Mentioned in a recent Reel Report was a new regulation that took effect Nov. 1 prohibiting the gathering of oysters by commercial and recreational fishermen from within 300 feet of shorelines. Included in the article was mention of the fact that the sport of gathering oysters by recreational anglers is known as “cooning for oysters”.

Several readers inquired about the term and what is meant by cooning, as they had never heard of it. As far as how the term came to be applied to the gathering of oysters, I cannot say; however, I do know that the sport is popular among both wade fishermen and duck hunters with blinds in the shallow bays.

The process usually involves carrying a hammer and chisel and breaking whole oysters away from clumps. One area that was popular with sportsmen cooning for oysters is Bastrop Bay. Oyster beds are thick in that area and most are well within 300 feet of shorelines whether islands or typical elongated shores.

Personally, I’ve tried my hand at gathering oysters many years ago and quickly concluded that the price paid at the fish markets for oysters whether shucked or in the shell was a bargain.

On the fishing scene Wednesday, fog was the problem. In fact, it caused me and a fishing buddy to have to delay our trip for a day. The thick mist limited visibility to a quarter mile and besides that, it would be miserable crossing the bay with the wet stuff hitting you in the face and saturating your clothes.

Thursday looks to be a good day to hit the water and I hope to have a good report to pass on.

Saturday, the West End Anglers Fishing Club will be hosting their second annual Winter Trout Tournament. The entry fee is $120.00 per person and for more information, call (713) 594-4752.

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

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