Sheepshead for Dinner?

Today I guided Brax and Bobby for some Pensacola bay Sheepshead action. This was Brax’s birthday trip so the goal for the day was to have a birthday fish fry and a few cocktails this evening! We arrived at our location around 9:30. The first place we started was a rock pile in 52ft of water that had been holding lots of fish all week. It took a few minutes to figure out the current and the drift. I also spent a little time explaining the technique on how to catch these fish. Sheepshead fishing is easy, but Sheepshead catching can be difficult if not done properly. They are a fish with a very small mouth and are traditionaly very picky. It is a lot like targeting Triggerfish, which is an entirely different story in itself. A number of things have to happen in order to have a successful catch rate while sheepshead fishing. First, I like to use as small of tackle as I can get away with. Today, the current was pretty swift, and we were in over 50 foot of water so we had to use 2oz egg sinkers to get our bait down. I like to use a carolina rig with a 20lb fluorocarbon leader and a #4 Eagle Claw hook. The light Fluorocarbon leader will ensure more bites! Second, and most important, is keeping the hook in the fish’s mouth. Your probably thinking well obviously so, but there is actually a technique to it.  Most of my clients are use to horsing up snapper and grouper where a hook pull is very unlikely. Sheepshead on the other hand have to be finessed all the way to the boat. The biggest mistake people make is horsing the fish to the boat. The only thing you will get out of putting pressure on a sheepshead is a bunch of pulled hooks!

After a quick lesson, Bobby and Brax were ready for their first drop! Within 30 seconds, both of them had big Sheepshead on. A double hookup on the first drop definitely took the monkey off our back early. From then on it was constant action all morning. Around 11:30 we had 20 big Sheepshead in the boat. It was now time to head back to the launch and start the fun part of the trip, cleaning them! If you have never experienced cleaning a Sheepshead then it is definitely something you should try. Ok ok, I’m just kidding. They are one of the toughest fish to clean but in the end it’s worth it. I have found that cutting around the rib cage works best for me so that is the teqnique I use. It is a fast, easy, and effective way to clean an icebox full of fish. After cleaning 20 Sheepshead. it was time for me to head to the house and relax. It doesn’t look like there will be much fishing for the next two days with small craft adverseries in effect. I guess I have the next two days off! See ya on the water Wednesday!

Brant Peacher
www.fishtheemeraldcoast.com

zp8497586rq