While many of us get frustrated and disappointed about the poor fishing conditions while sitting at home getting cabin fever, think about the ones who make their livelihood catering to fishermen.

From conversations with bait camp operators, this has been one of the worst months for business in years. Normally, January is the slowest month of the year in that business; however, each year there is a minimal amount of activity that makes it worthwhile to keep the doors open. This year, to say the least, has been challenging.

Shrimpers, who make their living supplying live shrimp to the businesses, have suffered due to the freezes. Shrimp have not been moving, and as a result, for most of the month, it has hardly been worth the fuel to go out dragging.

Full-time fishing guides also have seen a drop from normal January business, as the cold is causing a lot of customers to postpone their fishing plans until later in the year.

Traditionally, the first quarter of the year is not the best for inshore fishing along the upper Texas Coast and the reason largely has to do with the wind and the constant barrage of cold fronts. A number of our popular local fishing guides head south for the first part of the year and guide along the middle and lower coasts.

Obviously, it is because the fishing tends to be better and the primary reason is that the lower and middle Texas Coasts can endure much higher wind velocities and still offer fishable conditions.

We will discuss this more as the windier months approach; however, a good example is with wind velocities in the 20 mph range and higher. Winds of that magnitude shut things down around here most of the time, while along the other two coastal regions, fishable areas can be found.

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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