Friday was a great day around Galveston, with ideal weather for fishing.

Several boats were on the water; however, by early afternoon no fishing reports were in.

We did have one note from Dave DeAtkine, who has been keeping track of water temperatures near Eagle Point for years.

“Never in all the years I’ve taken notes have I seen bay temperatures in the 40s in March,” he said.

Thursday, he observed a reading of 49.7 degrees at Eagle Point, and a couple of months ago it was 37 degrees.

DeAtkine said he was surprised we haven’t seen any major fish kills this winter.

Last week, I mentioned the fact that by this time of year we are approaching the magic 70 degree mark along the beach front, and currently the temperature is in the mid-50s.

One recent forecast indicated a continuation of the cooler weather through March and that likely will delay the water-warming until April.

DeAtkine’s log is interesting because my logs of past winter trips fail to show water temperatures.

One reason is that before 10 years ago, water temperatures were not as widely available.

Regarding his surprise about no fish kills, we never had any sustained freezing weather this year. Cold, yes, but not long periods of freezing conditions and a quick warm-up usually followed. Fortunately, fish became acclimated to the winter weather and found refuge when needed.

Now, let’s look ahead and see how our prolonged winter might affect fishing.

My opinion is the key to triggering more consistent and good fishing will be the arrival of water temperatures in the 70s and above.

The longer periods of sunlight also will contribute to getting the fish into their springtime patterns.

The bottom line is this year it will be farther into April before the surf turns on.

The first ling of the year caught in the surf usually takes place in April, and that is one of the best barometers for indicating the fish have returned.

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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