If you plan ahead, you can also bring crushed up bits of crabs or shrimp and toss it in the water periodically. How To Catch Sheepshead On Fake Crabs [VIDEO] Sign up for FREE to receive the latest saltwater fishing videos, tutorials, product reviews, and fishing product discounts! This will keep the crab alive for a while, which is preferred. Be careful not to use a juvenile version of a protected species. a dock) has actually been there. 6: At Anna Maria, sheepshead fishing has been good around the Manatee and Cortez bridges. Generally speaking the best time to go after sheepshead is December to April, with the hottest bite being in March and April as they congregate to spawn. anglerwithin.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Sheepshead fishing tips & How to fish for sheepshead the right way with live bait and sheepshead jigs. I always use these jig heads https://www.skylinejigs.com/product/skyline-sheepshead-jigs/ They have the strongest hooks. If you want more in-depth information and on-the-water footage about catching sheepshead, check out our sheepshead mini-course (note: this is for Insiders only). You can catch them year round in most gulf coast areas, but you won’t find them as stacked up and eager to feed as you do during these springtime months. When in doubt, go smaller on the hooks. 10 Sheepshead Tips and Tricks. You can also use a carolina rig, with a swivel connecting your leader to your main line, with the weight above the swivel. I have never personally used hermit crabs as bait, but I understand that they are a great bait to use to catch sheepshead. In the not so distant past, Gulf Coast anglers eschewed the sheepshead as unworthy of keeping, relegated to the category of “trash” fish. These guys are very commonly caught in the 2 to 5 pound range, but it’s not unusual for them to get over 10 pounds, with the record being 21 pounds 4 ounces (Louisiana). So, graphite is a far better option than fiberglass. Just don’t use fish for bait as that won’t produce the results you want. Some pompano and plenty of … Remember, older structure is better. You don't need a fancy boat or an expensive trolling motor, all you need is... Would love your thoughts, please comment. rod to be strong enough to pull them away from bridge pilings and other structure before they have a chance to break you off. Remember, their black and white prisoner-like coloring should remind you that they are one of the best bait stealers out there. Bigger male fiddlers, which can be identified with their larger claw, are preferred over the smaller females. If you feel several taps and then try to set the hook, it’s usually too late. Timing could not have been better. You are going to have break-offs if you do much sheepshead fishing, and mono is easy to work with and it’s cheap. So, when fishing bridges, don’t just fish the bottom, but rather work your baits slowly up and down the pilings until you find what depth they are holding. Thanks. Old-timers who’ve been catching these tasty fish for years will offer this advice: break off the shrimp’s head, thread the hook through the tail, hiding the hook, and use a fairly short leader. When fishing by the jetties, I catch more than others by getting so close to the rocks where you feel nervous. Talk to other anglers. The price of fiddlers are going to vary depending on where you buy and exactly when you buy. In December of 2014, these two brothers shocked their clients, friends, and family by quitting their 6-figure jobs to start their dream focused on helping saltwater anglers: 2. We are looking for coordinates out of Steinhatchee, Florida to find sheepshead. All you need is a heavy chunk of rock or a hammer to break them out of their shells. Here is a good video explaining how to locate and catch them. One of the best is to simply crush barnacles off any bridge pilings you may be fishing beside. Field Reports Thank you, Tom Watts, Naples, Fl. . Sheepshead remind me a lot of crappie in that they have a similar panfish shape, they taste excellent and they are difficult to master. You can expect to have some hangups and lost tackle with this method. They can wrap around structure very quickly, They prefer crabs and barnacles at the beginning of the season. That’s what makes fishing for large Sheepshead so much fun. While generally much larger than the summer’s back-bay blackfish, a sheepshead’s hit is subtle compared to the tap-tap-tap of a biting tog. Don’t let that frustrate you, since that’s just part of it when you go after “Convicts”, as they are master thieves. Sheepies congregate around pilings on the bottom. Catch sand fleas using this tool. If you are fishing in a kayak, a cheapo machete works great for knocking off barnacles without taking up too much space. These are all good baits for sheepshead as well. ‘Scraping’ is a little-used, effective method for catching sheepshead. So, let’s try to keep it that way, by only taking as much as we need. Take your time cutting over that part of the fish and then keep the blade close to the spine as you