Monthly Archives: January 2017

April hearing date set in Musil-Buehler murder case

The 12th Judicial Circuit Court last week reset a hearing in the case of William J. Cumber, charged with second-degree murder in the case of a missing Anna Maria Island woman.

To manage what is expected to involve voluminous pre-trial discovery, the court set April 17 for attorneys to report on case discovery and trial preparation, and possibly set a trial date.

Cumber is accused of killing Sabine Musil-Buehler, who he shared an apartment with in Anna Maria and who went missing in November 2008.

On Jan. 15, assistant State Attorney Art Brown filed a four-page synopsis of items given to Cumber’s attorney, Carolyn Schlemmer, including witness statements, polygraph reports, crime scene contamination logs, consents to search and phone records. In December 2012, he filed a one-page list of people who may have evidence pertaining to the case.

Schlemmer is expected to reciprocate with similar disclosures.

Brown said he expects the defense to take a number of depositions in preparing the case.

Musil-Buehler had lived with Cumber in the 200 block of Magnolia Avenue, Anna Maria, when she was discovered missing Nov. 6, 2008. She and her estranged husband, Tom Buehler, owned and operated Haley’s Motel in Holmes Beach.

An MCSO investigation began that day with a traffic stop of Musil-Buehler’s car being driven in Bradenton by Robert Corona. Deputies checked the car registration and began looking for Musil-Buehler. They interviewed Tom Buehler, who told them his estranged wife was missing. He then filed a missing person’s report.

An MCSO detective spoke to Cumber the same day in the Magnolia Avenue apartment, and became suspicious after smelling bleach during the interview.

On Oct. 15, 2012, Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube announced Cumber’s arrest for his girlfriend’s murder. Two days later he pleaded not guilty and filed a demand for a jury trial.

Cumber is being held in the Manatee County jail without bond. He was serving time related to a previous arson case and parole violation at the time of his arrest.

He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted on the murder charge.

The case management hearing is set for 9 a.m. before Judge Thomas Krug in 6A at the Manatee County Judicial Center, 1051 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

Choice to reject museum offer ‘wasn’t vindictive’

Board members of the Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage say there was nothing personal in rejecting an offer from the Florida Maritime Museum to host FISH educational exhibits during the Feb. 16-17 Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival.

The decision to reject the offer forced Manatee County Clerk of Circuit Court R.B. “Chips” Shore to institute a mandatory user fee for FISH to use museum property, as outlined in the Florida Communities Trust agreement, which helped complete the county purchase of the 1912 Cortez schoolhouse, now the museum.

The agreement’s terms were unknown to FISH and the museum until an audit occurred last year. The discovery that FISH would have to pay the museum to use its property and no longer split revenue with the museum created a deep riff between the two entities.

Some appear to think that riff never healed and Shore’s Jan. 3 resignation from the FISH board of directors was due to the decision to reject the museum’s offer.

FISH treasurer Jane von Hahmann explained in a series of emails that she could not recommend Shore’s offer based solely on the financial gains FISH incurs by using the museum grounds for their own exhibits.

However, FISH festival chair Linda Molto said it goes beyond financials.

“Chips suggested the museum would coordinate and plan all educational programs for the festival at no cost to FISH,” she said. “He said it benefits FISH to provide education to the greater community.”

But Molto said Shore’s offer meant moving up to 20 planned FISH exhibits and booths off of museum grounds to make way for what the museum wanted to do.

“There is not a square inch of room left to move one exhibit, much less the number of exhibits and artists we have already planned at the museum,” said Molto.

Shore claimed in his emails that last year’s exhibits on museum property raised $1,500. According to FISH financials, the profit was substantially more and Molto said FISH would lose a lot of money if it accepted the museum’s offer.

Financials show that artist fees to have a booth at the festival raised $1,885, food vendors stationed at the museum raised $902 and raffle ticket sales for a boat generated $2,130.

Children’s entertainment booths generated $1,448, “so what he said is simply not true,” said Molto.

“He said we could move all the artists, children’s entertainment, a ticket booth and the entertainment we have planned for the stage at the Bratton Store elsewhere,” she said. “That’s impossible. The only way to accommodate his offer is to cut these people out of the festival and that’s something we cannot do.”

Molto said vendors have been applying for festival space since November and they already have received their acceptance papers.

“And besides that, I have known these artists and food vendors for years,” she said. “We are like a family, so to tell them at the last minute they don’t have a place in our festival would be unprofessional and impossible.”

Because FISH rejected the museum’s offer, Shore instituted a $500 a day user fee for FISH to use museum property per the Florida Communities Trust agreement, which states any fundraising activities on museum grounds must be charged the fee.

