Tag Archives: 01-30-2013

Bradenton man arrested on multiple sex-related charges

A 31-year-old Bradenton man was arrested Jan. 17 on a variety of sex-related charges after being netted in a sting operation.

Timothy Jasonis allegedly held an Internet conversation with an adult in which Jasonis was to purchase a juvenile from the girl’s “guardian” for the purpose of sexual intercourse.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Jasonis then held a text conversation Jan. 17 with the guardian, saying he would have intercourse and not hurt the girl.

Jasonis agreed to meet the guardian that same day at Robinson Preserve and to take the girl with him.

Instead, Jasonis was greeted by Manatee County Sheriff’s Office detectives, who had posed as the guardian during the electronic conversations.

Jasonis was arrested for use of a computer to solicit a parent of a child to commit sexual acts, attempted sexual battery, and travel to solicit a parent of a child to commit sexual acts.

He was booked into the Manatee County jail and held on $75,000 bond. He remained in custody as of Islander press time.

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

Woman crashes into trolley, arrested

A 42-year-old Parrish woman was arrested for driving while intoxicated after crashing into a trolley in Bradenton Beach Jan. 19, but it wasn’t her first crash of the day.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Michele Stresing was stopped in traffic on Gulf Drive when she put her vehicle in reverse and collided with a car behind her.

Stresing fled the scene southward on Gulf Drive and pulled into a trolley turnaround area at Coquina Beach, at which time she allegedly collided with a trolley.

The affidavit states that Stresing again fled the scene, but was spotted by a Bradenton Beach police officer, who pursued her, observing that she swerved out of her lane three times.

The officer initiated a traffic stop and observed Stresing’s movements to be slow and confused. He contacted a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputy, who conducted a DWI investigation.

According to that investigation, the deputy noticed the odor of alcohol emanating from Stresing. The deputy asked the woman if she knew where she was and she replied that she was in Palmetto en route to a relative’s house in Riverview.

Stresing allegedly failed the field sobriety test, at which time she was transported to the Holmes Beach Police Department, where she failed a breath test, according to the police report.

Due to the high level of alcohol in her blood revealed during the test, Stresing was taken to the hospital, where she was medically cleared.

Stresing then was transported to the Manatee County jail, where she was booked into custody. She posted bond Jan. 20 and was released.

She has been charged with DWI with property damage and two counts of misdemeanor leaving the scene of a crash with property damage.

She is scheduled to be arraigned at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, at the Manatee County Judicial Center, 1051 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.


Convicted sex offender moves to Bradenton Beach

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has reported that a convicted sex offender has moved to the 2500 block of Avenue C in Bradenton Beach.

The convicted sex offender listed the Bradenton Beach address as permanent, according to the FDLE website.

According to the FDLE, the 30-year-old man was convicted in Manatee County in February 2004 of lewd and lascivious battery on a victim age 12-15.

The man has served his sentence, but is required to register any new address.

A convicted sex offender also is residing in Holmes Beach, while none are reported by the FDLE to be in Anna Maria. One convicted sex offender is living in Cortez.

Under Florida law, convicted sex offenders, regardless of where their conviction occurred, must register a residency address with the FDLE upon moving to the state, when paroled from prison, or when moving to a new address. Even after being released from parole, the offender is still required to give the FDLE any new address.

WMFR hopes for improved insurance rating

West Manatee Fire Rescue District’s insurance rating may be on the rise — with a lower number.

        “It sounded pretty promising,” WMFR Fire Chief Andy Price said about a recent phone call from a long-time International Standards Organization assessor.

WMFR is challenging a recent ISO rating, and seeking a “3” rating.

“We’re pretty excited about it — it’ll be the lowest rating in the county,” he said.

            ISO rates communities from 1-10, with 1 being perfect, about every 10 years.

        In early 2012, the district underwent the ISO evaluation, including a site visit, measuring the quality of the fire department, staffing, training, water supply, hydrant locations, communication systems, building codes and inspection programs.

After the ISO results came back in the fall, the district had held onto its 4 rating.

WMFR officials, however, reviewed the results and determined the ISO evaluator missed certain information. The district then appealed its rating.

