Offshore conditions continued to be favorable for hitting the open Gulf of Mexico on Friday and lots of boats were seen around popular fishing grounds 10 to 50 miles out.

Ken Shockley and Bill Kaplan took their families out on the 48-foot charter boat Rolling Waves and fished more than 70 miles out of Galveston.

Shockley reported lots of kings, sharks and bonito at their first stop 25 miles east of the jetties, and farther out, ling, Dorado and barracuda were plentiful.

Most of the fish caught were released except for a 22-pound grouper and two large Dorado.

Capt. Smitty Smith found action 75 miles out for his guests on the party boat New Buccaneer. Besides returning with 448 fish, a huge bull shark weighing 275 pounds was caught.

Thursday, the party boat Capt. John hosted a private charter for a group from Schlumberger and had a successful trip, returning with full limits of red snapper to 15 pounds, 14 Dorado and a king.

A moderate east-southeast breeze greeted anglers fishing the surf Friday and slowed action a bit from the day before.

Still, good numbers of specks, jack crevalle and sharks were caught by those tossing live shrimp fished under popping corks.

Richard Belleau reported croaker, whiting, gafftop, bull reds, specks and sand trout being caught by his customers early Friday on the 61st Street Fishing Pier.

Sylvia Wright reported lots of nice-sized blue crabs were being caught off piers along Teichman Road. Best catches have taken place early in the day.

The inaugural Hitchcock Hooks Fishing Tournament is set for July 26. The event is sponsored by the Hitchcock Bulldog Football Alumni Club with proceeds going to a scholarship fund and special projects for the football program.

The entry fee is $30 for adults, $10 for high school and middle school students and $5 for kids under 12. For information, call Craig Smith at 409-502-7496.

Capt. Joe Kent is a columnist for The Daily News. Report your catch to or call 409-683-5273.

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