“But this will be the first time we’ve ever had to pay that fee,” Molto. “We didn’t pay it last year when this agreement became known and we never paid it before, so why is it coming up now?”

Molto is concerned about the fee, but she is more concerned with the continued divisive nature between FISH and the museum.

“It’s important that we work together,” she said. “We know that the festival brings people to the museum. We just need to understand that we can better benefit one another by working together.”

Shore’s emails indicated his unhappiness with FISH’s decision to reject his offer, but his reason for resigning from the board of directors had more to do with what Shore called “inflammatory language and rhetoric” used by FISH board members toward his office and the museum staff, in particular.

Molto acknowledged the riff between FISH and the museum, but it was Shore’s efforts to hire a facilitator to bring the two entities together that she points to as a hope that Shore will reconsider his resignation and continue to have FISH and the museum show a spirit of cooperation.

Shore was particularly upset with FISH secretary Joe Kane’s minutes from a November festival committee. When Shore announced that he had no choice to implement the mandatory user fee for FISH to use museum property, Kane referred to the $500 a day fee as a “tax” in the minutes.

Forty-four days after those minutes were written, Shore announced his resignation, saying “FISH continues to incite a negative image of my office in the press and in its’ minutes.”

FISH opted not to vote on Shore’s resignation at its Jan. 7 meeting in hopes Shore would reconsider. FISH has not received any word on Shore’s decision. If Shore does not contact the board before its Feb. 4 meeting, the board is expected to take up Shore’s resignation and vote whether or not to accept it.

In the meantime, Molto said festival planning is moving forward and is all but finalized. The festival draws an estimated 25,000 people a year and the proceeds go to FISH’s mission of rehabilitating its 95-acre preserve and preserving the Cortez coastline and way of life as a commercial fishing community.

Festival volunteers are still needed. To volunteer, call 941-254-4972 and leave a message with your name and contact information. Molto said a festival crew member will return all calls.

Fire chief to Holmes Beach: Consider sprinklers in R-2

West Manatee Fire Rescue Chief Andy Price recommended sprinklers last week to protect against fire hazards in Holmes Beach duplexes.

        At a Jan. 10 city commission meeting, Price told commissioners worried about the safety of those living in more than 1,000 units across the city to consider an ordinance requiring sprinkler installation with any new duplex construction in the Residential-2 zone.

        “Back in 2004-05, when these buildings started popping up, we had issues with them because they were so close,” Price said. “There was almost no access.”

        He said fences, power lines and the closeness of the homes allow “absolutely no access to some of these structures.”

        Commission Chair Jean Peelen said, “I am horrified that these buildings can be, and continue to be built.”

        Mayor Carmel Monti asked Price if he knew of precedence for retrofitting buildings with sprinklers, and Price replied he did not.

        Commissioner Pat Morton said, “My thing is safety.” He asked for Price’s recommendations in homes of six to eight bedrooms.

        Price recommended smoke detectors. He said smoke detectors woke up and saved the lives of homeowners in a recent Key Royale fire.

        Price said later that sprinkler ordinances have been enacted in numerous jurisdictions, but knew of none locally. He believes Longboat Key has relied on the state building code to require sprinklers in three-story buildings.

        Commissioner David Zaccagnino asked if the city could have existing duplexes inspected by the fire department.

        Price said state law exempts residential one- and two-family construction from the fire department’s inspection requirements, although there can be life hazard or voluntary inspections.

        Zaccagnino concluded it was up to the city’s building department to make sure the code is met, and that a proposed ordinance limiting living-area ratio will prevent the close construction of residences.

        Peelen said that the building department in the past didn’t do proper inspections, which contributed to the problem.

        Commissioner Judy Titsworth said the problem stemmed from the building department not requiring the plans with the proper fire assemblies to meet the code.

        When she recommended the proper engineering to former public works director Joe Duennes, Titsworth said he told her “it would be a pretty good idea if we did.”

        “But we didn’t,” she continued. “Now we have a ton of them.”

        Jim Greenamoyer, manager of the fire sprinkler division of McDonough WMF Plumbing of Sarasota, estimated it would cost $2 per square foot for new duplex construction and $3 per square foot to retrofit structures. The average duplex is about 2,613 square feet.

Holmes Beach primed to adopt R-2 zone LAR ordinance

A living-area ratio limit is on the threshold of regulating future building in the Holmes Beach rental district.

It was set for a city commission vote Jan. 22 following a final reading at a public hearing — after press time for The Islander. The hearing will be at 7 p.m. at city hall, 5801 Marina Drive.

The commission had approved ordinance on first reading Dec. 18, and sent it to the planning commission to determine if it was consistent with the city’s comprehensive plan.

