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Early this year a buddy of mine (Ultralite) turned me on to a fishery around the pass for sheepshead. My buddy and I had some success, and are eagerly anticipating the coming season. Here are my questions for my forum brethren...When do the sheepies start getting thick in the pass? Also, what are your favorite spots for them? We fished live shrimp with a bit of weight and had good luck. How do you all fish for them? Any sheephead info would be greatly appreciated, and a trip on my boat is not out of the question if our schedules line up.

Mike (mdrobe2)
 

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little ol me !
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I can't totally recal the time of year, but I seem to remember it was some what cool out...anyhow, we fished the pass by drifting with an out going tide, as close to the main channel as possible with out getting in the way of traffic.

We used fiddler crabs with circle hooks, and enough weight to get it down near the bottom. We slayed 'em that day. We were catching them 2 or 3 every drift.. I was renting a pontoon boat from the navy base, so we only could go as far as a particular bouy ( don't recall the number ) so we would drift to that bouy, motor back up and do it again. I had 3 or 4 dozen fiddler crabs with me, so would be willing to bet we hooked up about 30 or more fish. Tossed them all back...lots of pictures.

I had a rookie fisherman with me ( only the second time out for her ) and my 5 year old son, they were all smiles when we headed in.

Hope my input helps, sorry can't recall the time of year, but in my pictures I am wearing a sweat shirt and my friend and son have on coats, so it must have been chilly out.
 

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Jim T's sworn enemy!
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Mike,we saw some nice sheepshead around the barrs bridge during the pirate tourney. May want to try some differant tactics there and get used to fishing for them. Squid strips,cut shrimp and what Billy said,crab(cut in half) If ya feel a bite then more than likely your bait is already gone. Try and set a hook while still retreiving your bait,kind of hard to explain unless your doin it. There some professional bait stealers,little bastards:banghead
 

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Starts in Feb. and gains momentum in March .You can drift or anchor . I usually anchor and use live shrimp I also can't wait for the bite to start .Where to go ? Between the two jetties about 100 yards outwatch bottom machine . The green bouy also holds the sheepies pretty well.

Just a lot of fun on light tackle wish they were just easier to clean.
 

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march 26, 2006...they were already in weeks before...



caught at an unknown spot at ft pickens...lol...hands hurt for days after cleaning them but, they go great in gumbo...

 

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hard to clean...you could make boots out of them. This was last March during Spring Break...we caught our limit in 30-45 minutes fishing live shrimp off the bottom by the jetties. The water was super clear that day and I've never seen so many sheephead at one time before

 

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I usually load up the grandkids around Easter and take them out. Bridge pilings are a great place to start.
 

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I have caught my biggest fish on quartered blue crabs. I would try any rock piles or barnacle covered structureyou know of with quartered blue crabs or fiddlers on a 1/8 to 1/4 oz jig head that has a short shank hook. Using a jig head instead of a slip lead really cuts down on the hangups in the rocks and works great if fishing in shallow waters around jetty rocks.

Pilingsare a good place to try, buttry to fish the entire water column around the pilebecause theHeads aren't always right on the bottom. They feed up and down those piles. If i'm fishing deep water piles I will get right up on them andlet the bait go down the pile slowly and always keep a tight line so you can feel the smallest bump. Thehardcore Head fishermenalways told me thatif you feel the bite, its too late.

Shrimp seem to produce more bait steeling for me because they have more to grab on to before they get the hook, but you will still catch em. Squid seems to get me nothing but trash fish.
 

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As soon as the water starts cooling off you can start catching them. I had one of my best days with Capt. John Rivers about 4 years ago. Shrimp (live or dead) is always a good bait, fiddler crabs, sand fleas, oysters, and I've even heard that wigglers (live earthworms) work.

As far as when is the best time, I would say between today and April is when I've had my best luck.
 
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