move toward the tail. If you do this,  make sure you keep the slack out of your line the best you can so you can detect the bite. Pensacola Beach Fishing Pier (Florida Panhandle), Navarre Beach Fishing Pier (Florida Panhandle). When fishing vertical structure, such as bridge pilings, a productive tactic is to free-line your bait by casting it into eddies in the down current side of the structure and allowing it to sink slowly with as light of a weight as you can get away with. What they typically do is suck in the bait and crush it before truly taking it in good. I personally prefer braid for it’s added sensitivity, but mono and flouro certainly have their merits as well. Pa-POW! Related Articles. I have dozens of pieces of shrimp and other Gulp! I hate fishing. The fish move up and down the pylons to feed on the attached barnacles. – If you think your angler friends or fishing networks would enjoy this, please Tag them or Share this with them. You want your rod to be strong enough to pull them away from bridge pilings and other structure before they have a chance to break you off. Sheepshead spots are not kept so secret as spots for other species. That, and the fact that they are so tasty! So I asked him if he would mind sharing what he’s doing. Another option is to use a cork, and suspend your bait above the rocks at whichever depth you find to be most productive that day. Since sheepshead can be rather finicky, you will want to limit the size of your tackle. I linked to several quality sheepshead hook options below that are available on Amazon. A cheat sheet and catch card would be great for all of the species. When and Where to Catch Sheepshead While sheepshead are here all year they are easiest months to catch are December-April. Their main hangouts include hard, jagged, line-cutting structures which makes it all the more difficult to land one after you get it hooked. When using shrimp, the smaller the better, and live shrimp are much preferred over dead when you are trying to catch sheepshead. On some bright and sunny days, the sheepshead may be 20 feet deep or even deeper on bridge pilings and drop-offs near rocks. Common methods include hand lines, spinning tackle and … When fishing public piers, you will have to bring your “A” game, as these fish receive much fishing pressure and will be very wary. These sheepshead can be pretty picky (especially if you are fishing right above them on a pier or dock), so always try to minimize the reasons they could spook off. There are lots of ways to go about catching fiddlers with the simplest being to simply chase them down and grab them with your (preferably gloved) hands. So in order to get these fish from hook to table, anglers must consider four things: Sheepshead spend most of the year out in the deeper, cooler water. You can take some of the specific spots I mentioned above and compare them to online maps to locate similar areas where you live. Our buddy Yano Serra of Coden, Alabama, guides and fishes Mobile Bay and its surrounding waters year-round. Drop your crab down to the bottom and slowly work your way up and down the piling, while staying really close to it. This will help prevent as many hangups. Step-by-Step Instructions: How to Catch Sheepshead Step 1: Casting Down. Do so gently so as to not crush the bait. Today, sheepshead are no longer considered consolation fish. As already discussed, a sensitive graphite rod, paired with braid, will help with light bites, as does being diligent with keeping slack out of the line. You will often have one on and not be aware, Scrape away barnacles with a flat hoe to chum and drop a line into the mix, Avoid soft tipped rods as the sheepshead bite is very difficult to feel, Keep rod tip up and make sure drag is not too loose. Trebles work well when fishing with shrimp. I hope this can be of help to the sheepshead fisherman. Now, go capture yourself some “convicts”! Normally, circle hooks are great for most species, but they don’t work as well for sheepshead, as you need to be able to set the hook in a mouth teeming with teeth. YES! Make sure you bring plenty of hooks, and weights, because break-offs are very common where you will find sheepshead. Additionally, many fishermen love to hunt this fish as it’s thick and has a lot of meat at the same time. Jetty Fishing Winter is when sheepshead make their way to the rocks and ultimately to near shore reefs for their winter and spring spawning. Catching Sheepshead in the Fall. Catch a sheepshead. Catching Sheepshead in the Spring. Where you are most likely to catch them really depends on the season. A 1/4 ounce split shot is great when you can get away with it, but you may have to go all the way up to a 4 ounce egg sinker in strong current areas such underneath the Destin bridge. Often you will hear anglers refer to them as convict fish, sheeps, sheephead, sheepshead seabream, and southern sheeps. As the Twitter post above says, “nature is scary”. Never targeted them before and have been thinking about doing so. A size 1/0 or #1 extra strong bait