Don’t forget to plan for pesky afternoon thunderbumpers
In September, we experience afternoon thunderstorms on around Anna Maria Island on a regular basis. You can expect to see at least a 40 percent chance of afternoon showers five days a week.
Granted, these small squalls may last up to an hour although usually the duration is only 20 minutes or so. But these storms can appear suddenly with wind gusts, heavy rain and lightning. If you’ve ever been on the water during these conditions, you know you don’t want to deal with them again.
Even a quick storm can be a pain, so plan accordingly and fish during morning hours. If you’re fishing offshore, keep a watchful eye to the east. Ultimately, after 1 p.m., it’s necessary to keep an eye on what’s developing. That way, if you see something coming, you can make a decision on whether to catch that last keeper fish or make a run for the dock.
Dave Sork at the Anna Maria City Pier says Spanish mackerel are ravaging bait schools and the anglers’ tackle during the morning incoming tides. Pier fishers using small white jigs or Clark spoons are connecting with fish. Expect to find jack crevalle, blue runners and ladyfish in the mix with the macks.
Mangrove snapper are being caught in decent numbers by fishers using live shrimp. Most fish are 10-12 inches, so make sure you have a ruler handy if you plan on taking fish home for dinner. Mangrove snapper need to be at least 10 inches to be a keeper.
Jim Malfese at the Rod & Reel Pier is seeing good action for light-tackle fishers occurring during the morning incoming tides. Pier fishers are arriving at the pier fully stocked with small jigs and silver spoons in anticipation of limiting out on Spanish mackerel. White speck rigs, crappie jigs or Clark spoons in the size 00 or 01 are the lures of choice. Expect to catch Spanish mackerel in the 12- to 16-inch range along with plenty of jacks, ladyfish and blue runners in the mix. At certain points in the tide, Malfese says fishers are hooking up every cast.
Mangrove snapper are accommodating pier fishers dropping live shrimp or shiners under the pier. Small baits, small hooks and light leaders are the keys to success. Limits are attainable with a little determination.
Finally, the occasional snook and redfish are being reeled up. Most reds are over-slot, but to get in the bull red catch, try dropping a live pinfish under the pier. Half a blue crab might work even better. For the snook, live shiners, pinfish or ladyfish will attract a bite.
Jonny Keyes at Island Discount Tackle is targeting schooling redfish on shallow flats adjacent to mangrove edges. Capt. Mac Gregory has been leading Keyes to the fish during high tide. After the school is located, Keyes is casting an EP rattle shad fly in its midst. On a recent excursion, they managed to land five over-slot fish on the fly rod. Not bad for these parts.
Next Keyes and Gregory migrated out to the nearshore reefs for some action with Spanish mackerel, bonito and blacktip sharks. By flat-lining live shiners behind the boat, the pair hooked macks to 24 inches. Once a few blacktip sharks show up to the party, they begin sight-casting chunks of fresh-cut mack to get a bite. Expect to catch blacktips ranging 4-6 feet.
Capt. Warren Girle is working the flats of Sarasota Bay and along the Intracoastal Waterway with good results on redfish, spotted seatrout and snook. For all three species, live shiners are his bait of choice. To rig, Girle is either using corks to keep the bait out of the grass or free-lining. Redfish both in the slot and over-slot can be expected. The trout are mostly 15-20 inches. As for snook, most are under-slot, but going the sheer numbers of fish, it’s easy to wait for a keeper to bite.
Moving out to nearshore reefs, Girle is catching good numbers of macks and blacktip sharks. To start, he’s free-lining live shiners behind the boat. Fish 15-25 inches are the norm. To target the sharks, he’s casting out fresh-cut chunks of mackerel. Blacktips in the 60-pound range are being caught daily.
Mangrove snapper are being caught at the reefs. Girle says anchoring and chumming will get the snapper in a feeding mood. Once they are biting, Girle drops down either live or fresh-cut shiners to the bottom to hook up. Expect 15-inch snapper to gobble your bait.
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Does your organization rely on you to share its event announcements with The Islander? Then we’d like to hear from you now, as we prepare for the 2013-14 season. Send your 2013-14 events calendar — dates, times, locations and brief descriptions — to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a contact name, email address and telephone number. High-resolution photographs are appreciated.
Wednesday, Sept. 25
7:23 p.m. — Official sunset time.
Thursday, Sept. 26
7:22 p.m. — Official sunset time.
Friday, Sept. 27
10 a.m. — Forty Carrots group for babies and children, Island Library, 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-6341.
7:21 p.m. — Official sunset time.
Saturday, Sept. 28
8:30 a.m. — Kiwanis Club of Anna Maria Island breakfast and meeting, Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe, Manatee Public Beach, 4000 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-1383.
2 p.m. — Edible gardens lecture with Mike Miller, Island Library, 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-6341.
7:20 p.m. — Official sunset time.
Sunday, Sept. 29
3:30 p.m. — Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus and Orchestra chorus auditions, Longboat Key Education Center, 5370 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key. Information: 941-587-3584.