        Price said Capt. Tom Sousa recently provided the ISO information on the district’s training and certifications, which are hoped to bring the rating to a “3.”

            Insurance companies use ISO ratings to set premiums, and a lower number typically means lower insurance rates for property owners.

        WMFR provides fire and rescue service from three fire stations, with a staff of 42 career personnel and 35 reservists. It protects nearly 20,000 parcels valued at $4.9 billion in an 18-square-mile district, including Anna Maria Island.

        For more information on the district, call 941-761-1555.

Obituaries – 01-30-2013

Ruth Ann Niewyk

Ruth Ann Niewyk, 70, of Holmes Beach, died Jan. 20. She moved to Anna Maria Island from Fort Wayne, Ind. in 2010. She was a teacher and educator.

A celebration of life was held at Jan. 22 at Brown and Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel, Bradenton. Memorial donations may be made to Tidewell Hospice & Palliative Care, 5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota FL 34238. Condolences may be made online at www.brownandsonsfuneral.com.

Mrs. Niewyk is survived by husband Anthony; son Robert of Oak Park, Ill.; daughter Alex of Honolulu; grandchildren Grace and Jonathan; and sisters, Kathleen Koets of Grand Rapids, Mich., and Jean Smith of Kalamazoo, Mich.


George F. Tooker

George F. Tooker, died Jan. 20. He was born Nov. 13, 1920, in Hoboken, N.J., to George and Eleanor Tooker. After graduating from Dickenson High School in Jersey City, N.J., he became a first-class machinist. Mr. Tooker served at Pearl Harbor as a machinist in the U.S. Naval Reserves. After World War II, he lived in Teaneck and Bay Head, N.J., working as a machinist.

Mr. Tooker and late wife Agnes moved to Holmes Beach in 1976, where they restored houses. He was a member of Holy Name Society of St. Bernard Catholic Church, a member of the Anna Maria Island Art League and the Senior Adventures Club at Annie Silver Community Center.

A memorial Mass was held Jan. 26 at St. Bernard Catholic Church, Holmes Beach. Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel, Bradenton is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be made online at www.brownandsonsfuneral.com.

The family thanks Windsor Oaks and Tidewell Hospice for Mr. Tooker’s care. Memorial donations may be made to Tidewell Hospice Inc., 5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota FL 34238.

Mr. Tooker is survived by daughters Kathleen and husband Dennis Granstad and Maureen and husband Fred Loveland; grandchildren Jessica and Bryan Rich, Amanda, Greg and Ashley Granstad and Sarah Loveland; and great-grandchildren,Zachary and Sophia Rich.

Island real estate transactions – 01-30-2013

516 83rd St., Holmes Beach, a 1,710 sfla / 2,362 sfur 3bed/2bath/2car bayfront home built in 1971 on a 81×129 lot was sold 12/31/12, Chipain to Loiselle for $940,000; list $995,000.

529 Bayview Drive, Anna Maria, a 2,808 sfla / 3,571 sfur 3bed/3bath pool home built in 1976 on a 100×100 lot was sold 01/08/13, Budd to Harry for $500,000.

210 Pine Ave., Anna Maria, was sold 01/07/13, Pine Avenue Restoration LLC to Siegler for $500,000.

302 67th Street, Holmes Beach, a 1,716 sfla / 2,300 sfur 3bed/2bath home built in 1960 on a 50×100 lot was sold 12/31/12, 302 67th LLC to Flinn for $490,000; list $539,000.

246 Gladiolous St., Anna Maria, a vacant 85×101 lot was sold 01/07/13, Zdravecky to Hart for $294,000.

301 Chruch Ave., Bradenton Beach a 1,344 sfla / 2,168 sfur 2bed/1bath home built in 1950 on a 101×101 lot was sold 01/08/13, Land Trustee LLC to Florida Gulf Coast Vacation Homes LLC for $260,000.

600 Manatee Ave., Unit 225, Westbay Cove, Holmes Beach, a 1,176 sfla / 1,438 sfur 2bed/2bath condo with shared pool built in 1977 was sold 01/09/13, Brons to Darmott for $240,000.