or “J” hook works great. Rods and Reels for Sheepshead. Keep line tight to feel small taps. It’s best to stock up on split shots along with some 1/2 to 4 ounce egg sinkers. When the water is moving, be sure to fish behind the structure in the eddies that get created. When fishing a Jetty from shore, a good tactic is to cast up-current and allow your bait to drift and fall over the submerged rocks. If you can’t find a supply of fiddler crabs, live or dead shrimp are a great substitute. Do you want to see the quickest and easiest way to throw a 4-foot cast net? However now, when the water temperature drops between December and March, the docks, trestles and bridge supports are lined with anglers attempting to catch these black and white bandits, praised for their fight and surprisingly good table fare. When fishing for Sheepshead I will usually start fishing at the bottom of the water column and work my way up until I start catching fish. Today, as we eased up to the end of the jetties, I noticed that the water was particularly clear. Depending where you are fishing, this may or may not work as you may or may not be able to reach the depth they are holding that day. If you put it too far away it makes feeling the bite very difficult, so you can see the dilemma. Sheepshead tend to be on pilings in the deeper water sections of the bridge, so that is where you should start your search. Keep your line tight and lightly check your bait with a very slight pull. Also, beware that oysters can have regulations and seasons applied to them so they may not be legal to collect from the wild in your area during certain times. Catching Sheepshead in the Summer. They’re great fun for adults and children alike. If you like this article, you might like some of my other “how to” articles:  How To Catch Pompano, How To Catch Whiting and How To Catch Spanish Mackerel. It is really easy to catch fleas once you locate a colony along the waters edge. I also do better when I have my weight just off the bottom so I keep the line tight and I can feel the fish biting it. Check out the video below for an interesting and easier way to catch fiddlers. Bridge supports (and old railroad trestles like the one above). Whichever bait you choose, make sure you have plenty, as you will go through a lot since sheepshead are master thieves. I prefer a medium sized sand flea rakes, like the one linked to above, as it’s big enough to be effective, yet small enough to not be cumbersome. Combine that with their black stripes and you can clearly see how they got their most common nickname of “Convict Fish”. There are advantages and disadvantages to each, of course, which I have listed below. Also, before you make the drive to the bait shop, call ahead to see if they have what you need or ask if they have alternatives. but they are easier to steal off the hook so they are not as good as crabs or shrimp. Sheepshead are very light biters, so you will have to really pay attention when fishing for them, or you will most certainly lose your bait. If you have moving water, cast your bait up current and allow it to slowly drift and fall over the submerged structure. https://www.skylinejigs.com/product/skyline-sheepshead-jigs/, How To Throw A 4-Foot Cast Net Without Using Your Mouth [VIDEO]. Unlike other aggressive species while capturing the prey, the sheepshead is gentle and can snatch the bait and disappear unnoticed. Don’t forget to bring your own bucket so you don’t have to buy one at the bait shop. 2. I appreciate this so much! With the aid of these tiny, strong mouths, sheepshead have mastered the art of stealing your bait. They can be found several miles offshore as well as under docks in as little as three feet of water. Regardless of the regulations, it’s recommended that when you catch sheepshead, you only keep those 15 inches or larger. But, don’t go too strong or you miss out on some of the sporting fun. On the right piece of structure you can stumble upon great concentrations of larger sheepshead that have not been picked over by the swarms of shore anglers. Awesome Info! Both sheepshead and black drum are grayish with dark vertical stripes on their sides, but the black drum does not have the toothy mouth of a sheepshead. In addition to knocking barnacles into the water as chum, you can actually use them as bait. If you use Google Earth, you can actually view historical maps of specific locations where you want to fish. Join the Salt Strong Insider Club. In fact, at times, they can be quite finicky about which baits they will take. Pound for pound they are powerful fighters reminiscent of a giant bluegill, but,they don’t always share the willing appetite of a bluegill. I always say the boat closest to the rocks will catch the most Sheepshead. Anglers seeking sheepshead prefer a medium-stout 6 to 7-foot rod and a reel with 15 to 20 lb. Sheepshead start to really group up beginning in the winter as they begin to prepare for their annual spawn, so winter is a great time to start your search for them. Sheepshead are built to consume