How to Catch Sheepshead

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Sheepshead are a saltwater fish that is fun to catch and even better to eat. Catching the fish can be kind of tricky, but not impossible. Knowing a few techniques can net you plenty of sheepshead for your dinner table.

Step 1

Tie the swivel to the monofilament leader to make a sheepshead rig. Tie the hook to the other end of the monofilament leader. Tie strong knots, and trim them. Sheepshead fight very hard, so make sure your knots will hold.

Step 2

Slide the egg sinker onto the fishing line coming off of your pole. Attach the swivel of your sheepshead rig to the line coming off of your fishing pole. The egg sinker should be able to slide up and down your line without being able to go past the swivel. Now you are ready to catch some sheepshead.

Step 3

Pick the spot for fishing. Sheepshead tend to be around structures covered in one of their favorite foods -- barnacles. Look on pilings from boat docks, around bridges and piles of rocks or other debris. Finding the right area will guarantee you have the best chance to catch sheepshead.

Step 4

Choose which bait you will use. Fiddler crabs and dead shrimp are good choices but make sure they are fresh, try to avoid the frozen stuff. Fresh mullet cut into pieces will work but may not be the best to catch sheepshead.

Step 5

Cast into the area you have selected to fish. Allow the bait to sink to the bottom, but move it slighly. If you don't feel anything after five to six minutes, reel the line in 1-2 feet and wait again. Repeat this process to cover as water as you can to find where the sheepshead are biting. When you feel the sheepshead bite, set the hook several times with medium pressure. Sheepshead have very large teeth and jaw bones, so setting the hook two to three times may be necessary to guarantee your catch.


  • To increase the amount of sheepshead you catch, use a flat-head shovel to scrape barnacles off the pilings or docks you are fishing around. Having the barnacles floating around in the water will attract sheepshead for you to catch.
  • Check local laws and regulations regarding sheepshead fishing. Local bait stores and online websites are a great resource to use.


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Photo Credits

  • http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.landbigfish.com/images/fish/LBF_Sheepshead.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.landbigfish.com/fish/fish.cfm%3FID%3D26&usg=__myP0nl8z1jeD9lz9GcPnbIfNsoQ=&h=244&w