island meetings at the BeachHouse Restaurant, 200 Gulf Drive N., Bradenton Beach. Information: 941-794-8044.

• Wednesdays, 7 a.m., Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring lead a turtle tour for those who gather at the Manatee Public Beach, 4000 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, through July. Information: 941-778-5638.

• Wednesdays, two hours before sunset, the city of Bradenton Beach hosts a sunset picnic with entertainer Mike Sales at Katie Pierola Sunset Park, 2200 block of Gulf Drive North, Bradenton Beach. Information: 941-448-5798.

• 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 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.

• Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., practice landscape painting techniques with Rhea Chiles at the Studio at Gulf and Pine, 10101 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria. Information: 941-778-1906.

• Fridays, Senior Adventures Group meets for outings to various locations. Information: 941-962-8835.

• Fridays, 7 to 10 p.m., drum circle with Mike Sales and Scott Blum at Manatee Public Beach, 4000 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-526-6789.

• Saturdays through Aug. 13, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., fishing excursions for kids departing from the Anna Maria Island Community Center, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria. Information: 941-778-1908. Fee applies.

• 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.

Off-Island:

Friday, July 1

5 p.m. — Splash Film Series: “Oceans” at the South Florida Museum, 201 10th St. W., Bradenton. Information: 941-746-4131. Fee applies.

Saturday, July 2

4 to 8 p.m. — “American Tales and Hotdogs” family night at the South Florida Museum, 201 10th St. W., Bradenton. Information: 941-746-4131. Fee applies.

After dark — “Boom Boom on the Bay” fireworks display over Sarasota Bay at Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant, 760 Broadway St., Longboat Key. Information: 941-383-2391.

Monday, July 4

5 p.m. — Independence Day concert featuring Henry Lawrence, Scholar’s Word and headliner Eddie Money at Lamb and Sutton Park, 700 10th Ave. W., Palmetto, followed by fireworks over the Manatee riverfront. Information: 941-723-4988.

Coming Up:

• July 8, Splash Film Series: “180 Degrees South,” South Florida Museum.

• July 11-15, PandaMania Vacation Bible School, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church.

• July 12, Democratic Women’s Club social, Manatee Public Beach.

• July 13, college entrance preparation workshop, Island Branch Library.

Save the Date:

• July 14, Anna Maria Island Privateers rum tasting, Gulf Drive Cafe Tiki Hut.

• July 16, Snooty’s 63rd Birthday Bash and Wildlife Festival, South Florida Museum.

• Aug. 4, Anna Maria Island Privateers “Walk the Plank” party, Cortez Clam Factory.

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