Fiddler Condo. - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 12-29-2016, 07:06 PM   #1
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Default Fiddler Condo.

Firstly I'd like to thank members of this forum. I've been a lurker for a few years and have gleaned a good bit of useful info from the site. I finally became a member and have had fun posting. Everyone here seems to think like I do, fish, fish, fish, boat, fish, everything else, fish, fish.
I've been hitting the sheepies hard since picking up a bay boat last fall. Me and my crew boated over 700 convicts between Christmas and mid April. Their liberal bag limits, fighting ability and great taste make them a treat to target.
One of the best things I've learned is to pre-catch fiddlers. Fiddlers come out in huge numbers (a cast) do feed on detritus at low tide. In the winter they will stay in their holes if its too cold (below 60 or 65 degrees).
Our winters are mild with many warm days. Just pick one of the warm day and get out to the bay at low tide and load up.
They stay alive well in a container with some water and fish food. You will need to clean it every couple days and keep replacing the water as necessary. Any old fish food works well.
It's nice to head out to your favorite sheepie spot with 200 - 400 baits. if you have enough, you can toss a few out every few minutes to get and keep fish close top the boat.
Hope this helps someone. If it doesn't, I had fun writing it.
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Old 12-30-2016, 12:07 AM   #2
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I know it will help at least a couple people, one for example right here.

How do you actually catch them?

Stupid question, but I assume the water you put in there is fresh water?

When you clean the container do you just dump the crabs into another container while you clean that one?

Cold fronts during winter are pretty regular. Do they tolerate cold or do you need to keep the container in which you're storing them in climate control?

Thanks for the post!
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Old 12-30-2016, 05:03 AM   #3
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Best time to catch them is at low tide when the temperature is above 60 or 65 outside. They seem to like marshy areas with lots of tall sea grass. I think they prefer to burrow around the roots. They come out to feed in mass quantity and all you have to do is scoop them up.
Fresh water is fine. I pick out the few dead ones before cleaning then toss the lot in a bucket so I can clean the container. I used to put sand in the box but found they stay alive fine without it and it makes cleaning a lot easier.
I manage to keep 1 gallon of fiddlers alive for over 2 weeks with only a few die offs.
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Old 12-30-2016, 08:20 AM   #4
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Great info! Thanks!
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Old 12-30-2016, 09:24 AM   #5
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Thanks Cap.PJ -- you are now the "fiddler whisperer" in my book !
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Old 12-30-2016, 07:32 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info. Sheeps are great eating like you said. Firm flesh too.

I hate fishing bait though, although with them there is little choice as they seldom take anything else.

I'm curious though, come the big spring run I was going to try Shrimp Fish Bites. Anyone catch Sheepshead on them? Or any of the scented plastics?
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Old 12-30-2016, 07:57 PM   #7
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Last spring I tried fish bites in several different flavors. I caught sheepies but not as hard and fast as my crew using fiddlers or shrimp.
Don't wait until spring to fish for sheepshead. The biggest fish are caught from now until half way thru the spawn. Last winter I caught limits every time I fished for them except for two trips out of about 30. I estimated we cleaned at least 700 convicts.
This year is starting out a little slower because it's been warm, the Panama City pass is being dredged at the moment and them damn pompano won't leave me alone. Wednesday the 28th was the first time I brought a limit in and they were all huge.
I've also used frozen fiddlers. During the summer it's easy do catch huge numbers and freeze them. I prefer live but in a pinch the dead work. Honestly, we have enough warm days in the winter here when the crabs come out. It is very easy to maintain a large supply of live.
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Old 12-30-2016, 07:58 PM   #8
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Do you scoop them up with your hands or a net?
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Old 12-30-2016, 08:06 PM   #9
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I just pick them up with my hands. When they are out feeding you can scoop up 8 or 10 in one grab. I can get about a gallons worth in 5 minutes. A gallon is close to 300.
If all else fails and you want to get them when it's cold out you have to dig them out of their holes. You can get 40 or 50 but its hard work and takes the better part of 30 minutes to an hour.
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Old 12-30-2016, 09:15 PM   #10
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I can only imagine the sound coming from that tub. Creepy
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