Sheepshead is the Hot Ticket in December
Posted on 20 December 2012
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Elusive striped convicts![/caption]
Florida weather has been pleasant to say the least, if it wasn’t for the Christmas decorations and mad people squandering through the malls, I would think it was early fall. The warmer temperatures have the fish feeding more aggressively than normal. Sheepshead have been overly abundant around any structure that supplies them with unlimited barnacles and crabs to mill around in.
Once you have located an area with good water flow, barnacles and crabs. Anchor up and chum with crustaceans. Yes, sheepshead can be stirred into a frenzy like any other game fish. If you feel an urge to pursue the convict, make sure you bring three things:
- Light spinning tackle with a sensitive rod.
- Fiddler crabs, shrimp or a mussel of your choice.
- Most importantly: PATIENCE!
I have seen this elusive bait thief frustrate some of the best anglers to the point that they are angry and throw in the towel for the day. If you are a noob, I would recommend picking up a minimum of 6 dozen crabs. The rig itself, you want to keep super simple. I personally use the following: Sustain 3000, with a Mojo rod, 10lb Power Pro, 20lb fluorocarbon leader, small split shot and a 1/0 Owner hook. You will quickly see that sheepshead aren’t shy and will feed right under the boat. The key is feeling the subtle bite and setting the hook instantly.
Once you get into a rhythm they aren’t too bad, but it takes practice and even once you get them dialed in, don’t expect to catch every fish that bites. Get out there, enjoy the weather and have fun!