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I have been researching on the forum about how to fish for sheepshead. A few final questions before I give it a try. My teenage son and I will be heading out Sunday after early church in newly purchased boat.

I was planning to fish Mid Bay bridge. I assumed I should anchor and try to position close to the pilings. But I see where other people talk about drifting but this seems to be in the passes. Could you give me a few more tips on this?

I think one person suggested tossing into the current and letting it come back. Do you want to keep egg sinker off bottom, and shrimp off bottom so you can feel the light bite?

I watched a video where a guy tore off the shell/tail of the shrimp. Then do you hook it up through the remaining meat and come out the top of the shrimp tail?

If I scrape the pilings with a shovel is that to make chum. Posters have mentioned it and I assumed that was the purpose.

Do you want to keep your bait still or slowly lift it up and down?
 

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Sheepies eat crustaceans. They hold on structure that holds their food. For instance, the barnacles on bridge pilings or the rocks in a jetti. You can also find them against sea walls, dock pilings, or on random structure on the bottom. People drift in the pass because there are a lot of rocks and junk under the water and it's easy to find them out there. I personally use fiddler crabs for bait but small shrimp are great bait too. I never scrape the barnacles but I've seen it done. I'm not convinced it works like chum but who knows. Use a #1 circle hook and 10lb floro leader on a carolina rig with the lightest sinker you can get away with, usually 1oz. Braid is good too because of its sensitivity but mono is fine. If you have a fish finder/bottom machine, use it to find stucture. If not, just pull up to a piling and drop to the bottom. Let it sit but keep it tight. After any thing you feel that could possibly be a bite, very slowly lift up the rod tip. That circle will do the work. Don't set the hook hard, just start reeling slowly until it sets. Fish all the way around the piling, you'll be surprised how many times a great spot and a dead spot are 5 feet from each other. Move if the bite isn't good, they are somewhere you just got to find which one they're on. You will lose bait....a lot of bait at first, but you'll get the feel for it. Circle hooks are your friends.
 

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As per previous poster. SLOWLY reel and when you feel the slight pull just keep reeling and fish on. One main thing I have found.....you can try all and any of the tips here on the forum, all are pretty informative. But if the sheepshead are not there, you will not catch them ! They are fairly easy to take if your on them. My experience is finding them. I have favorite spots where I have caught them each year, and just keep visiting these spots. Most folks on the forum are pretty tight lipped about exact locations, but use the info for general areas and put in the time and you will be rewarded. Stay safe
 
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Just about everyone fishes sheeps there own way.
In Al they use small trebble hooks and some use floats to detect a pickup.
I use Gami #1 octupus and the lightest weight to get it down. Large splitshot.
I personally have no use for circle hooks the way I fish but others do.
My style is drop to the bottom,reel up about 3 turns to start. Then,ever so slightly ,gently raise the rod tip to feel for resistance.
Feel it,hammer time.

When you watch sheeps feeding the are horizontal to a piling,etc.
The often bite as they are rising in the water column and that makes them hard to detect.

Using a float,held next to a piling,sometimes helps a rookie because the float will rise or tip sideways as the fish picks it up . Lift the rod,fish on.
 
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