Plenty ‘O Sheepshead!

Sheepshead Fillets

Seasons greetings, happy holidays & Merry Christmas! Winter fishing is in full swing, and that means sheepshead. While I did hear scattered reports of flounder in Pass-A-Grille and redfish in Blind Pass, and I saw a 23″ gag grouper caught on the Merry Pier, all of my luck came from targeting sheepshead from docks around the Blind Pass Marina.

Once again, the trick was finding big (2″-3″) mud crabs, which I located under rocks at low tide along the seawall in Pass-A-Grille, and at the East end of Corey Avenue. Watch out- they pack a wallop in their pincers, so handle with care. I used a fairly light spinning outfit, 20 lb Spiderwire, and a 25 lb fluorocarbon leader, with a #2 Owner hook and a 1/4 oz weight. Drop a crab to the bottom RIGHT NEXT to a piling, crank it up a turn, and wait patiently. The sheepshead bite tends to be pretty light, and as soon as the line appears to have any weight on it, it’s time to set the hook.

Over the long Christmas weekend, I managed to catch a couple dozen sheepshead, most of them in the 3 to 5 pound range. As an added bonus, I caught a few 12-14″ black sea bass. Who knew they’d take crabs? Anyway, plenty of fillets in the freezer now.

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