It is just over two months until the 2021 red snapper season begins, and this year there is much optimism surrounding it.

This past week the annual report of Gulf of Mexico stocks of red snapper was released, and it showed a significant increase in the populations of the prized reef fish.

Now, how will that be used to set the length of the season or the daily bag limit? My guess is there will be an increase in one, possibly both. I hope we will have a longer season and an increase in bag limits. We should know something soon when the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department announces this year’s season.

On the fishing scene, the water is warming and getting close to the magic 70-degree mark. This is a key to getting fish to move and particularly bait such as small fin fish and crustaceans.

The higher the reading is above 70, the higher the number of fish that will make their summer migration this way.

Closer to home, there have been some nice catches following all of the turbulent weather earlier this week.

Offatts Bayou in particular has been producing some nice reds, with good quality trout mixed in.

Greg Hagerud‘s report from the Galveston Channel area reflects a common situation in that often anglers expect the worst based on conditions but end up with the best. Hagerud sent the following note:

“I fished the harbor this morning and was pleased.

“With the tide low, water stained and no sign of bait, I thought it was going to be a wash. My last couple of trips were.

“I ended up with three slot reds. One was retained for a friend and five trout over 20 inches with two retained for dinner.

I decided after the freeze not to freeze any fish this year. If it is not being eaten, that day it goes back.

Large live shrimp free lined was the bait.”

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

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