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

Island police blotter – 01-30-2013

Anna Maria

• Jan. 15, 400 block of Magnolia Avenue, vehicle burglary. Unknown persons broke the driver’s side window and stole a purse from the front seat. An iPod, cash and other items valued at $385 were in the purse, which was later found, although emptied of its contents.

• Jan. 17, 500 block of Pine Avenue, vehicle burglary. Unknown persons gained entry onto a boat moored in the canal behind the home. Listed items stolen included fishing and diving gear.

• Jan. 19, 10006 Gulf Drive, White Egret, criminal mischief. The owner of the White Egret reported that someone broke out a window, causing further damage to a mirror and two lamps inside. An MCSO deputy reported it did not appear anyone gained entry to the store. He further noted that on the same date and time, a report of criminal mischief occurred outside the Sandbar Restaurant, and said the two incidents appeared to be related. Damages at the White Egret were estimated at $615.

Anna Maria is policed by the MCSO.

Bradenton Beach

• Jan. 15, 100 block of Sixth Street South, domestic disturbance. A woman complained to police that her boyfriend came home drunk belligerent and unruly, and wanted him to leave. She told police she had booked a flight for him to return to be with family in another state. Police stood by while the man took a shower “to sober up,” and escorted him voluntarily from the property.

• Jan. 12, 1800 Gulf Drive S., Coquina Beach, property damage. A man pulled into the Coquina Beach parking area and drove into a wooden bollard, causing his vehicle to be stuck. The man complained that the bollards were difficult to see, and said they should be painted a bright color.

• Jan. 16, 2650 Gulf Drive S., Coquina concession stand, grand theft. Unknown persons stole two Coca-Cola umbrellas, as well as three Corona beer umbrellas from the concession tables. They were valued at $350.

• Jan. 21, 107 Gulf Drive S., city hall, suspicious person. While on routine patrol, a Bradenton Beach police officer observed a man sleeping on a bench in front of city hall. The officer made contact with the man, who said he was waiting for a friend to pick him up. The officer reported this was the second such incident involving this individual. He was warned not to return to the area.

• Jan. 23, 1600 block of Gulf Drive North, domestic disturbance. Police responded to a couple engaged in a verbal argument. The man said the couple had been drinking and he wanted to break up with her. His girlfriend had locked herself in the bathroom and initiated the 911 call. She claimed the boyfriend was being loud and acted in an aggressive manner, which is why she locked herself in the bathroom. She claimed she was the one trying to break up with him. The man left the residence for the night.

Bradenton Beach is policed by the BBPD.


• Jan. 18, 4500 block of 123rd Street, fraud. A complainant reported someone used her personal information to open an authorized account with a credit card company.

• Jan. 23, 4300 block of 123rd Street, criminal mischief. Unknown persons damaged a gate causing less than $200 in damages.

Cortez is policed by the MCSO.

Holmes Beach

• Jan. 14, 500 block of 58th Street, information. A man and woman went to the Holmes Beach Police Department to report a man who has been harassing them via late-night voice mails and text messages. The messages were threatening in nature, including a threat to slit their throats. Police advised the victims to continue to document the messages, and made contact with the caller. Police informed the Bradenton man to stop contacting the victims or face possible criminal charges.

• Jan. 15, 200 block of 71st Street, fraud. A man went to HBPD to report that someone had made several purchases with his debit card, although the card was in his possession. He believes the purchases were made on the Internet. The bank was notified.

• Jan. 15, 200 block of 82nd Street, theft. A woman reported that someone had stolen tools from the men she hired to paint her home. The men went to lunch and when they returned, found the tools missing. Several drywall knives, a razor knife and painting tools valued at $110 were missing from the site.

• Jan. 16, 100 block of 83rd Street, theft. A man reported that someone stole the key from his golf cart while he was skimboarding at the beach. The man said he was only at the beach for five minutes.

• Jan. 17, 4100 block of Sixth Avenue, burglary. A property manager was inspecting a home before the arrival of the owners. He discovered three TVs missing from three rooms, including a 60-inch TV, a 50-inch TV and a 24-inch TV, all valued at $3,750. Police did not observe any signs of forced entry, but secured fingerprints.

• Jan. 22, 7200 block of Gulf Drive, criminal mischief. A woman reported her vehicle’s windshield vandalized. Police could not find anything that may have caused the damage, but observed it may have been caused by a rock, possibly thrown by a lawnmower.