A unanimous vote of the planning commission Jan. 9 found the proposed ordinance to restrict living area to .34 of the lot size in the Residential-2 zone consistent with the comp plan.

LAR will be the city’s first building regulation directly aimed at the mass and scale of new three-story residential construction — exclusive to R-2 zoning — a problem that for the past year has been studied by commissioners, focus groups and city planner Bill Brisson.

In addition to the LAR ordinance, the planning commission recommended the city consider Brisson’s “sliding scale” of more lenient restrictions for R-2 lots on which only single-family dwellings can be built.

For lots lacking the required square footage for a duplex, Brisson proposed a sliding scale of .34 and .40 for lots between 5,000 and 7,000 square feet and a .40 recommendation for all lots smaller than 5,000 square feet.

Brisson had presented his Jan. 6 report to both commissions, a report that links increases in size and number of homes since 2009 to an emergence of a trend that is out-of-character for Holmes Beach. He concluded the LAR limits will ensure future residential development consistent with the scale and type of existing land use.

Brisson’s report also noted increases in the number of bedrooms in single-family homes and duplexes. Between 2009 and 2011, the report tallies 14 single-family homes built in R-2, seven with five or more bedrooms and two with eight bedrooms.

During the same period, of the 28 duplexes that were built, four contained five or more bedrooms.

Brisson’s report calculated .46 average LAR for single-family homes and .42 average LAR for duplexes.

Before making its recommendations Jan. 9, the planning commission held a public hearing at which two people voiced opposition to LAR.

At the first planning commission hearing, Joe Kennedy of Bradenton, an R-2 vacant lot owner, and Don Schroder of Holmes Beach spoke against the LAR ordinance.

“Brisson was hired by the city to do what they wanted him to do,” Kennedy said.

The disparity of heights can be linked to the Federal Emergency Management Agency flood restrictions, he said, adding Brisson’s report accounts for only a small increase in larger homes.

Schroder agreed with Kennedy, saying, “The number of lots are miniscule.”

“I really think you’re impinging on our personal property rights,” Schroder said, adding there should be a LAR exception “any place there are dual lots, where the second dwelling has not been built.”

Planning commission chair Sue Normand agreed with Brisson’s analysis.

“When we start to build homes not comparable with the rest of the homes, the community stands a chance of overdevelopment,” she said.

Overdevelopment impacts older homes when newer homes leave no daylight, Normand said. She recognized the FEMA restrictions and requirement “to build up,” but questioned whether “we’re building homes too large for this island to support.”

“While I’m not in favor of LAR, I don’t think there’s a way to find it noncompliance with comprehensive plan.”

Commissioner Gary Hickerson agreed, “It appears to me that the ordinance is designed for preservation.”

Commissioner Sylvia Harris said the exceptions carved out of the LAR ordinance, including garages, balconies, carports and non-air conditioned space, also are important.

Commissioner Barbara Hines said the ordinance deals with compatible usage and, as to Schroder’s view of property rights, she said zoning changes are permissible so long as they permit some use of the property.

Mayor Carmel Monti told planning commission members that their work reinforced “what we’re trying to do for the overall city.”

Holmes Beach flip-flops on one-pool rule

Holmes Beach city commissioners, a majority of whom had been leaning toward imposing a one-pool-per-lot rule in the duplex district, changed their minds Jan. 17 and decided to leave well enough alone.

        They recently took aim at prohibiting two pools on one duplex lot in their list of objectives before lifting a building moratorium, which was imposed XXX. Commissioner Judy Titsworth had led the charge as way to decrease intensity, density and encourage more year-round residents.

        However, she told commissioners she’d switched her position after listening to former Mayor Carol Whitmore’s statement against the rule at the Jan. 8 meeting, as well as city planner Bill Brisson’s advice that such a rule may, in fact, have the opposite effect.

        “I’ve been on the fence for a while,” said Whitmore. “I’ve have been fighting for the residents for rental restrictions since 1991-92. I always voted for rental restrictions. I never had the majority… Now you see what we have today.”

        While she had initially supported the one-pool rule, Whitmore said she was swayed when someone recently told her it would encourage investors.

        “Who’s going to want — and take it from me — I would not want to buy a duplex and then have a pool and have to share it with some idiot who has parties next door, and then swim in the next day. No thank you.”

        Before Titsworth and Commissioners Pat Morton and Marvin Grossman changed their position on the one-pool-rule, David Zaccagnino had been the only commissioner consistently opposing the measure.

        “I’m the only one up here I think who lives in a rental district near the beach,” Zaccagnino said Jan. 8. “On our street, Avenue E, specifically I counted five multi-unit properties that share a pool, exactly what we’re proposing here.”

