Another gorgeous day greeted anglers on Sunday.
Visitors to the island crossing the causeway must have compared Galveston to one of the Caribbean Islands as the blue-green water of Galveston Bay caught their eyes.
With the water temperature continuing to remain in the low 50s, fishing has been limited to our basic wintertime fish. Whiting, sheepshead, black drum, sand trout and an occasional speck and red have been the norm lately.
It felt like old times when I read the fishing report from the Party Boat Capt. John on Sunday as it has been many years since red snapper could be retained in January. Early on when the Gulf Council set seasons for red snapper, the start date was April 21, then it moved to June 1. Regardless of the start day the season never lasted past October, and now it runs less than a month and a half.
Williams Party Boats is part of an experimental, or pilot, program where selected vessels are given a quota on red snapper and can fish all year in order to catch their allocation. Once the quota is caught, that is it for red snapper on that particular vessel for the remainder of the year.
Other party boats are restricted to the season designated for red snapper; however, they are limited only to the two fish bag limit and not a quota during the short season.
Saturday’s trip was to the sunken ship, V.A. Fogg, about 40 miles south of the jetties, with a stop at the old Buccaneer Field, about 26 miles away and in the general direction of the old ship that now is a haven for divers and fishermen.
The 82 anglers aboard returned with 162 red snapper along with 18 Gulf trout, vermilion snapper and a triggerfish. A bull red was caught and released. John Pennington of Pearland limited out on red snapper to 19 pounds.