Sheepshead have been the primary target recently for families looking for a lot of action and a fresh fish dinner. Our focus has been on artificial reefs in the open part of the bay, but sheepshead can be found on almost any structure from residential canals to nearshore limestone ledges. Bridges crossing any body of water leading to the gulf are also popular spots that allow land-based anglers to join the fun. Sheepshead are crustacean eaters and have no interest in a lively baitfish, a fresh piece of cut bait or chunks of frozen squid. The only artificial lure that would interest them has to be perfectly presented fly cast by only the best casters. Bring shrimp, fiddler crabs, oysters or barnacles for the best results. Live shrimp are the easiest to obtain and will provoke bites from other species in the same area such as mangrove snapper, sea bass, small grouper and more. Cut the shrimp in half to stretch your supply and avoid losing a whole shrimp to a bait stealer.
Brent Gaskill runs Summer Vacation Charters out of the St. Petersburg area and can be reached at [email protected] and (727) 510-1009.