Before continuing with our annual end of the year evaluation of fishing, there are a few things I want to point out.

Seasoned saltwater anglers will tell you that conditions play a big part in the success of fishing trips, and conditions are for the most part dictated by weather. During 2018, we had more unfavorable days for fishing than in any year I can recall.

For example, around the Memorial Day Weekend excellent conditions set in around Galveston, and the fishing was prolific. Beautiful Caribbean type water made its way to the beach, and both offshore and inshore fishing were just about the best of the year.

On the offshore scene, the evaluation is the same as we gave for inshore fishing: below average.

During red snapper season, there were good results when boats could make it offshore. Nice quality snapper made up the two-fish limit, and this was encouraging to the red snapper group of fishermen.

King mackerel were around in good numbers, and, again, conditions dictated when and where they were caught. Ling did not seem as plentiful this year.

One fish that has been in short supply at the cleaning table is the dolphin-fish (dorado), or mahi-mahi, as many call them. There is an easy explanation for this: for another year, seaweed or sargassum was not as wide spread in our Gulf waters. The presence of dorado, especially the young “chicken dorado,” is directly related to patches and lines of seaweed.

Sharks did not appear to be in short supply and were caught as usual along the beachfront.

It is too early to predict what type of fishing season we will have during 2019; however, if we can avoid any serious flooding or significant storms in the Gulf, we should see a much better year of fishing.

Have a great New Year, and, most of all, stay healthy and safe!

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

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