The recreational harvest of gray triggerfish in federal waters will close Thursday and not reopen until Jan. 1.  

The closing resulted from a determination by NOAA Fisheries that the 2014 recreational quota of gray triggerfish has been harvested.

There is little doubt that offshore anglers, who have been fishing the Gulf waters for as long as I have, think back on the days when triggerfish were a nuisance for fishermen trying to catch red snapper.  

Often, they were so numerous around wells and platforms it would force the boat captain to move to a different location for a better chance at landing the prized red snapper.

The problem with triggerfish is they would fill the space between the surface and the depths at which red snapper were suspended, and by the time the baited lines arrived at their destination, the bait would be cleaned off of the hook.  

In those days, most of us could hardly imagine any type of shortage of the pesky bait snatchers.

On the fishing scene, the shortage of live shrimp continues.

A few bait camps are receiving small supplies that are quickly grabbed up.

None of the bait camp operators that I spoke with could give an indication of when the shortage would be alleviated.

Live croaker and dead bait are in plentiful supply, along with spotty supplies of live fingerling mullet.

On a positive note, there are some nice-sized trout in the 26- to 30-inch range being caught and artificial bait has been the key.  

Mirrolures and soft plastics such as Bass Assassins and Norton Sand Eels are the most frequently quoted bait for the big sows.  

The larger trout are being taken in the afternoon, with dusk being one of the better times and waders catching most of the big fish.

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

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