Live shrimp continued to be scarce at bait camps in and around Galveston on Friday. A check of numerous bait camps showed supplies only available at Fat Boy’s on Jones Lake and at GYB Bait Camp at the Galveston Yacht Basin.

Several readers called in expressing frustration over making the trip to Galveston from points north of here, mostly around Houston, and finding no live shrimp available. The solution to a wasted trip is to call ahead to your favorite bait shops and inquire about their supplies.

One reader asked what I meant in Friday’s Reel Report when mentioning white flags flying at bait camps. For many years, the white flag has been used to indicate whether the bait shop had live shrimp. The absence of the flag flying usually indicates no supplies are available.

The origin of this dates back almost 100 years when most bait camps were on the water. At the time, fishing boats were small and powered by oars or small horsepower outboards. Most of the boats did not have bait wells and bait buckets were used to hold live shrimp.

If the supply needed to be replenished, a trip back to the bait camp was in order. To avoid a long wasted trip, the operators started using white flags to indicate the availability of live shrimp.

Incidentally at the same time blue flags were used to indicate availability of dead baits, such as dead shrimp or squid, which were the two most popular.

Friday afternoon, there were white flags flying at several of the bait camps, and hopefully, they will have enough to last through the Saturday morning crowd.

Our only fishing report came from Capt. Mike Segall of Reel Threel Charters who hosted the Justin Tucker party of Lake Jackson. Their catch included nine kings, two mangrove snappers and a cobia (ling).

Sardines were the bait, and Segall said that kingfish action was red hot.

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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