The prolonged cold spell has brought some surprising news in the way of catches. Tarpon are being caught in Offatts Bayou and over near Jones Lake we received a report of tarpon fatalities from the cold water.

While this is the first time I have seen pictures of tarpon being caught in cold weather, this apparently is not all that unusual. Capt. Mike Williams of Tarpon Express Guide Service has said many times that he has found scattered tarpon around the Galveston area all year long.

What is surprising to me is that the silver kings are warm water fish that thrive in tropical climates. During the summer, large tarpon roam the Texas coastline and are the target of many sports fishermen. The schools start moving south to warmer waters once a few northers cross the coast.

The fish caught in Offatts Bayou was a nice-sized tarpon but not nearly as large as the tarpon guides hook up with during the summer and early fall. Hopefully we will have a picture of that fish in Sunday’s paper.

The report of dead tarpon came from a reader who observed small tarpon on the shoreline in the vicinity of Jones Lake and the entrance to the Diversionary Canal.

A reader sent a note asking about rumors that the Pelican Island drawbridge will be closing for a period of time. Although I could not get official information about the closing, it does appear that the drawbridge will close from sometime in early February for possibly 120 days.

During that time sailboats and others too tall to get under the lowered bridge will have to take alternative routes to and from the Galveston Ship Channel.

I am awaiting a confirmation of this from official sources at the U.S. Coast Guard and will pass on what is learned.

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

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