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You Are Here > Home > Fish Identification > Sheepshead

These water proof and pocket size cards are designed to assist the sportsman with accurate, at-a-glance identification of various species of fish and will be a valuable addition to your tackle box.

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Fish Identification - Sheepshead

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Species Facts

Science Name: Archosargus probatocephalus
Other Names: convict fish, seabream
Ideal Temp: 60 to 65
World Record: 21 lbs. 4 oz, La.
Environment: inshore, coastal
Techniques: medium tackle, bottom fishing

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Jeff Edwards | Posted: December 29, 2009

when fishing for sheephead never just set the hook, slowly lift the rod tip and when you feel him there sort of guide him up more slowly till he spooks and ever time you do this he'll hook him self granted to are you a wide gap hook.

Ryan Thompson | Posted: June 13, 2009

When using fiddler crabs for sheepshead, instead of purchasing them, try borrowing your kids little sand bucket in the mud (day or night when theres a good low tide) leave about an inch out and make a little lip of mud around the rim of it. Add a mullet or pin fish if you want to but now required. in a few hours the bucket should be full of them. GOOD LUck out there.

Wilson L | Posted: February 25, 2007

use a small size 8 GAMAKATSU hook and for bait this is the hard part get the small black clams on the pear piland when the tide ges out the day before and put them in the fridg and the nex day go fishing use the hook i told you about stick it through the side of the shell then drop by the piland and let it sink when they hit jerk up fast

Jimmy | Posted: January 2, 2007

Today I was fishing at around 10:30 in the saltwater back bays of Naples, Florida. I a nice sheephead on a orange and red crank bait. Man when he hit it you knew you had a fish. Use a cast and reel in slow method. If you catch a school you will hit one

mesoball | Posted: July 10, 2006

Sheepshead are easy to hook, but maybe not so easy to reel in. The best bait to use n theses fish would be fiddler crabs. TAlso these fish like to hang out where there is barnacles, so what you do is Hook a fiddler on your hook, then drop right next to either where you can see sheepshead(if you can see them) or drop it where there are usually sheepshead. then you wait,once the fish is hooked you know the rest.

Jimmy | Posted: November 14, 2005

When you fish for sheepshead around pilings, it is always beneficial to scrape off the barnacles so that you get the fish in a feeding frenzy.

Brently2407@yahoo.co | Posted: September 30, 2005

Hey all...I fish freshwater most of the year but take a saltwater trip every once in awhile. If ever in Grand Isle, LA fish on the old bridge coming into the island..fish on the side before the island on the end and sheepshead love the barnacles on the side of the pier..use a live shrimp and just rest your rod on the pilons and wait for them to pull. Excellent Eating!!

smitty | Posted: February 21, 2005

When fishing from piers use small live shrimp, or especially seed shrimp (grass shrimp) or hermit crabs. I use 50 lb braid with a 25-30lb mono flurocarbon leader on a 7ft heavy action rod with a quantum classic MGC reel. When the bait is on the bottom, be sure to lift it every 5-10 seconds and set it back down. Often you can't feel them hit. You feel them on the line when you raise the bait. Then set the hook like you are trying to jerk his lips off. I suggest a 1/0 Owner all purpose hook to get past those teeth.

richie | Posted: April 18, 2004

Useing live or dead shrimp cast near rock jetties or other solid structures. These fish like to eat the barnicals that are found here. Also be sure to use a wire leader, as these fish have many sharp teeth.

jonathanchamrad | Posted: January 13, 2004

I go sheepshead fishing every year when the water gets cold. I go to the big jetties in Port O'connor TX and anchor next to the rocks & use dead shrimp for bait. My favorite technique is "leadheading" with just a 3\8 ounce jig head. Moving water is best. Just cast right next to the rocks and work it like a lure, keeping it on the bottom. Every year I catch at least 50 and have several large fish frys. Sure, they're hard to clean but not that hard, and my friends and I like sheepshead better than reds or flounder! We just caught over 40 last weekend.

MoonDog | Posted: April 26, 2003

The easy way to catch these guys is to cast net them off the jettie. They come into the shallows bye the rocks to feed. I have netted them in two feet of water. Big ones 7-10#.

Aaronfromnc | Posted: July 23, 2002

These to me are the hardest fish in the world to catch, and it is not because they are rare. You seriously need to prepare yourself mentaly for 0 fish days. They are convict fish for sure. Try fiddler crabs and sand fleas with stiff line. I prefer using a wire leader as well and remember to strike before they bite.

stcwest@att.net | Posted: July 5, 2002

When fishing for sheephead around pier pilings, be sure to use enough rod and strong enough line to turn his head when you set the hook. otherwise it is a losing proposition at best. My personal outfits include 7'exhvy rod, Penn #9 loaded with 50 lb. test mono. I've also heard Spectre line works because of it's no stretch characteristics. I plan on trying this in the near future.

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