Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Anna Maria Island City Pier and Other Sightings

We love the city pier. We go there once a week just to see what wildlife we can spot and what possible fishing stories we might hear....An old codger today made a quick comment about the fishing while we were standing and watching boats come in and seeing them scoop up HUGE amounts of bait fish into their boats, which were idling next to the fishing pier. And then he launched into the coolest thing he had seen in the 40 years he's been coming to the pier to fish and people watch. And that story was......

There was a boat that came in near the pier (this took place quite a few years ago, but it's still the old codger's favorite memory of the city pier) and it was obvious that the fishermen were novices and the boat was severely underpowered. A small freshwater motor and too big a boat. Well, the guys on the boat landed about a 450 pound hammerhead shark right near the pier. They hauled it in the boat with some kind of grappling hooks and the shark got MAD. He started thrashing so hard all over the deck of the boat that all their gear went flying overboard, and one of the fishermen went flying overboard along with all the stuff. The guys on the pier were laughing their heads off!

He said he saw a pair of dolphins one time catch a decent size fish and play with it, tossing it into the air, rolling over on their backs and just have a grand old time with that fish. The game lasted for quite awhile, he reported.

We've seen a school of rays, a mama manatee and her baby swim right under the pier, an aging dolphin swim close back and forth, back and forth along the pier. We've seen all kinds of birds get caught and trapped in the fishermen's hooks, even a ray one day...and today, a pair of dolphins swim so close to the beach, had we been out wading in the water, we probably could have touched them. Sparky couldn't run out to the rocky jetty fast enough to catch a photo as they leisurely swam away....

But she did see a persistent snowy egret trying to get an elusive fish out of a rock hole...
                               "Hey, c'mon outta there. I know you are in there somewhere!"

Sparky saw some cool oystercatchers...Aren't their eyes really distinct looking? Gives a whole 'nuther meaning to "red eye flight"......

We're really excited! By the time you read this, we will be in North Carolina at a cabin in the mountains in the Smokies....Sparky is really excited about going hiking! Eldo will have to take it easy. He took a spill on his bike and fractured a rib a few days ago. One of those things where the tire caught the edge of the sidewalk as he was crossing from riding in the road and transitioning temporarily to the sidewalk to avoid interstate traffic. The tire quickly twisted and down he went, luckily on the grassy shoulder. But still, a rib was fractured from an encounter with the handlebars and he is now recovering. No bike riding for 6-8 weeks, the doctor said.

See you in the mountains next time!


  1. OH poor Eldy and he was doing so well with his bike riding. That is just a bummer that he can't go hiking or riding for 2 months just when he had his momentum going. Hope you feel better soon Eldy.

  2. Ouch! Glad it was not worse. I think about a tumble when I am riding in traffic.

  3. Loving your pictures of the Smokies. Poor Eldy!! Feel better soon :)

  4. It's fun for us to see photos from Anna Maria Island as it has come to be one of our favorite spots in Florida. We will miss it this year!


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