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.

Turtle travel time

Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring executive director Suzi Fox loads a Kemp’s ridley juvenile sea turtle Jan. 23 for a ride to Dunedin to be released. “Marsha” was struck by a boat and injured in Collier County during nesting season. More, page 7.  Islander Photo: Mark Young

Calendar – 01-30-2013

Wednesday, Jan. 30

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


Thursday, Jan. 31

9 a.m.-5 p.m. — Artists Guild of Anna Maria Island presents Mark Polomchak leading a watercolor workshop, CrossPointe Fellowship, 8605 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. Fee applies. Information: 941-778-6694.


Friday, Feb. 1

6:12 p.m. — Official sunset time.


Saturday, Feb. 2

Today is Groundhog Day.

8:30 a.m. — Kiwanis Club of Anna Maria Island breakfast and meeting with Rich Hughes of Goodwill, Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe, Manatee Public Beach, 4000 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-1383.

10 a.m. — The Island Gallery West, 5368 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, hosts a free demonstration by Nancy Law on using acrylics. Information: 941-778-6648.

11 a.m.-4 p.m. —Kids Day celebration, CrossPointe Fellowship, 8605 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-0719.


Sunday, Feb. 3

8:30-11:30 a.m. — Pancake breakfast, St. Bernard Catholic Church, 248 S. Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach. Fee applies. Information: 941-778-4769.

• 10 a.m.-4 p.m. — Bridge Street Market-sponsored Chowder Cookoff, Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach. Information: 215-906-0668.

6:30 p.m. — Super Bowl kick-off, Ravens vs. 49ers.


Monday, Feb. 4

1:30 p.m. — Artists’ Guild of Anna Maria Island meeting with Keeton’s Arts and Office Supply, Episcopal Church of the Annunciation, 4408 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-6694.


Tuesday, Feb. 5

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


Wednesday, Feb. 6

6:16 p.m. — Official sunset time.



Wednesday, Jan. 30

5:30 p.m. — The Longboat Key Garden Club’s A Taste of the Keys and Fashion Show, Longboat Key Club, Harbourside, 220 Sands Point Road, Longboat Key. Fee applies. Information: 941-383-8030.


Friday, Feb. 1

6:30-9:30 p.m. — Village of the Arts Sweethearts Artwalk, various galleries and shops, Village of the Arts, around 12th Avenue West and 12th Street West, Bradenton. Information: 941-747- 8056.



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

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

• 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 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. Info:  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, Jan. 17-through 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. Info: 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. 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 9-10, Anna Maria Island Art League Springfest juried arts and crafts show, Holmes Beach city field, 5801 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.

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


Calendar announcements

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

Fishing – 01-30-2013

Beach casting proves prosperous for flounder, pompano


Beach fishing proved prosperous this past week. Beach fishers using artificials like Berkley Gulp shrimp are catching respectable numbers of flounder, especially around the passes, both to the north and south. When fishing the beaches with Gulp shrimp, try using light colors, such as white, glow or sugar spice. Add a red 1/4-once jighead and you’re ready to fish.

Beach fishers using Gotcha plugs or bucktail jigs are catching ladyfish, bluefish and an occasional mackerel. The best way to target the fish is travel light. Stay mobile and walk the beach casting into the surf. Look for diving birds, a surefire indicator of where fish are feeding.

Finally, stories of pompano catches are increasing. Try casting live shrimp or sand fleas if you like natural baits. For artificials, Doc’s Goofy jigs or the standard pompano jig with a mylar skirt will work. You can tip them with shrimp if the fish are stubborn.

Jeff Medley at the Sunshine Skyway Bridge South Fishing Pier says Spanish mackerel and bonito are the catch this past week. “I can’t believe they’re still here,” says Medley. “It looks like they’re going to hang on all winter.”

Pier fishers using artificials, such as silver spoons or Gotcha plugs, are reeling up keeper-size macks and plenty of bonito up to 10 pounds. Medley suggests fishing toward the farthest end of the pier. Once you’ve spotted a bait school, start casting lures in that area to hook up. The fish are just under the surface.

