Tricky quarry: Catching a limit of sheepshead (15 per day, per person) can be challenging. It can be difficult to recognize when the bait has been picked up.
Tackle and technique: Light tackle from 8 to 15 pounds is a must. Anything heavier hampers your ability to feel what is happening. Sheepshead are notorious bait stealers. One trick to catching them is sensing resistance or tension in the line. When a sheepshead takes the offering, it first gently picks up the bait and begins to swim with it, which initiates tightness in the line. This is the time to set the hook. If you wait for an obvious tug, you will come up empty.
Tips: Sheepshead have small mouths full of incisors and molars. Use small — No. 1 or 2 — hooks, and they should be sharp. Braided line has an advantage over monofilament because it does not stretch.
Rick Frazier runs Lucky Dawg Charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 510-4376.