The dead of winter, one of the best opportunities there is: Sheepshead. The standard trips are for large trout. These striped fish are fun to catch and great to take home. This time of year, sheepshead are easiest to locate and catch. Anything rocky: Bridges, docks, rockpiles will all have a sheepshead opportunity. It is a live bait scenario. Fresh dead or live. Fiddler crabs are one of the best baits. Blood worms are right up there. I usually use live shrimp. I rip them in half for multiple baits from a single shrimp. Sand fleas are another useful bait. Use a size two hook and just add the split shots that are the minimum weight necessary to sink the bait down to the bottom. I prefer a size 2 hook. Deeper water with heavier current, more weight will be necessary. The bite, usually subtle, you need to set the hook at the right time. They are very good to eat. I will cut into chunks and then dip them in egg, roll them in flour and throw them in hot oil on the stovetop. Major spines, be careful while filleting. After you get the fillets off each side, cut a V in the center of each fillet to get rid of a tiny row of bones. Another method people use, they boil the meat and it gives the sheepshead a crab like texture. They fight decent so this is good action with good dinners if you find them big enough. New rules, you can keep 8 per person with a minimum length of 12 inches. 50 per vessel, maximum. 
Neil Taylor

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