While many anglers were worrying about the effects of the major cold front forecast to hit our area early this week, West Bay fishermen were taking advantage of the pre-frontal bite with some nice fish being taken from the upper West Bay area.
Malcolm Mencacci drifted the shoreline on the west side of Confederate Reef and landed a Texas grand slam consisting of five specks, a flounder and a red that was released. Mencacci caught the fish in four to five feet of water where the water temperature was 48 degrees.
Galveston Bait and Tackle’s Jetty Joe reported some excellent fish hitting his cleaning table. Capt. Billy Howell, Howell’s Saltwater Adventures, fished with his friend David Kirby and landed two limits of trout to four pounds along with a red. Down South Lures in hot pink were the baits.
Forest Johnson fished around North Deer Island using pearl white Gulps and landed three specks, two sand trout and a flounder.
Two anglers fishing the causeway returned to the bait camp with seven trout and three puppy drum using live shrimp for bait.
Saturday, I attended the Houston Boat Show and visited with a number of our local guides and anglers. Most expressed concern over the cold front converging upon us and the possibility of a major fish kill.
When forecasters refer to the front as an “Arctic Blast,” I’m flooded with memories of the 1983 fish kill.
In that situation, record cold temperatures hit suddenly and were just too much for trout and other fish to tolerate.
Trout and mangrove snapper, also called gray snapper, are two of the most sensitive fish to cold weather. Water readings in the low 40s are where the problems occur.
Most biologists are not concerned with the current front as the freezing temperatures are not expected to linger and a quick warming trend is forecast.
You might recall that there was a similar cold spell in late December 2010 and January 2011. While there were some fish that fell victims to the cold, there was not a significant kill. Hopefully that will be the case this time.