7:18 p.m. — Official sunset time.
Monday, Sept. 30
7:17 p.m. — Official sunset time.
Tuesday, Oct. 1
Noon — Rotary Club of Anna Maria Island meets, Bridge Street Bistro, 111 Gulf Drive S., Bradenton Beach. Information: 941-794-8044.
7:16 p.m. — Official sunset time.
Wednesday, Oct. 2
7:15 p.m. — Official sunset time.
Thursday, Sept. 26
5:30 p.m. — Opening night, Following in the Bartrams’ Footsteps exhibit, contemporary botanical artists explore the Bartrams’ legacy, South Florida Museum, 201 10th St. W., Bradenton. Fee applies. Information: 941-746-4131.
Friday, Sept. 27
7 p.m. — Film Fridays presents “Chinatown,” South Florida Museum, 201 10th St. W., Bradenton. Fee applies. Information: 941-746-4131.
Saturday, Sept. 28
10 a.m. — The FireSUP charity paddleboard relay, Palma Sola Causeway. Fee applies. Information: 941-705-1447.
• Through-Oct. 6, “Always Patsy Cline,” Manatee Players, Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 Third Ave. W., Bradenton. Fee applies. Information: 941-748-5875.
• Wednesdays and Saturdays, 9 a.m., horseshoes pitched, Anna Maria City Hall, 10005 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria. Information: 941-708-6130.
• First and third Wednesdays, Mana-Tween Book and Culture Club, Island Library, 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-748-5555, ext. 6318.
• Second Wednesdays, 7 p.m., Think+Drink science night, South Florida Museum, 201 10th St. W., Bradenton. Information: 941-746-4131.
• Fourth Wednesdays, 7 p.m., star talk, South Florida Museum, 201 10th St. W., Bradenton. Information: 941-746-4131.
• First and third Thursdays, 2 p.m., knitting group meets, Island Library, 5701 Marina Drive. Information: 941-778-6341.
• Thursdays, 5-10 p.m., Main Street Live, Old Main Street, Bradenton. Information: 941-932-9440.
• Most Fridays except in September, Senior Adventures, low-cost field trips from Annie Silver Community Center, 103 23rd St. N., Bradenton Beach. Fee may apply. Information: 941-962-8835.
• Fridays, 5:30-8:30 p.m., Mike Sales’ sunset drum circle, Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe, 4000 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 778-0784.
• Third Fridays, 5-8 p.m., Pine Avenue Porch Party presented by local merchants, Pine Avenue, Anna Maria. Information: 941-896-3132.
• Saturdays, 4 p.m., family night, South Florida Museum, 201 10th St. W., Bradenton. Information: 941-746-4131. Except Nov. 2.
• Third Saturdays, 11 a.m., stress management through breathing, Island Library, 5701 Marina Drive. Information: 941-778-6341.
• Weekends, through Oct. 20, ranger-led kayak tours, De Soto National Memorial, 8300 De Soto Memorial Highway, Bradenton. Information: 941-792-0458, ext. 105.
• Mondays, 12:45 p.m., bridge games, Roser Memorial Community Church, 512 Pine Ave., Anna Maria. Doors open at 12:15 p.m. Information: 941-778-0414.
• First Mondays, 7 p.m., Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage board meets, Fishermen’s Hall, 4515 123rd St. W., Cortez. Information: 941-254-4972.
• Third Mondays, September-June, 7 p.m., U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 81 meets, 5801 33rd Ave. Court Drive W., G.T. Bray Park, Bradenton. Information: 941-779-4476.
• Tuesdays, noon, Rotary Club of Anna Maria Island meets, Bridge Street Bistro, 111 Gulf Drive S., Bradenton Beach. Information: 941-794-8044.
• Oct. 5, Bridge Street Merchants Florida Cracker Festival, Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach.
• Oct. 14, Columbus Day.
• Oct. 18-19, Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce Bayfest, Pine Avenue, Anna Maria.
• Oct. 26, Bridge Street Merchants Rock Octoberfest, Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach.
• Oct. 26-27, Cortez Stone Crab Festival, 119th Street West bayfront, Cortez.
• Oct. 31, Halloween.
Save the date
• Nov. 2, Anna Maria Island Community Center Murder Mystery Night, Anna Maria.
• Nov. 1-3, Anna Maria Island Privateers Pirate Invasion, islandwide.
• Nov. 8-10, Cultural Connections ArtsHop, islandwide.
• Nov. 9, Florida Maritime Museum Boatyard Bash, Cortez.
• Nov. 11, Veterans Day.
• Nov. 16, CrossPointe Fellowship Community Thanksgiving, Holmes Beach.
• Nov. 28, Thanksgiving.
Send calendar announcements to email@example.com. 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 a week before publication. High-resolution photographs welcome.
• NOTICE: Peace Day, planned for Sept. 24, has been postponed to Oct. 1.
• 1:15 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, fire drill.
AME is at 4700 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. For more information, call 941-708-5525.