        At the Jan. 17 meeting, he added to his description of his neighborhood’s pools. There also are four neighborhood homes, each having a pool, and just as much noise comes from one shared pool as comes from individual pools.

        Commissioners also discussed possible changes in other pool-related rules, including Brisson’s recommendation that pool setbacks meet side- and back-yard setbacks, as well as noise, safety and drainage concerns. They eventually reached a consensus to maintain existing setbacks and pool rules.

        The commission voted Oct. 23 to impose a 5-foot pool setback, which previously had been 18 inches.

        Grossman recommended the commission look at how to handle renter noise complaints — that some rental agents were defying the efforts of code enforcement.

        Peelen agreed the issue was important, and said it would be placed on a future agenda.

Holmes Beach man arrested on heroin charge

A 28-year-old Holmes Beach man was arrested Jan. 17 for possession of heroin.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Kristopher Smith was parked in the 7300 block of Cortez Road in Bradenton. The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office was called regarding a suspicious vehicle because Smith was allegedly parked for more than an hour.

An MCSO deputy made contact with Smith while he was still in his vehicle. According to the report, the deputy observed a syringe lying on Smith’s left leg. Smith allegedly told the deputy he had recently “shot up” muscle relaxers into his leg.

The deputy observed a baggie of brown powder in plain view on the center console. After receiving consent to search the vehicle, the powder tested positive for heroin.

The deputy allegedly found .7 grams of heroin inside a sunglasses case, as well as two more syringes.

Smith was charged with felony possession of heroin and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was booked into the Manatee County jail and held on $5,120 bond.

He was scheduled to be arraigned at 9 a.m. Friday, Feb. 15 at the Manatee County Judicial Center, 1051 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

Island police blotter – 01-23-2013

Anna Maria

• Jan. 12, 800 block of North Shore Drive, petit theft. Two bicycles were left unlocked in the driveway. Sometime during the night, unknown persons stole the bicycles.

Anna Maria is policed by the MCSO.

Bradenton Beach

• No new reports.

Bradenton Beach is policed by the BBPD.


• No new reports.

Cortez is policed by the MCSO

Holmes Beach

• Jan. 12, 3100 block of Gulf Drive North, DWLS. A 21-year-old female was arrested following a traffic stop that began in Holmes Beach, but ended in the 2600 block of Gulf Drive North, Bradenton Beach. A Holmes Beach Police Department officer initiated the stop and discovered the woman’s driver’s license was suspended. According to the report, the woman admitted she was aware that her license was suspended. A check on her license revealed an active warrant for the woman in another county on a similar charge. She was arrested and transported to the Manatee County jail.

• Jan. 7, 5900 Flotilla Drive, animal bite. Police responded to a call at the city dog park regarding one dog attacking another. Police made contact with a woman in possession of the offending dog and learned the dog has had previous issues at the park. According to the report, the dog was involved in a prior attack on a dog. A human was bitten during that attack trying to separate the animals. Animal control was contacted and the animal was placed in quarantine for 30 days. The woman was advised not to bring the dog back to the park.

• Jan. 8, 611 Manatee Ave., CVS Pharmacy, fraud. A man called police to report his credit card was used at the CVS Pharmacy on two occasions in the amount of $1,039. He told police he needed to report the incident to provide a case number to his credit card company.

• Jan. 8, 4000 Gulf Drive, Manatee Public Beach, alcohol. Police made contact with a group of people on the beach after receiving a complaint that they were drinking. Three men had beer in their hands. They were advised of the no-alcohol policies of all Manatee County beaches. The men poured out the beer and the group left the beach.

• Jan. 9, 5410 Marina Drive, D. Coy Ducks, trespass warning. Police responded to the tavern and made contact with a female, who was “very intoxicated,” according to the report. The bartender asked the woman to leave and she refused. Police issued a trespass warning on behalf of the bartender and the subject left voluntarily.

• Jan. 10, 500 block of Key Royale Drive, suspicious incident. A homeowner was contacted by a contractor, who was doing remodeling work on the home. The contractor said it appeared someone had attempted to burn down his home. Police arrived and entered the residence to the presence of smoke odor and burned plastic. An officer discovered the source of the odors, which was a melted pile of plastic. Burn marks were observed on an adjacent wall. The fire marshal was contacted to investigate. His determination was that the melted plastic had been a garbage can and the fire started from within the container. According to the report, the fire appeared to have been accidental, but the fire marshal is still investigating as to how it started.

