Here we are at the beginning of the month of December, and anglers are asking where the time went. One interesting fact about December is that it has been the month when our worst freezes have occurred over the past 35 years.
Beginning around mid-month is when many of the fish-killing freezes have taken place, and I can cite 1983, 1989, 1991 and several Decembers afterwards where a hard freeze took its toll on fish.
Fortunately, the Texas Gulf Coast has been spared such events recently and hopefully the winter of 2016-17 will continue that trend.
One reason the December freezes have been so devastating is that they occurred all of a sudden following warm conditions.
Trout especially are vulnerable as they are one of the most sensitive fish to cold temperatures. The trout have not become acclimated to winter with gradual declines in water readings that would have moved them into their winter patterns.
There have been several major freezes in January and February; however, the devastation was minimal due to the fish having become oriented to the cold water.
Still, we cannot get comfortable until after Valentine’s Day as that is about the time we last see any harsh freezes along the Texas Gulf Coast for the season.
On the fishing scene, strong northerly winds kept anglers off of the water Wednesday with only two reports to pass on.
Tuesday night, Johnny Smalley decided to fish the lights of his neighbor’s dock at Jamaica Beach thinking a pre-frontal bite would take place. Conditions were perfect; however, only one keeper trout was landed during the two hours he fished.
Gary Jackson fished from his boat moored at the Galveston Yacht Basin on Wednesday and landed a 16-inch flounder, eight sand trout and a 19-inch black drum while using live shrimp for bait.