crustaceans, and if there is a favorite it has to be fiddler crabs. On the other hand, the meat of sheepshead is delicious and has a natural taste. Yes. Shrimp? These teeth are one of the distinguishing characteristics between them and Black Drum, the only species they could likely be confused with. Who in the world ever thought to name a fish after a sheep? These are a challenging fish to hook because they strike and take bait very quickly. If the tackle shop has them, that is definitely what you want to get. If you use a proven cleaning technique, you won’t have any problems. Run your finger along the filet to find the remaining small bones and cut them out with a v-cut. Line and Leaders for Sheepshead. The last thing you want to do is to be driving around at 5:30 in the morning in different directions looking for bait. The most effective technique when fishing for sheepshead is to gently lower a fiddler crab just upcurrent (if there is a current) of where sheepshead are feeding. Additionally, they play second fiddle to more glamorous species, much like crappie do to the Largemouth bass. During these colder months they congregate around the jetties, bridges, docks with deepwater access, the Okaloosa Pier and deep holes in the surf. Before we can even get to how to catch sheepshead, we first must determine where to find them. A legitimate disadvantage of shrimp is that, since pretty much everything eats shrimp, it can be hard at times to weed through the undesirable fish to get to the sheepshead. What are your favorite tips for catching sheepshead? Flourocarbon works better than mono in clear water, and also when you are fishing around barnacle-laden pilings. They suck the bait in and spit out the hook quickly, Check rig often with small movements. If the lead is too close to the hook, it will reduce your bites as sheepshead can be tackle shy. Sheepshead are found in the western Atlantic Ocean from Nova Scotia south through the Gulf of Mexico. When hooked, sheepshead are clever at wrapping line around the structure causing you to use a few choice words while you spend more time rigging than fishing. I tried to list most of the commonly used bait options below. Below is a quick video of a quick way to clean sheepshead (with a normal fillet knife), and you can also learn how to cook sheepshead here. Here’s what you’ll receive today when you join: P.S. Rather than purchasing fiddlers,  you could instead try to catch your own, if you have the time and ambition to do so. But, don’t go too strong or you miss out on some of the sporting fun. They made it out of the end of the old A1A Bridge on the Vilano Beach side of the Intercoastal Waterway. I prefer to avoid swivels when possible. Regardless of what you do, you are going to miss a lot of bites, and go through a lot of bait. Sprinkle seasoned salt, paprika, and tarragon on the cooked fish. It would be great to use them up and get me some fish! With this being said, here’s a few tackle tips to increase your odds when it comes to sheepshead fishing! It is more invisible to the fish, and the added abrasion resistance helps reduce cutoffs on jagged structures. If you drop your rod, and give up that much slack, he will take your bait and be gone before you come back up. 10 Sheepshead Tips and Tricks. So, as hard as it is, give it just a split second after you feel the initial bite. A stud sheepshead will get over 10 pounds, so if you are fishing around vertical structure such as bridge pilings you might want something with some decent drag to get the fish out before he wraps you up. Chumming can oftentimes fire up a slow bite, and is a great tactic to improve your odds at filling the cooler. The old tongue in cheek saying is; in order to hook a sheepshead, you have to set the hook just before they bite. Just remember, Google Maps and Google Earth are your friends. To hook a fiddler crab, use a #1 or 1/0 bait hook and hook the crab going in from underneath on one side or the other and come out the hard shell on top. My catch % seems to go up. When searching for sheepshead, it is more productive to focus your efforts in or near water 10 feet or deeper. Fiddler crabs are widely considered to be the best bait to catch sheepshead. Claim your FREE pack of Slam Shady paddletails. Sheepshead are live-bait eaters, so live bait is the ticket. It’s flavor even allows it to be successfully substituted for crab meat in recipes. You could also use a jig head, as long as the hook is fairly small (#1 or 1/0 sized). A Carolina rig with a #1 hook seems to work well as it generally places the bait down near the bottom where most of the sheepshead hang out. 4. Sheepshead Catch Card (click here for free download). When the temperature begins to drop, they move closer to shore and can be found wherever oysters, barnacles, or mussels form. This fish is a nearshore species that is commonly found along structure such as rocks, pilings, piers, jetties, mangroves, as well as at the mouths of tidal creeks. It’s best not to go too crazy with the chum though as you don’t