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Do you want to learn how to catch sheepshead? Sheepshead is challenging to catch as they are very cautious, are bait thieves, and put up a real fight when caught on the hook. They are fun to catch, tasty, and a favorite for inshore fishermen. Sheepshead is a member of the porgy family and is found along the mid-Atlantic and Gulf coasts. In this article, we will share information about sheepshead and how to catch them.

 

 

 

 

How To Catch Sheepshead
How To Catch Sheepshead

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Catch Sheepshead From Shore

When fishing for sheepshead from the shore, look for artificial reefs, wrecks, rocks, markers, and ledges. Usually, in late winter and spring, you will realize that these areas will have sheepshead. You can cast your line around these structures and fish for sheepshead. A regular tackle will work for catching sheepshead from the shore. A 6 to the 7-foot medium-heavy rod with a 3,000 series reel and a 10# to 15# mono or braided line will work.

When fishing for sheepshead, keep the rod tip low and keep tension in the line while you wait. This will help you feel the bite. You will feel a slight change in the weight at the end of the line when the fish starts to move away with the bait. Set the hook, and using a sharp hook, lift up the rod to hook it on. Moderate tidal flow is best when fishing sheepshead from the shore as it is more challenging to detect bites and control your rig in swift water.

 

 

 

 

How To Catch Sheepshead From A Pier or Boat

Use shrimp with a split shot rig to catch sheepshead when you fish from a pier. Set up so that the line is close to the structure. When fishing for sheepshead from a pier, use some equipment to scrape barnacles from structures to attract sheepshead.

Chumming is a good fishing technique to use when you fish for sheepshead from a pier or boat. You can use barnacles that were scraped off structures or other bait into the water.

 

 

 

 

Tricks For Fishing Sheepshead
Tricks For Fishing Sheepshead

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best Sheepshead Baits & Lures

1. Fiddler Crabs

 

2. Oysters

 

 

 

 

Fishing Sheepshead Tricks
Fishing Sheepshead Tricks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Barnacles

 

 

 

4. Clams

 

 

 

 

Fishing Sheepshead Tips
Fishing Sheepshead Tips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Sand Fleas

 

 

 

6. Shrimp

 

 

 

 

Fishing Sheepshead Ideas
Fishing Sheepshead Ideas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Jigs

 

 

 

Tips For Sheepshead Fishing
Tips For Sheepshead Fishing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sheepshead Fishing Tips

1. The best way to catch sheepshead is to look for them around any underwater structure that has barnacles on it.

 

 

 

2. Sheepshead can be found in grass flats, mangroves, oyster bars, artificial reefs, rocks, marker posts, posts, sunken structures, seawalls, bridges, piers, and mangrove roots.

 

 

 

 

Tips For Fishing Sheepshead
Tips For Fishing Sheepshead

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Use 1/0 hook size when fishing for sheepshead.

 

 

 

4. You can use lures to catch sheepshead.

 

 

 

 

Sheepshead Fishing
Sheepshead Fishing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. A medium-stout 6 to 7-foot rod and reel with a 15 to 20-pound braided line will work well for catching sheepshead.

 

 

 

6. When you are setting up the bait on the hook, break off the shrimp’s head, thread the hook through the tail, hide the hook, and use a short leader.

 

 

 

 

Sheepshead Fishing Tricks
Sheepshead Fishing Tricks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Always keep your line tight and check your bait with a very slight pull.

 

 

 

8. If you feel a tap or the line move slightly, that indicates a fish is on the line.

 

 

 

 

Sheepshead Fishing Tips
Sheepshead Fishing Tips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. When you hook a sheepshead, keep your rod tip up and do not allow it to take out enough line to wrap you up.

 

 

 

10. Always position yourself so that the bait is close to the structure.

 

 

 

 

Sheepshead Fishing Ideas
Sheepshead Fishing Ideas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. Always cut your bait into small portions as sheepshead have very small mouths.

 

 

 

12. Sheepshead can also be found offshore and under docks in about three feet of water.

 

 

 

 

Sheepshead Fishing For Beginners
Sheepshead Fishing For Beginners

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13. When you feel several taps on your line, it is usually too late as the sheepshead has sucked in the bait.

 

 

 

14. Use a #2-sized J hook and a small piece of shrimp and a light 8 to 10-pound fluorocarbon leader.

 

 

 

 

Ideas For Sheepshead Fishing
Ideas For Sheepshead Fishing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15. You don’t need a particular tackle to catch sheepshead.

 

 

 

16. The Carolina rig is a popular bottom fishing rig used by anglers to catch sheepshead.

 

 

 

 

Ideas For Fishing Sheepshead
Ideas For Fishing Sheepshead

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17. Don’t dip the rod as you are attempting to set the hook. You will lose it doing that.

 

 

 

 

Fishing Sheepshead
Fishing Sheepshead

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is the best bait to catch sheepshead?
Barnacles, shrimp, and fiddler crabs are some of the best baits for catching sheepshead.
What is the best time to catch sheepshead?
The best time to catch sheepshead is during the incoming and outgoing tides.
How do you attract sheepshead?
You can attract sheepshead by using fiddler crabs, barnacles, shrimp, clams, sand fleas, oysters, etc. You can use the chumming technique to drop some cut-up shrimp or barnacles into the water to attract sheepshead.
What should I look for when fishing sheepshead?
When fishing for sheepshead from a pier or boat, look for structures like pilings, jetties, broken down docks, reefs, etc. Look for barnacles on these structures and scrape them off and drop them into the water to attract sheepshead. When fishing for sheepshead near the shore, try to watch out for the tides as they bring food for the sheepshead. Fish for them during the tides.
Do sheepshead like shallow water?
Sheepshead can be found in shallow water as low as 3 feet as they search for food around oyster bars.
Are sheepshead bottom feeders?
Sheepsheads are mainly bottom feeders and feed on crabs, clams, oysters, barnacles, squids, mollusks, etc. They will also be around structures looking for barnacles and other prey.
Do sheepshead like current?
Sheepshead-like areas with current as the current brings food for them.

 

 

 

 

 

The Bottom Line

Sheepshead is a popular fish for anglers as it is fun to catch and a tasty fish. They are known to be very cautious and bait thieves. You can find sheepshead in the mid-Atlantic up to the Gulf coast. They put up a serious fight when on the hook and are schooling fish.

In this article, we share knowledge and information to help you learn how to catch sheepshead. If you are also interested in learning how to catch fish like mackerel, pampano, and spotted seatrout, then read how to catch mackerel, how to catch pompano, and how to catch spotted seatrout.