The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 9 No. 29 - April 8, 2009


Store a great catch for fishermen

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Jennifer and Bill Lowman offer a convenient, well stocked tackle shop.

How would you like to have a job that requires you to not only know how to fish but to also talk about it all day? Well if that job is at Island Discount Tackle in Holmes Beach, your job description clearly states, "It’s your job to help people catch fish;" and for 21 years Island Discount Tackle has been doing just that.

In 1980, when Bill and Jennifer Lowman moved to Florida from Pennsylvania, they used their newspaper business background to publish a monthly fishing magazine.

Fishing Manatee Monthly and Fishing Sarasota Monthly ran for many years as a valuable aid to local fishers and visitors. By 1988, it was obvious to them that what Anna Maria Island needed was a convenient, well stocked tackle shop, prompting them to open their first shop. Although they continued publishing a monthly newspaper for five years distributed out of the store, their goal was to provide a one stop shopping spot for serious fishers where they could purchase everything from live bait to $1,000 reels.

Island Discount Tackle, now in its third location on the Island, has more than met the Lowman’s goals and also has turned into a family affair. The Lowmans are full partners in the business with Jennifer concentrating on keeping the books and maintaining their new Web site where orders can be placed online to be shipped nationally and internationally.

Their sons Greg and Aaron Lowman, who are both college students, have grown up fishing and working in the shop. Between the Lowmans, their three full time employees and part time staff, Island Discount Tackle runs like a well oiled fishing reel.

And if fishing equipment is what you’re looking for, Island Discount Tackle has it all and then some. It is an exclusive dealer on the Island and west Bradenton for Penn International Gold Label rods and reels, as well as the exclusive dealer for Shimano Top Shelf rods and reels. In 2008, Island Discount Tackle was the number one dealer in the world for the American manufactured Star Rods.

The Lowmans also carry Stella reels, Butterfly jigging rods, Calusa cast nets in three different sizes, 70 styles of hooks in a variety of sizes, soft plastic and hard plastic lures and live and frozen bait. Island Discount Tackle has a variety of braided lines including PowerPro and FireLine and the equipment to assemble the line on your reel. In addition, you’ll find fishing tools, knives, tackle boxes, dehookers, marker buoys, venting tools and gaffs, marine batteries, life jackets, dock lines and other safety related boating equipment. Rod and reel combos start at $19.95 and if you require a special order ,it can usually be accomplished within two days.

For nine years, the Lowmans ran the Fishing the Islands Tournament, which was open to everyone with categories for offshore and inshore fishing. All of the profits were donated to kids’ sports at the AMI Community Center and was a great community event raising well over $10,000 annually.

Bill reminds everyone that grouper season started on April 1 and that as of June 2008, everyone fishing for grouper is required to have a venting tool. Also required are fishing licenses, which only can be purchased on Anna Maria Island at Island Discount Tackle. License requirements for Florida residents and non-residents vary based on where you are fishing, age and number of days, all of which can be explained by th Lowmans or their staff members.

Island Discount Tackle calls itself the biggest little tackle shop in Florida. So the next time you’re heading out to sea, head on over to visit the Lowmans first. Their motto is "Forget the sale, make a customer." They may also make a first rate fisher out of you.


Island Discount Tackle

5503 Marina Drive
at Catcher’s Marina
Holmes Beach

Daily: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Major credit cards accepted

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story
Stocks stage rally – worst may be over

Investment Corner

After a terrible 2008, major stock indexes continued their declines for the first two months of 2009, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average went below 7000. Then, abruptly, just as most were predicting a decline for the Dow to below 5000 a four week rally has ensued taking the Dow back to the 8000 level.

What does this mean for investors and for the economy? With the admission that my crystal ball isn’t any clearer than anyone else’s with regard to short-term news and market action, I think we may look back and say that Mr. Stock Market once again tricked the masses a little and may be showing us that the world as we know it is not about to end.

We should keep in mind that the Dow is still down over 10 percent in 2009 (as of this writing on April 3) from the first trading day in January, so it’s not like the average investor is back to feeling great again. The NASDAQ Index is slightly positive for the year, but again no big profits unless you were putting a lot of money into the market back in the first week of March. Few we know were doing that.

The big questions facing investors now are: Will this latest upturn last? Has the bear market ended and a new bull market begun? It is easy to get lost in all the terminology and opinions. It is my belief that someone considering putting investment capital into equities and some of the great opportunities that exist in corporate bonds should consider the following:

1. Recessions end. Every single one before this one has, and there is no basis for believing this one won’t. The stock market has a history, in every single recession of the last 100 years, of rising substantially before the recession is officially over.

2. Considering #1 above, perhaps this latest significant rally is a sign that the current recession is closer to the end than the beginning. Only hindsight will tell for sure, but with some economic data recently reported showing a few rays of sunshine, I’m gaining hope that this is the case.

3. It is normal after a 20 + percent rise in the stock market to have corrections and pullbacks. Those who invest today should not panic or be dismayed to see the market’s rally stall and perhaps pull back before the next leg up begins. Then again, this is starting to feel a little like 1982 to me. The initial burst in August of that year surprised everyone, and the market just kept edging up for many months with no pullbacks to buy in on.

The message – don’t try to be fancy. Invest today for where you think the market will be three to five years from now. As I mentioned in a previous article a couple months ago, after 10 to 12 year periods of time where the stock market provided little or no return (like the last 10 years), average returns in the next decade are way above average, on the order of about 17 percent per year (source: – a subscription based research service).

The research effort at my firm is revealing what we consider to be some very healthy signs. The number of stocks making new 52-week low prices has shrunk to an insignificant level, and there have been many more stocks advancing in price than declining. These are signs that the recent rally has some quality behind it, and that has been a characteristic of the rallies which started most other new bull markets. Of course, there can be no guarantees, so make sure to use a common sense allocation for your investment plan.

Tom Breiter is president of Breiter Capital Management, Inc., an Anna Maria based investment advisor. He can be reached at 778-1900. Some of the investment concepts highlighted in this column may carry the risk of loss of principal, and investors should determine appropriateness for their personal situation before investing.

AMISUN ~ The Island's Award-Winning Newspaper