Anglers are becoming frustrated with the erratic weather we have been experiencing this year and questioning if a normal fishing season is ahead during the next several months.

Well, Gerald Hancock might have shed some light on this in his note about his fishing calendar log during the past 40 years.

Hancock compares this year to 1973, when the winter weather lasted longer than usual and was colder overall than this year.

At that time, several years of warmer-than-usual winters had prevailed along the Upper Texas Coast, and it appeared anglers were headed for an unusual year of fishing.

Sometime around Memorial Day that year, warm to hot weather settled in and fishing busted wide open.

While Hancock did not mention anything about the spring black drum run or other fish being caught, it appeared that trout, reds and other saltwater fish were hovering around the jetties before Memorial Day.

Hancock mentioned a tournament that took place the big holiday weekend of 1973 and said there were lots of trout, reds, flounder, sheepshead and other fish weighed in.

The bait camp at the Galveston Yacht club was swarming with participants, their families and representatives of the media.

At that time, I was a schoolteacher, and the Memorial Day weekend was in the middle of preparing for the end of school for the summer months.

Taking a break from studying for finals, I made a trip to Galveston to view the weigh-in that began at 3 p.m.

While there were not a lot of fish weighed in, the thing that impressed me was the party boats returning with their stingers of red snapper, king mackerel and ling hanging from the decks.

It wasn’t until late June that I could get back into fishing; however, when that happened, the year turned out to be excellent for fishing.

Let’s hope that this year is a repeat of the fabulous fishing of 1973.

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

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