• Jan. 10, 6800 block of Palm Drive, information. Police responded to a call reporting a vehicle/bicycle accident. Upon arrival, witnesses reported that a trolley had driven too close to a group of bicyclists. One of the riders was “spooked” by the close call and lost control of her bicycle. According to the report, video from the trolley shows the woman losing control of her bicycle after the trolley passed. It also states that the trolley was properly located in the roadway at the time it passed the bicycle riders.

• Jan. 11, 699 Manatee Ave., Bank of America, fraud. A bank manager called police after a female attempted to cash what he suspected was a fraudulent check at the drive-thru. According to the report, the woman’s signature on her driver’s license did not match the signature on the check. She was asked to park her vehicle and come inside the bank, at which time she fled the scene. Police learned that the check was stolen Jan. 9 in a Hillsborough County vehicle burglary.

• Jan. 11, 3230 E. Bay Drive, Island Mail And More, customer problem. Police responded to a complaint of a customer refusing to pay for services rendered. A man had several documents notarized and did not want to pay for the services once completed. The man told police he had come into the business in December to have the same type of documents notarized, and was told by his attorney that they were done incorrectly. He said he should not have to pay for the service twice. Police disagreed and advised the man to pay, which he did.

• Jan. 13, 4000 Gulf Drive, Manatee Public Beach, trespass warning. Lifeguards contacted police regarding a group of people who were drinking on the beach and refused to stop after being warned. The group left the beach before police arrived, but one female returned a short time later and was identified by the lifeguard. The woman was not drinking at time of contact, but she was issued a trespass warning and told not to return.

Holmes Beach is policed by the HBPD.

Streetlife is based on incident reports and narratives from the Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach police departments and Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

Island real estate transactions – 01-23-2013

103 Palmetto Ave., Anna Maria, a 1,930 sfla / 3,206 sfur 2bed/1½bath/2car Gulffront pool home built in 1950 on a 115×100 lot was sold 12/28/02, Moschini to Anna Maria Ventures LLC for $1,750,000; list $1,995,000.

509 68th St., Holmes Beach, a 2,676 sfla / 3,319 sfur 3bed/3bath/2car canalfront pool home built in 2005 on a 80×102 lot was sold 01/04/13, Kaleta to Varner for $975,000.

204 Oak Ave., Anna Maria, a 3,318 sfla / 5,803 sfur 4bed/3½bath/2car pool home built in 2009 on a 104×77 lot was sold 12/27/12, Laroche to Gallagher for $940,000; list $1,299,000.

212 Oak Ave., Anna Maria, a 3,780 sfla / 3,980 sfur 5bed/5bath/2car canalfront pool home built in 1979 on a 72×148 lot was sold 12/31/12, Barlow to Hapke for $900,000; list $899,000.

303 68th St., Holmes Beach, a 2,000 sfla 4bed/3bath pool home built in 2012 on a 82×100 lot was sold 12/31/12, 303 68th LLC to Stringer for $800,000; list $1,000,000.

103 Fourth St., Bradenton Beach, a 2,055 sfla / 2,109 sfur 6bed/3bath triplex built in 1926 on a 50×99 lot was sold 12/26/12, CFI USA Inc. to University South Florida Foundation Inc. for $600,000.

512 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria, a 1,742 sfla / 1,759 sfur 3bed/2bath/2car home built in 2002 on a 51×145 lot was sold 12/28/12, Peters to Foster for $540,000, $575,000.

3705 Gulf Drive, Unit B, Gulf Homes on 37th, Holmes Beach, a 1,227 sfla 3bed/2bath condo with pool built in 1965 was sold 12/31/12, Carter to Carmon for $525,000; list $549,000.

520 74th St., Holmes Beach, a 3,232 sfla / 4,285 sfur 3bed/3½bath/2car canalfront pool home built in 1967 on a 100×122 lot was sold 12/31/12, Meyer to MEK Properties LLC for $507,100; $632,500.

204 52nd St., Unit 2, Villas of Holmes Beach, Holmes Beach, a 2,656 sfla / 3,898 sfur 4bed/3bath/2car condo with shared pool built in 2006 was sold 12/28/12, Gibson to Schlemmer for $500,000; list $600,000.

205 77th St., Unit A, 205 77th Street, Holmes Beach, a 1,360 sfla / 1,373 sfur 2bed/2bath condo with pool built in 1977 was sold 12/26/12, Sato to Grife for $430,000.

503 71st St., Holmes Beach, a 1,884 sfla / 2,406 sfur 3bed/2bath pool home built in 1962 on a 95×97 lot was sold 12/28/12, Reick to Campbell for $363,800; list $399,900.

104 Fourth St. S., Bradenton Beach, a 958 sfla / 1,458 sfur 2bed/1bath home built in 1940 on a 75×91 lot was transferred 01/03/13, Griffin to Structured Asset Securities for $335,085.

