Sheepshead are a seasonal option that are at peak  this time of year.   They are around all year but easiest to target in late winter.   It is really an out of the ordinary thing for me because I use all lures all the time.  Sheepshead require bait.   Your bait choices are simple.  Fiddler crabs, live shrimp, blood worms or sand fleas.    Go with any of those baits and you are in the game.   Sheepshead chew on rocks for their living.   So, fish around the structures.   Rubble, docks and bridges.   Rig up with fluorocarbon leader 20 to 25-pound and a size 2 or 1/0 hook.    Add split shots with the theme:  Just enough weight to get your bait to the bottom.   Do a hook-set when you feel the fish moving with your bait.  Nicknamed “convicts” a hookset at the right time will create your hookups.   

Not in any kind of stress, this is one of the greatest eating fish you can catch.  You are now allowed 8 fish, minimum length of 12 inches.   Cut into chunks, dip them in egg, roll the chunks in bread crumbs or flour and then throw them in hot oil on the stove. 

Neil Taylor


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