Today we start a new year on the fishing scene and typical of January, conditions do not look good for fishing.

Checking random samples of past issues of the Reel Report for the first two weeks of January, I found that it was one of the slowest times of the year for anglers. Many bait camps closed or were operating on an abbreviated schedule.

The times when fishing was good, the action came largely from West Bay and told of reports of speckled trout catches from areas such as Greens Cut, Confederate Reef Triangle, the causeway and the jetties.

While specks and a few reds were the topics in West Bay, sand trout, whiting and sheepshead were the bill of fare from around the jetties.

One of the Reel Reports I viewed was from the late 1980s and in addition to the areas mentioned above, red snapper catches offshore were prolific based on the party boat reports.

In all of the earlier articles sampled, I looked for mention of Offatts Bayou and the popular cold weather fishing area was not mentioned in any of the approximate two-dozen samples that ran from the 80s to just a few years ago.

Obviously, reports from Offatts Bayou were not in the group I selected. There have been numerous occasions during early January when it was so cold that Offatts Bayou’s deep holes would surely have produced fish.

Once conditions settle, all of the areas mentioned should be worthy of fishing except for red snapper in offshore federal waters.

I will be on the road back to Galveston on Tuesday and will not be writing an article for Wednesday; however, the Reel Report will resume Thursday.

Capt. Joe Kent is a columnist for The Daily News. Report your catch to or call 409-683-5273.

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