5903 Flotilla Drive, Holmes Beach, a 1,226 sfla / 2,231 sfur 3bed/2½bath home built in 1984 on a 69×119 lot was sold 12/26/12, Fraser to Quigley for $325,000; list $379,000.

501 S. Bay Blvd., Anna Maria, a vacant 74×100 lot was sold 01/03/13, Harrold Developments Inc. to Kellar for $279,000.

3000 Gulf Drive, Unit 4, Palm Cay, Holmes Beach, a 756 sfla 1bed/1bath condo with shared pool built in 1980 was sold 12/28/12, Brinker to Washburn for $193,000; list $210,000.

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

Fishing – 01-23-2013

Catches vary day by day for AMI anglers

If you were lucky enough to fish before the mild cold front we had at the end of the past week, you may have caught a variety of species around Anna Maria Island. With temperatures in the 80s and light winds, fishing around the island was not only enjoyable, but prosperous.

While fishing along the beaches with live shrimp, I’m seeing good numbers of sheepshead, black drum, ladyfish bluefish and small sharks.

Pompano are cruising the beaches now, although finding numbers of fish can take some searching. To target all of these species, try using a knocker rig — a No. 1 circle hook and a 1/4- or 1/2-ounce egg sinker that rests right on the eye of the hook.

If you’re strictly in search of pompano, try a pompano jig. Walk the beach casting into the shoreline trough with your jig. You may pick up a fish here and there, or you could find a school and start catching fish on every cast. While jigging, expect to catch ladyfish, mackerel and bluefish as a bycatch.

Capt. Rick Gross of Fishy Business charters is targeting spotted seatrout on the grass flats of Sarasota Bay. By using either live shrimp under a cork or soft plastics on a jighead, Gross is catching good numbers — most fish being in the 15-inch range, although larger fish are in the mix.

By fishing canals and docks, Gross is finding decent numbers of redfish and sheepshead. For these fish, he’s using live shrimp fished on the bottom under and around the docks. Keeper-sizes of both species are being caught, he says.

Finally, Gross is working the beaches in search of pompano. Using either live shrimp, pompano jigs or a combination of the two, Gross is hooking up with these elusive fish. Again, keeper-size fish are coming to the boat, although most are 12-15-inches.

Jeff Medley at the Sunshine Skyway Bridge South Fishing Pier says Spanish mackerel and bonito are a consistent catch for his anglers. Pier fishers using either live bait or artificials are getting the catch. For live bait, he says to try using shiners. For artificials, silver spoons, Gotcha plugs or white jigs are working well.

For those opting to use bait, Medley suggests live shrimp to hook up sheepshead. “The sheepies are here,” says Medley, “and they are biting, too.” Live shrimp and fiddler crabs are working to catch these striped fish. He says, while using shrimp, anglers can expect to catch a stray flounder now and again.

Capt. Warren Girle is catching a variety of species in Sarasota Bay. To do this, Girle is using techniques based on the species and location he’s working.

During the morning low tides, Girle is fishing shallow flats using artificials like Berkley Gulp shrimp or topwater plugs.

During these tides, Girle finds schools of mullet and casts into the school to find mixed-in redfish and spotted seatrout. As mullet school over the shallow flats, they spook small shrimp and crabs out of their hiding places.

When this occurs, hungry redfish and trout are waiting to strike anything that moves among the mullet. He’s finding keeper trout and redfish, although he warns the fish are spread out. You have to be patient, he says.

Moving to deeper grass flats, Girle is rigging with small pompano jigs tipped with fresh shrimp. By doing a drift and casting in all directions, his clients are catching Spanish mackerel, trout, ladyfish, bluefish and pompano.

Steve Oldham at Island Discount Tackle is hearing reports of a variety of species being caught along the beaches of Anna Maria Island, working around Bean Point with good results. Oldham suggests using a yellow pompano jig rigged to some 20-pound fluorocarbon leader to get in on the action. Oldham also suggests tipping your jig with some fresh-cut shrimp to add some attraction if the fish are being finicky.

Flounder are being caught from the beach, especially in areas where there is rock or bottom structure.

Oldham suggests a 3-inch Berkley Gulp shrimp in white with a red jighead to get these tasty, flat fish to bite.

Finally, sheepshead are showing in numbers and beginning to bite. Live shrimp or sand fleas are easily accessible and are great bait for the convict fish. Oldham likes to use a stout No. 2 hook with a small split-shot to get his bait to the bottom where the fish are waiting.

