April 21, 2013
The Sheepshead, Archosargus probatocephalus
Vertical bands stand out against a dull white, gray or yellowish background. The mouth is full of massive, protruding teeth that give the fish its name, and distinguish it from the juvenile Black Drum, the only fish with which it is likely to be confused. Spines of the dorsal and anal fins are heavy and sharp.
Common from less than a pound to 4 pounds. Fairly plentiful at 5-7 pounds. Fish approaching 10 pounds, and occasionally surpassing 10, are taken each year in North Florida, especially from offshore wrecks and navigation markers in late winter and spring. World record 21 pounds, 4 ounces; Florida record 15 pounds, 2 ounces.
One of the best, thanks in great part to its shellfish diet.
Not an aggressive strike; very tough on light tackle. Pulls hard and uses flat shape to advantage.
TACKLE AND BAITS
Light spinning and baitcasting tackle are tops for sport, but rodtip should not be too soft, as the tough and toothy mouth makes it hard to set a hook. Best baits are fiddlers or other small crabs; cut pieces of blue crab; live or fresh-dead shrimp (threaded on the hook); pieces of oysters and clams. Sheepshead will readily hit slow-moving jigs tipped with these baits and, occasionally, will take the bare jig.
Convict Fish Bait-stealer
All Florida salt waters.
Areas of rocky bottom, from far up coastal creeks and rivers, to well offshore. Loves dock and bridge pilings, artificial reefs and any other structure that wears barnacles and/or harbors crabs. Forages for crustaceans, at times, on shallow soft-bottom flats in the manner of Redfish or Bonefish.
Brad Slocum shows off a nice wintertime sheepshead.
Carl Moore hoists up this big ole sheepshead caught under the Destin causeway, while fishing with his son.
Big Bend Sheepshead
angler shows off a nice sheepshead caught off of a shallow water rock-pile.
\"Sheepshead like this one hold up better than most species in the face of pollution of the St. Lucie River by agricultural discharges. Nora Johnson-Guy caught this scrappy fish, held by her brother Hagen, in the South Fork of the river.\" - Karl Wickstrom
Cold Weather Sheepshead
Forum member fsu11 with a nice sheepshead from a ice cold winter day in Jacksonville.
Five year old angler Eejay with a bruiser sheepshead caught in Flamingo.
Big Bend Sheepshead
Forum member anglerbros 7286 and family recently got out and tore up the sheepshead and trout in the big bend region.
Florida Sportsman Forum Member FLOWGROWN_ANGLER caught this nice slot Sheepshead while fishing the river in Jacksonville.
Florida Sportsman Forum Member Aquaholik with a great day of slaying with some keeper Pompano and Sheepshead that he caught in Clearwater.
Recognize the teeth?
Sheepshead showing its humanly smile.
Forum member troutman57 and friends caught these Sheepshead fishing knocker rigs on bottom with shrimp.
Phillip Moore caught this stud 24 inch Sheepshead on November 29th.
8 year old Matthew Rickard from Sanborn, NY caught this sheepshead on an annual family February vacation to Cape Canaveral
Teagan with a nice Sheepshead
3 year old Teagan Treadway caught this Sheepshead on live shrimp off Boca Grande
Matthew Rickard with a nice sheepshead caught during low tide on a vacation to Canaveral.
Fiddlin' with Sheepshead
Ethan Lasher, 11, caught this sheepshead using a fiddler crab under the North Bridge in New Smyrna Beach, Fl.
Brown's Creek Sheepshead
Don Christopher's surprise catch around an oyster bar with imitation shrimp jig.
Cody Huntley's sheepshead caught off of Tom Adams Bridge in Englewood, Fl.
Dock Feed Sheepshead
Big dock sheepshead are always a great fish to catch
FS Member Steve Rossman caught this toothy sheepshead near Fernandina.
Neptune Beach Sheepshead
FS Member reelhooker caught these sheepshead off Neptune Beach.
Fernandina Beach Sheepshead
FS Member steelerfish caught this sheepshead near Fernandina Beach.
FS Member arunram posted these sheepshead from near Southside.
Crystal River Sheepshead
FS Member shuttering posted this Crystal River sheepshead.
Sheepshead of all sizes bite near bridge and dock structure.
Crystal River Sheepie
Member shuterkng posted this Sheepshead from near Crystal River.
Andrew Drobisch of Land O' Lakes, Fl with his sheepshead caught just west of Pensacola Pass
Not many fish taste better than a sheepshead.