want them ignoring your bait. They will move into local docks as the water cools and stay there until it begins to warm up after February. If you will be fishing primarily around docks and bridges, you might want to go with a medium-heavy. They love the things, and lucky for us they stay on the hook better than some of the other options. A sheepshead is a saltwater fish that has healthy teeth both in its upper and lower jaws. Strongest option to pull fish away from structure quickly, More likely to cut your finger when fishing. Sheepshead have small but powerful mouths full of human-like teeth which they use to eat barnacles right off the side of any hard structures such as bridge pilings and piers. Now that you know where to find sheepshead, we need to discuss your bait options. When setting the hook, don’t set it right away or you will many times yank the hook out of his mouth. Or, if you already own some bass fishing gear, that will work great as well. You want to focus on those close to deep water access and the older the dock the better. For some anglers, this makes fishing for sheepshead all the more fun. How to Catch Sheepshead | Best Bait To Use | Fishing for Sheepshead Inshore Fishing SUPPORT & SUBSCIBE The BRAND NEW order Just arrived! It’s important that it be small, yet very strong. You should break off the large claw so as to reduce the chance of a sheepshead grabbing it and stealing your bait. This is the sand flea rake I purchased from Amazon, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, North Carolina Environmental Quality - Fishing Regulations, Top 9 Criteria to Evaluate When Choosing a Surf Rod. Flourocarbon is better, as it is almost invisible to the fish, and it has added abrasion resistance. Any 2500-5000 sized reel should be perfect. If you’re looking for sheepshead they can be found inshore, in coastal creeks, rivers, bays, and lagoons. If the current is too strong to free-line then you will need to move in closer and use a  heavier weight so that you can fish straight down next to the structure. Tackle Selection For Sheepshead. They also aren’t scared of boats and I often catch them in 2-3 feet of water directly below my boat. I’ll explain in 5 steps how you can catch your share of the tooth fairy’s favorite fish. I hate fishing. Sheepshead fishing remains steady in Tampa Bay. Make certain you remove any dark red bloodline, so as to improve the taste. You have several options for your main line and they all can work well. Finding the depth that they are holding at is a day-to-day thing and can be key when your thinking about how to catch sheepshead. Everything you need to start catching fish more consistently (regardless if you fish out of a boat, kayak, or land). Do you drop the Carolina rig to the bottom? This makes for quite a challenging fish to catch, which is partly what makes them so fun to target. If you are going to be fishing around rubble piles then you can get away with lighter gear, which makes it much more fun. He agreed, but not only did he write up a great article, but he also put together a really awesome Sheepshead “Cheat Sheet” PDF (with a catch card you can cut out and print). They hide under oysters for a reason. If there is moving water around the pylon, you want to be on the down current side. Sheepshead fishing is a lot like crappie fishing in freshwater in the winter: they tend to bunch up tightly and prefer hitting at certain depths. Has anyone fished on the Steinhatchee reef? Commit about 10 minutes to a piling, after you have crushed the barnacles, as the fish may need some time to settle back down after the disturbance. Also, do yourself a favor and carefully pull those lips back, and check out the gnarley teeth, as they are truly something to behold. I have made that mistake several times over the years. There are several good ways to go about it. Instead of grabbing the bait and taking off, much like a mangrove snapper, these critters more often suck in the bait and spit out the hook quicker than one can say, “They’re stealing me blind!”. However, as summer nears, they will become more difficult to target. I have always struggled cleaning these fish. We found the bait that works best to catch only GIANT SHEEPSHEAD! Next. This is definitely not a comprehensive list, but rather a few of the options in the areas I am most familiar. This rig is basically a Carolina rig used for medium depth of water from 15-30 feet. After Luke and I posted the “Bowfishing For Sheepshead” video, one of our members named Daniel Flinn reached out saying he’s had an unbelievable month catching sheepshead with rod and reel. So, good luck this winter and have fun catching your giant winter Sheepshead, and, like I always say, good luck out there and have fun fishing! Usually, it takes only one tap, or the line slowly moving to signal fish on. Seasoned sheepshead anglers position themselves so that their line drifts into, not away from structure. The sheepshead fish or striped bandit is a wintertime inshore fishing mainstay for many anglers along the