Jim Malfese at the Rod & Reel Pier says bonito and Spanish mackerel are making a showing. Schools of glass minnows are gathering around the pier, which in turn is attracting the bonito and macks. Pier fishers are casting white speck rigs to get these migratory fish to bite. These jigs are effective because they are about the same size as a glass minnow.

What’s the old saying? Match the hatch? Well, in this case it’s true.

You can probably catch these fish on spoons or Gotcha plugs, too, but use only small ones.

Send fishing reports to

Calendar – 01-23-2013

Wednesday, Jan. 23

6:05 p.m. — The official sunset time.


Thursday, Jan. 24

7:21 a.m. — The official sunrise time.


Friday, Jan. 25

5-7 p.m. — Community dinner — pork and sauerkraut —Annie Silver Community Center, 103 23rd St., Bradenton Beach. Fee applies. Information: 941-778-3580.

5-7 p.m. — Forks and Corks wine-tasting and celebration, Harry’s Continental Kitchens, 525 St. Judes Drive, Longboat Key. Fee applies. Information: 941-383-0777.


Saturday, Jan. 26

8:30 a.m. — Kiwanis Club of Anna Maria Island breakfast and meeting with Vicki Bartz on “How to talk to your doctor,” Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe, Manatee Public Beach, 4000 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-761-8834.

10 a.m. — The Island Gallery West, 5368 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, hosts a free demonstration, with Betsy Kennedy hand-stamping for silver jewelry. Information: 941-778-6648.

        2 p.m. — Friends of the Island Library lecture and travel series presents Paul Stonebridge, a librarian, talking about “Travels on Six Continents,” Island Branch Library, 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Information:  941-778-34217.

6 p.m. —Forks and Corks wine dinner and celebration, the Sandbar Restaurant, 100 Spring Ave., Anna Maria. Fee applies. Information: 941-778-8705.


Sunday, Jan. 27

7 p.m. — All Island Denominations annual ecumenical service, Roser Memorial Community Church, 512 Pine Ave., Anna Maria. Information: 941-778-0414.


Monday, Jan. 28

7:19 a.m. — The official sunrise time.

6 p.m. — Spaghetti dinner, St. Bernard Catholic Church, 248 S. Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach. Fee applies. Information: 941-778-2508.



Tuesday, Jan. 29

10 a.m. — Artist Anne Abgott teaches a workshop on “Spoonbills,” the Studio at Gulf and Pine, 10101 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria. Information: 941-778-1906.

Noon — Rotary Club of Anna Maria Island lunch and meeting, BeachHouse Restaurant, 200 Gulf Drive N., Bradenton Beach. Information: 941-794-8044.


Wednesday, Jan. 30

2 p.m. — Basics of Alzheimer’s disease, Island Library, 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-6341.



Thursday, Jan. 24

5:30 p.m. — 65th anniversary exhibition reception, South Florida Museum, 201 10th St. W., Bradenton. Fee applies for non-members. Information: 941-746-4131, ext. 13.


Saturday, Jan. 26

7:45 a.m. — Manatee County Audubon Society field trip, Urfer Park, carpool from Lowe’s, State Road 70 and Interstate 75. Fee applies for non-members. Information: 941-792-9235.

11:30 a.m. — Saints Peter and Paul The Apostles Catholic Church and CWA’s “Gone with the Wind” Ladies Historical Fashion Presentation and Luncheon, Moretti Center, 2850 75th St. W., 
Bradenton. Fee applies. No tickets sold at the door. Information: 941-761-9568.


Sunday, Jan. 27

2 p.m. – Stars of Tomorrow 25th anniversary concert presented by the Sarasota Opera and sponsored by the Bradenton Opera Guild, Bayshore High School, 5401 34th St. W., Bradenton. Fee applies. Information: 941-358-5660.



• Through Feb. 3, Island Players present “A Little Murder Never Hurt Anybody,” 10009 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria. The theater is dark Mondays. Fee applies. Information: 941-778-5755.

• Through Feb. 3, Manatee Players present Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes,” 102 Old Main St., Bradenton. Fee applies. Information: 941-748-5875.

• Through Jan. 27, Manatee County Fair: Manatee Goes Hollywood, fairgrounds, 1402 14th Ave. W., Palmetto. Fee applies. Information: 941-722-8951.

• Through Jan. 25, Artists’ Guild of Anna Maria Island juried art show, the Studio at Gulf and Pine, 10101 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria. Information: 941-753-5004.

• Through April 28, Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, hosts Sea Lions: On the Water’s Edge. Fee applies. Information: 941-388-4441.

• Wednesdays and Saturdays, 9 a.m., horseshoes pitched, Anna Maria City Hall, 10005 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria. Information: 941-708-6130.

