Anglers depending on live shrimp to fish are getting frustrated with the shortage of their favorite bait. There was none to be found around the Galveston area bait camps Monday, and the situation does not appear to be improving, at least over the next few days.
The Sea Isle Bait Shop on the west end of Galveston Island was the only spot offering live shrimp, and its supplies were not lasting long.
Live bait fishermen have other alternatives, and they include live mullet and croaker. Of course, artificial baits are always popular during times like this.
Live fingerling mullet and croaker are good baits, with mullet being my choice if a wider variety of fish are being targeted. Live croaker are excellent trout bait and the preference of many anglers who fish the Galveston Bay Complex. Live piggy perch also are popular.
Small mullet are among the top baits for reds and flounder. During the fall flounder run, mullet are the choice over shrimp, and the same situation often occurs during November with mullet as we are experiencing with shrimp.
If reds, black drum, shark and pan fish are your choices, cut bait usually works as well for them as other baits. Cut mullet and shad especially are among the top choices for dead bait.
Many anglers are using top waters and soft plastics at daybreak and dusk to land some nice trout. Most of the action on those baits is coming from East and West bays and Lower Galveston Bay by anglers either wade fishing or drifting reefs.
The good news for offshore anglers is no significant shortage of offshore baits. The only one in that group that seems to be in short supply is ribbon fish.