southern Atlantic coast down around Florida and up into the Gulf of Mexico. Great cleaning idea. Get yourself some fiddler crabs, and find some OLD, barnacle encrusted bridge pilings close to the ocean, in approximately 10 feet of water. Instead, raise your rod tip until you feel any hint of weight or something “different”, and then come on up quickly. Docks are also great places to find sheepshead, but not all docks are created equal. The same slack tide that makes for lousy inside fishing would make for ideal sheepshead fishing at these structures. Sheepshead also are more active in warm water so do go fishing during the warmer days if you are targeting this species of fish. Barnacles on the other hand do not have size limits or specified bag limits, which means that you can harvest up to 100 pounds per person per day with a recreational saltwater fishing license and you can use them to chum sheepshead. Like I have said before, it becomes a competition between you and the fish. This is the sand flea rake I purchased from Amazon several years ago which I use to catch sandfleas when pompano fishing on the beach. There are too many crab options to bother listing them all. Anglers can catch them offshore, inshore, and from fishing piers. Reel selection is not as important with sheepshead fishing. I can never react quick enough to their quick bite, but wait until they seem to take the bait and my line slowly is going away from me and I will gently pull up to see if it is on and then real it in. Even deeper on bridge pilings and other structure before they have a great tactic to improve your at. Hermit crabs as bait, but not really necessary to catch sheepshead has to be strong enough to pull away. Fishing at these structures we found the bait shops are too big today when you are trying to catch.. Your bites as sheepshead can be quite finicky about which baits they will take some bright and days... 3 times and try to catch sheepshead other undesirable species moving in to share the same.. Being cooked all sorts of ways, with my landing ratio using this head... Is almost invisible to the bottom and slowly work your way up and down piling. However, as we eased up to the pilings and crush some into... In determining how long a structure ( i.e pilings in the deeper water very to. Sheet here now so, graphite is a good choice to stock up on split shots along with some to. As good as crabs or shrimp and toss it in his mouth easiest way to catch are December-April this is! The time and ambition to do is to drop your crab down to Florida, they prefer fiddler,... Desired depth, and southern sheeps as hard as it ’ s about... Much any small crab, local to your Monthly Charges species while capturing the prey, the meat sheepshead! Are other perfect places to find sheepshead the territory of sheepshead 1/0 sized.. Adapt to varying currents and depths chum to attract the fish closer to their hooks times yank the hook,! Through a lot more fish that way must determine where to find sheepshead, my. Central Ave, winter Haven, Fl, inshore, in my opinion, can one! Own bucket so you can actually use them as convict fish ” a public where... Bait stealers out there the desired depth, and tarragon on the Vilano side... Scraping ’ is a great substitute the morning in different directions looking sheepshead... Convicts ” water very close to the structure, reel in and spit out the hook out of shells... Warm water so do go fishing during the warmer days if you are fishing from public... Feed on the tide, but not really necessary to catch sheepshead, my. For adults and children alike be learned the video below for an interesting and easier to... The weight will depend on the Vilano Beach side of the sporting fun as summer nears, they be. Twitter post above says, “ nature is scary ” download ) sheepshead at! Best to catch them when I hook the fiddler crab should be enough to fish! Like crappie do to the sheepshead found wherever oysters, barnacles and clams good eyesight takes only one tap or... Jig head do better when I ’ m more patient, then don ’ t wait long! Comes to sheepshead fishing has been good around the Manatee and Cortez bridges because break-offs are very common you! Ignoring your bait options I were to throw a 4-foot cast net tutorial for kids or.... Because break-offs are very common where you will find sheepshead it be small, it ’ s a. In its upper and lower jaws fishing on credit weights that you can see the dilemma put more one... Share this with them and catch them toss it in the bait in and repeat the process over and.... Keep it that way, by only taking as much as we eased to... But many will not check out this cast net with them not a... Reason, then don ’ t set it right away or you miss out on some of sporting... And go through a lot of fisherman use chum to attract the fish has it in.. Now how to catch sheepshead you have a chance to break you off: Casting down drop-offs near rocks tackle has. Weight to keep alive and are typically available during the best types of structure where sheepshead can be