• Wednesdays through the spring, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., the Anna Maria Island Historical Society, 402 Pine Ave., Anna Maria, sells settlers bread. Information: 941-778-0492.

• Wednesdays through March, 1-3 p.m., Anna Maria Irish Ceili dancers, Mannatee Sports Grill, 7423 Manatee Ave., Bradenton. Information: 779-1416.

• First Wednesdays, noon, Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce networking luncheon. Location varies. Fee applies. Information: 941-778-1541.

• First Wednesdays, Mana-Tween Book Club, Island Library, 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Information:  941-748-5555, ext. 6318.

• Second Wednesdays, 8 a.m., Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce sunrise breakfast. Location varies. Fee applies. Information: 941-778-1541.

• Fourth Wednesdays, 5 p.m., Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce business-card exchange. Location varies. Fee applies. Information: 941-778-1541.

• Thursdays, Thirsty Thursdays specials and activities, 5-7 p.m., Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach.

• Thursdays, through the spring, bingo games, Annie Silver Community Center, 103 23rd St., Bradenton Beach. Information: 941-778-3580.

        • Fridays, Senior Adventures, low-cost field trips from Annie Silver Community Center, 103 23rd St., Bradenton Beach. Fee may apply. Information: 941-962-8835.

• Third Fridays, 5-8 p.m., Pine Avenue Porch Party presented by local merchants, Pine Avenue, Anna Maria. Food donations requested for Roser Food Pantry. Information: 941-896-3132.

• Fourth Fridays, through March, community dinners, Annie Silver Community Center, 103 23rd St., Bradenton Beach. Information: 941-778-3580.

        • First Saturdays, 8 a.m.-noon, Manatee County Audubon open house, 9:30 a.m. Audubon Walk, Felts Audubon Preserve, 4600 24th Ave. E., Palmetto, Information: 941-729-2227.

• Third Sundays, through May, 9-11 a.m., Junior Audubon, Manatee Audubon Society, Felts Audubon Preserve, 4600 24th Ave. E., Palmetto. Information: 941-729-2227.

• Sundays, through April 10, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., the Bridge Street Market, Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach. The first Sundays include a food challenge for charity. Information: 215-906-0668.

• Mondays, 1 p.m., bridge games, Roser Memorial Community Church, 512 Pine Ave., Anna Maria. Information: 941-778-0414.

• First Mondays, 7 p.m., Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage board meets, Fisherman’s Hall, 4515 123rd St. W., Cortez. Information: 941-254-4972.

• First Mondays, through May, 6:30 p.m., the Artists’ Guild of Anna Maria Island meets, the Episcopal Church of the Annunciation, 4408 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-6694.

• Third Mondays, September through May, noon, Anna Maria Island Democratic Club lunch meeting, BeachHouse Restaurant, 200 Gulf Drive N., Bradenton Beach. Fee applies. Information: 941-779-0564.

• Tuesdays, 4 p.m., Inquiring Minds religious study group meets, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 6608 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-4579.

• Tuesdays, 12:30 p.m., Anna Maria duplicate bridge, Episcopal Church of the Annunciation, 4408 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-3390.

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


Coming up

• Feb. 9, Anna Maria Island Privateers Thieves Market, Coquina Beach, Bradenton Beach. Information: 941-722-3212.

• Feb. 9, Sinatra Sings buffet supper and show, Anna Maria Island Community Center, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria. Information: 941-778-1908.

• Feb. 9-10, Arts and crafts show to benefit the Anna Maria Island Butterfly Park, Holmes Beach city field, 5801 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 352-344-0657.

• Feb. 10, Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus and Orchestra all-Beethoven 20th anniversary concert, Crosspointe Fellowship, 8605 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-8585.

• Feb. 14, Big Band Dance Sweetheart presented by the Kiwanis Club of Anna Maria Island to benefit the Anna Maria Island Community Center, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria. Information: 941-778-1908.


Save the date

• March 2, Friends of the Island Library Book Sale, 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.

• March 2, the Anna Maria Island Historical Society Heritage Festival, 402 Pine Ave., Anna Maria.

• March 9-10, Anna Maria Island Art League Springfest juried arts and crafts show, Holmes Beach city field, 5801 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.

• March 11, spring break begins for Manatee County public school students.

• March 20, Anna Maria Garden Club annual Penny Flower Show, Roser Memorial Community Church, 512 Pine Ave., Anna Maria.

• March 22, community dinner — fish fry by A.P. Bell Fish Co. —Annie Silver Community Center, 103 23rd St., Bradenton Beach.


Calendar announcements

        Send calendar announcements to Please include the time, date and location of the event, a brief description and a contact via email and phone. The deadline for submissions is the Wednesday before publication.