The beach water temperature continues to climb and now is in the range it should be this time of year.  

Fishing has been slow lately and it could be the fish are there; however, the fishermen just do not have the bait they want.

I am referring to live shrimp.

The more likely answer is fish are going to be found where there is food, meaning bait fish and shrimp.

The situation of poor numbers of live shrimp in the Upper Texas coastal bays likely explains why catches are down.  

Larger fish that feed upon finfish such as mullet, shad, croaker and others are being caught, and if coastal fishing is in your plans this weekend, that might be the best bet for action.

Looking through my personal fishing logs for the month of April during the past 10 years, I did not make any notes about a shortage of live shrimp.

The only notation of bait was about the small size of the live shrimp that were available at the bait shops.

Several times during April — most notably in 2010 — readers were complaining about the size of live shrimp available being more like whiskers and eyeballs than bona fide shrimp.  

The main complaint was the difficulty in hooking the infants.

Once on a hook, the size did not seem to bother the fish.

The Texas Coastal Fishers of Men annual fishing tournament is May 17 at the Topwater Grill on April Fool Point in San Leon.

Fishing begins at midnight and the weigh-in deadline is 2:30 p.m. Proceeds benefit Helping a Hero.

Registration is open to everyone and the fees are $30 for adults and $15 for youth.

For registration and more information, check

Capt. Joe Kent is a columnist for The Daily News. To get your catch in the Reel Report, call 409-683-5273 or email

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