Almost always in the Valentine's Day Reel Report I suggest taking your significant other on a fishing trip to celebrate the joys of the occasion. However, this Valentine's Day is different.
Most anglers are biting their nails over the freeze event forecast for this week. If the forecasts hold, we definitely will be dealing with a freeze. However, the bigger question is will it take its toll on fish.
Rick Croix, a long time Galveston angler, sent a note about his memory of the 1983 freeze, one of the worst on record for the Galveston Bay Complex. Part of Croix's note read:
“But most of what I remember was the incredible stench the next time I drove down to Galveston to fish, and the sad sight of thousands of fish (including trout and reds, interestingly do not remember seeing any flounder, so maybe they had already gone deep).
"I don’t remember how long it was after the kill we went down? Nor how long it took to clear it out, or what the impact was on local fishing, how long it took to recover, and what parts of the island saw (and smelled) the worst.”
I, too, recall vividly the aftermath of the big freeze. All areas of Galveston Bay and other bay complexes were hit hard, and the devastation on the stocks of trout was so great that soon afterwards the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department enacted rules setting size and bag limits on trout.
The forecasts, so far, do not give any indication of an event close to what we experienced in December 1983. The key to the effect on fish will be how long the water temperatures remain in the low 40s or lower.
All we can do at this point is to keep our fingers crossed!