How to fish for sheepshead

Sheepshead seems to be the talk to the town! I have had numerous requests on information about how to catch sheepshead! Most everyone knows that this time of the year sheepshead are a popular target. These fish make great table fair, reproduce quickly, and give for a pretty good pull on the line!

Sheepshead, in my opinion, can be one of the most challenging species to catch! With this being said, here’s a few tackle tips to increase your odds when it comes to sheepshead fishing!

Most sheepshead have human like teeth, and an odd shaped mouth, therefore, the best hook I have found is a #1 straight shank hook with a small split shot about 6 inches above the hook. Try avoiding large hooks or circle hooks to really increase your catch ratio on these pesky bait stealers! If you find an area that has a lot of wind or maybe a strong current it doesn’t hurt to add another small split shot or two; you just don’t want your bait dropping straight to the bottom because most sheepshead are suspended in the water Column and a slow presentation is best.

Next, finding the sheepshead is one important factor. Most all docks, marinas, and bridge pilings hold good numbers of these fish. Find an area with a little bit of depth between 5-10 feet or even a rock jetty such as Port Canaveral or Sebastian Inlet. These fish will hold on the edges of the rocks in search of small crabs, shrimp, and even sand fleas.

Another way to increase your odds is to take a shovel and scrape the barnacles off the pilings. Barnacles are home to all sorts of little morsels that sheepshead and black drum often feed on. Have a little patience, drop your bait — either fiddler crabs, shrimp pieces, sand fleas or even barnacles themselves — down your barnacle slick and hold on!

The windiest, coldest weather is typically best! Good luck to everyone!