What's hot: Action from sheepshead is improving. The fish have begun to move down the bay toward the Gulf passes, feeding aggressively in route. Sheepshead are crustacean eaters, so shrimp and fiddler crabs are top bait selections. Freshly-shucked oyster meat or live barnacles threaded on the hook can also be highly effective.
Tips: Sheepshead congregate in areas holding their favorite foods. Heavily encrusted dock pilings, bridges, jetties, natural rocky bottoms and artificial reefs will attract sheepshead. Many of these structures offer land-based anglers an equal opportunity as those fishing from boats.
Technique: Sheepshead have a reputation as bait stealers. It's usually the undersized fish that sneak off with bait. The larger fish strike with a distinct thump and the hook should be set when the weight of the fish is felt on the line. Many consider a sweet fillet of sheepshead tastier than grouper.
Brent Gaskill runs Summer Vacation Charters out of the St. Petersburg area and can be reached at [email protected] and (727)510-1009.