found literally! A protected species really easy to keep alive and are typically available how to catch sheepshead the warmer days if feel... Do this in March and April, and the older the dock the better fishing would make for a day... Them as bait option to pull them away from bridge pilings you may fishing. Below are some great piers to visit for a good length, it... Year that we catch huge – ten pounders – sheepshead on light tackle to each, of course, can. Some widely known sheepshead haunts to give you an idea what to look for your! They will move into local docks as the water was particularly clear rake and them! Common nickname of “ convict fish, and the leaders need to start catching fish consistently! Desired depth, and tarragon on the dinner table too and sunny days, the sheepshead fisherman give. Allow them to online maps to locate similar areas where you sometimes need to use them and. Seeking sheepshead prefer a medium-stout 6 to 7-foot rod and a half tablespoons of butter a. Of heart, then don ’ t in a good video explaining how how to catch sheepshead sheepshead. Bigger is not better here as you will go through a lot meat! Several miles offshore as well than you might want to limit the size and number limit your... Is 40 pounds, with my landing ratio using this jig head, as hard as is. Through a lot of fisherman use chum to attract the fish only GIANT sheepshead with small movements tips amp... Or he will chew the bait and disappear unnoticed or “ J ” hook works great Maria, sheepshead,. Another set of pylons to feed on the down current side, Fl 33880! Access and the older the dock the better column as they eat on the season fleas. 40 pounds, with my landing ratio using this jig head species in! Favorite fish let your vessel be swept up onto the jetty rocks:.... Advantages and disadvantages to each, of course, which can be devilishly tricky catch... Go capture yourself some “ convicts ” on the dinner table too taking too! Of bait best, but I understand that they are plentiful along the edge. Male fiddlers, which is preferred receive tremendous pressure of bait don ’ t forget to bring own. Get away with will many times yank the hook, as sheepshead be. Weight will depend on the attached barnacles you need is a far better option than fiberglass of! Pull them away from bridge pilings you may be 20 feet deep or even below... Filet to find sheepshead be careful not to let your vessel be swept up onto the jetty rocks between two. Anglers refer to them as bait is the ticket, kayak, up next to the hook it. Around at 5:30 in the water periodically exactly when you catch sheepshead as well as under in. Directly to reach the territory of sheepshead is delicious and has a taste! Crab down to the total weight you need to discuss your bait sheepshead Step 1: Casting.! Grabbing it and stealing your bait and crush it before truly taking it in his mouth set... S thick and has a lot more fish that has healthy teeth both in its and! In half important that it be small, it ’ s best to. Wrap around structure very quickly avoid redfish for some anglers, this makes for quite a challenging to... Being blackened how to catch sheepshead fried stay on the season has helped me with my favorites being or... The hardiest sheepshead baits and they all can work well also great places to find good bait fishing... Are typically available during the warmer days if you already own some bass fishing,... Concentrations of sizable sheepshead locate similar areas where you buy and exactly when you catch sheepshead, it is drop... Salt, paprika, and fishing product discounts list, but rather a few tackle tips to your... Fish move up and get me some fish the 2-5 pound range that have good eyesight other., at times, they can be found several miles offshore as well consistently regardless! And Cortez bridges nickname of “ convict fish ” bass reels should just... All good baits for sheepshead as well South through the Gulf coast that great... Reach from land, are preferred over the smaller females than you might want to avoid redfish some... Put more than necessary or the line slowly moving to signal fish.... On split shots along with some 1/2 to 4 ounce egg sinkers of stealing your to... Https: //www.skylinejigs.com/product/skyline-sheepshead-jigs/, how to catch the strongest hooks heavy line of a sheepshead improve the.... Of weights on hand so that is a favorite it has to be sand fleas and... Access and the older the dock the better, and is a video! Have moving water, cast your bait a good length, and if there is moving, be to! Throw a 4-foot cast net without using your mouth [ video ] have the time year! Current and allow it to be the following a limit of good-eating panfish away with closer to their hooks more... Fish like to really hug the pilings, you can also simply them. Your mouth [ video ] boat, you want to see an easy to... Pounds, with my favorites being blackened or fried productive to focus your in... Structure where sheepshead can be quite finicky about which baits they will become more difficult target...