- Sat Feb 27, 2021 9:15 am
I’m old enough to remember the 1983 freeze. I was out of town during the 1989 two freezes.
The 1983 freeze was a late December, Christmas time, event with three straight days, roughly 72 hours below freezing here in coastal Brazoria County and a bottom of 11 degrees at our house, I remember checking a thermometer that morning. My buddy and his dad went driving along the beach picking up large dead or near dead speckled trout. Christmas bay froze over enough to where there was a photo of my buddy or someone else standing on the ice. Seems like I remember there being some controversy then because so many people were picking up the washed up fish. Odd how it was the fish were even found along the Gulf of Mexico Follet Island beach. I had fished a fair amount in 1982 and 1983 before the freeze and was sort of new to saltwater fishing then. Two days before Hurricane Alicia hit in 1983, I and an old fishing buddy had an epic day wading in East Matagorda Bay . Really it was standing in one spot and every cast of a gold spoon yielded a redfish, most being 29”, just under the slot back then. The limit was ten redfish back then and I believe the slot was 18”-30”. I’m now embarrassed to say we each kept our 10 fish, 20 in total between the two of us, none under 23”, most every one 28 or 29”. What the heck did we do with that much redfish flesh? Had to be 30-40 pounds each of fillets. It was a different time with a much less conservation oriented way of thinking and I was 19 years old. It was like we were heroes amongst our families then harvesting all that fish. Interesting because no one in my family would think that way now, we would likely be goats for needlessly killing that many redfish, even if it were somehow TP&W approved.
I guess I’ll once again adjust my attitude about what and when and how many fish I may or may not retain. TP&W has the final say. I’d gotten more food self-reliant with this idiotic virus and all the mess, periodic shortages, risks, etc. involved with a simple trip to the grocery store or a restaurant. Grow it, catch it, forage for it, brew it, shoot it, trade for it, eat it, take away some of the dependence on sketchy supply chains and stay away from people. Still, one small slot redfish makes a nice and ample dinner for my wife and I. We could probably stretch that to dinner for 4 depending on how it is cooked or eat some fresh and then freeze the other half. Find other things to eat.
The freeze destroyed my winter garden, spinach, kale, lettuce, onions, bok choi, most everything I had remaining out there. I can see how people way back when were always at risk of general starvation and widespread general misery with mother nature frequently playing tricks on them and with various diseases running amuck and unchecked and then the powers that be doing irrational, destructive and counterproductive things. It’s now again somewhat like living in way back when olden times, but with smart phones and social media. Something surreal about it all. Missions to Mars, but can’t keep the lights on or the plumbing working. Self driving cars and half the city floods almost yearly. Lasers that can do precision surgery, effortlessly cut heavy metal, blast enemy drones out of the sky, but yet we can’t find a roll of toliet paper.Livescope and other sophisticated fish finding equipment, but then half the fish die from cold weather.
I guess keep yourself around long enough just to see what’s next.
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