Pier fishers using live shrimp are catching decent numbers of sheepshead around the pilings. Fish in the 2-pound range are being reeled up daily. Other baits such as fiddler crabs or sand fleas, will work, too.

Finally, pier fishers targeting sheepshead with shrimp are catching good numbers of flounder. Fish up to 18 inches are the norm.

Capt. Warren Girle is working Sarasota Bay for a variety of species, and the weather has played a role in his targeting. On cold and windy days during the fronts, Girle fished deep-water canals for redfish, black drum and snook. By casting live shrimp under docks, Girle is catching keeper-sizes of the drum species.

On days with less wind, Girle drifted over deep flats in the middle of the bay in search of pompano. By drifting and jigging, Girle says he hooked up with a variety of mackerel, ladyfish, bluefish, spotted seatrout and pompano.

Finally, on warmer, sunny days and light-wind conditions, Girle was working the shallow grass flats for redfish. By quietly moving from pothole to pothole, Girle put his clients on keeper-size reds on Berkeley Gulp shrimp.

Steve Oldham at Island Discount Tackle says flounder are the highlight. Whether fishing the beaches, piers or flats, fishers are reporting good numbers of the flat fish. Fish up to 20 inches are being reported, too. Anyone who fishes for flounder around Anna Maria Island knows a 20-inch flounder is a nice catch.

To target the flat fish, Oldham suggests using a 3-inch shrimp on a jighead. Color may be a factor, too. For the beaches, Oldham likes a white or glow color. When fishing the backwater, he likes to switch to new penny.

Along the beaches, Oldham is hearing of good action on more than just flounder. Bluefish, ladyfish, black drum and an occasional pompano are being caught during daylight hours. Live shrimp is the bait of choice to target any of these species, but you can use artificials such as spoons, bucktail jigs or pompano jigs.

Finally, flats fishers are reporting catches of redfish and trout, although patience is a virtue for anglers. The reds seem to be spread over the flats, according to Oldham. The same applies for the trout. Oldham suggests doing a slow drift over the grass, using soft plastics on a jighead. This allows the angler to cover a large amount of area, which aids in finding fish.

Jim Malfese at the Rod & Reel Pier says pier fishers using live shrimp are capitalizing on the action this week. By bottom fishing under the pier and around the pilings, anglers are catching sheepshead and flounder. A small egg sinker combined with a swivel, 12 inches of 20-pound leader and a No. 2 hook will get you in on the action. The key is to keep your bait around the structure. Keeper-sizes of flounder and sheepies are being caught daily.

Pier fishers opting to cast their shrimp away from the pier are getting results, although the action is less consistent than fishing underneath the pier. Migratory species, such as bluefish and pompano, are being caught by bottom fishers during the moving tides. If you notice numbers of bluefish feeding, you may want to switch to a size-1, long shank hook to prevent being cut off by the bluefish’s mouth full of teeth.

Dave Sork at the Anna Maria City Pier says flounder are the pier’s the catch of the week. Anglers using live shrimp are catching decent numbers of these tasty flat fish. By dragging live shrimp along the bottom, pier fishers are reeling up flounder in the 15-inch range.

By casting away from the pier, fishers are finding an abundance of bonnethead sharks. Again, live shrimp is good bait, but any other cut-bait, like squid or fish, will work, too. Just remember to cut small bite-size pieces for bait, since the bonnethead have a small mouth.

Capt. Mark Howard of SumoTime Fishing Charters says fishing this past week has been challenging because of the weather. Adapting to the weather conditions will help in the pursuit of action and fillets for the table, Howard says.

With the cold weather, the fish were staging in their traditional wintertime spots — deepwater docks, creeks and deep channels. Using live shrimp rigged to a 30-pound leader with a 1/0 circle hook, Howard’s clients were landing redfish, flounder, sheepshead, black drum and mangrove snapper. The key was a small split shot to help the bait get to the bottom. Chopping up small-sized shrimp and chumming will draw the desirable species and fire up the bite, Howard says.

Looking forward, Howard says the tides will be favorable for some excellent morning action. Look for fishing to steadily improve as we get more tidal movement and continuing warm weather.

Send fishing reports to fish@islander.org.