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Inlets can produce more than you would think

Inlets can produce more than you would think Inlets can produce more than you would think
By Jim Reaneau

I am talking about SHEEPSHEAD and not the traditional method of a fiddler soaked up in or almost in the rocks. I am talking about fishing in open water with NO big rocks to break you off or cut your line.

That's right, open water. Open water where you can use six or eight pound class tackle and rods and reels that you would bream fish with. About this time of the year we have a migration of stud sized sheepshead that come in the inlets to breed and during this time you can flat have some hootin and hollerin fun and take some darn fine table fare home.

I like to set up on the edge of a drop, whether on a deep channel or a sand bar drop. You can do this in water from a few feet deep to depths of around thirty feet or even more.

The rig that I have found to work best for me is the traditional slider or fish finder rig, for you bass anglers, the carolina rig.

I have been using the Pflueger Trion 46, spooled with 10 pound test Power Pro. From the line on the spool, I slide on an egg sinker, from one to three ounces, depending on the current speed. I then tie to the Power Pro, a small barrel swivel and to that a piece about ten to twelve inches long of twenty pound Cajun Lighting monofilament. To the leader, I tie a Daiichi Bleeding Bait, Straight Eye, Straight Tie, Wide Gap hook. For the rod, I prefer one about six and one feet to seven feet long with a super light tip and a strong backbone about one half way down the rod. So far I have had more fun than a barrel of monkeys with the Shakespeare Ugly Stik Lite or Custom rods.

Now for the bait, earthworms, big fat red wigglers, the juicier the better. Not really, just teasing. The bait that I have had good success with is oysters, clams, shrimp (peeled) and small pieces of crab.

Capt. Becky Hogan and Capt Ron Gunter with a couple of very nice sheepshead, caught while on a trip with Capt. Jim Hammond of Fun Fishing Charters.

Put a piece about the size of your last thumb joint on the hook and toss it out, get a tight line and hold on.

The bite is not like you would expect, it is a tap, tap, tap. Nothing like sheepshead fishing with fiddlers up around the rocks. Sometimes they even hook themselves but you might want to hold the pole as they still have that uncanny ability to get the bait without you knowing.

So far I have not found one tide that consistently produces better than another. I seems like the fish bite better in shallow water on the outgoing and in deeper water on the incoming.

Back off on the drag and have some fun, I have been.

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j w | Posted: May 16, 2004

Wehre is this man fishing? he does't say.