This week we will see an end to January and the beginning of February. Most of us can hardly wait to get January 2018 out of the way and move on with a new month that brings hope for better fishing.

This January we experienced terribly cold weather, along with two hard freezes that took their toll on fish. The good news is that it appears that our stocks of game fish survived with minimum loss in numbers.

While there is no guarantee that tradition will hold, over the past 50 or more years once we got into February major freezes were behind us. Oh, there likely will be days when the thermometer dips below freezing; however, in most of the years it was short-lived and warmer weather set in quickly.

I recall at least two occasions when we had a freeze as late as March 21, the first day of spring. Neither freeze did any noticeable damage and the effect on marine life was negligible. So, Hooray for February.

Black drum anglers should start gearing up for a big run of the big uglies this year, as all indications are that the stocks of black drum are in good shape. Most likely it will be around Valentine’s Day before any reports start coming in, as early February is when they start appearing at the jetties.

Anglers with seaworthy boats for the offshore Gulf waters should consider trips to the nearshore wells and platforms, as February often brings numerous days with light winds. For loading up on good table fare, the offshore structures offer a variety of fine fish, especially in February.

So, let’s look forward to next Thursday, as January is out and February will be in.

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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