So, you want to know the best time to catch a Sheepshead?
Experts agree that catching this fish is not as tough as most people think. But the key is in being at the right place and at the right time.
In fact, beginners can luck out in trying to catch a Sheepshead or maybe even a couple. It’s definitely not just for the pros!
Here is everything you need to know to start snagging a hefty catch of this fish species – plus meaty tips for more angling success.
Basic Facts about the Sheepshead
Before you attempt to catch this fish, let’s consider some key facts about it. You need to get to know more about its habits, preferred baits, and similar facts to help you gain better success.
First of all, these striped fish can be a bit elusive at times. In fact, they have a reputation for causing many anglers frustration with the hopes of catching it quickly.
With this type of fish, you cannot simply use just about any tackle. There is the right bait and tackle to use, which allows you to gain success.
At times, they get you to think that they already have bitten the bait and hooked up, only to discover that they have quickly fled your hook. So, once you haul your bait in, you find nothing but its remains – and no fish caught.
So what’s an angler got to do?
Start with the right line. We recommend a braided line as it is highly sensitive and really lets you feel it once the fish starts nibbling.
Best of all, the braid keeps the line abrasion-resistant. So, you can get your prized catch and not run the risk of losing it.
Now, with this line packed up in your tackle box, it’s time to get clear on the best time to catch a Sheepshead, as well as the perfect spot to go fishing.
Best Time to Catch Sheepshead (And the Best Place, Too!)
Did you know that there are many places to find a Sheepshead?
This fish species frequent various locations including piers, docks, rip-rap piles, and jetties, to name a few.
But the key is in knowing what time of the day is perfect for catching a Sheepshead.
Primarily, this fish loves the outgoing and incoming tides. With this in mind, that would be during high tide at midday. When the tides are high, scrumptious crustaceans are brought much closer to the starving Sheepshead.
And when its meal approaches, this is the perfect time for feeding – and for you to start fishing!
Additionally, you should time it during key months of the year where the spawning season happens. In this case, it would be late winter to early spring, sometime around February and March.
During these months, Sheepshead are simply more ravenous and are literally everywhere in those areas we mentioned earlier.
Get Set to Catch Sheepshead – What You Will Need
Now that you know the right place and the right time, let’s discuss the right tools.
We have dropped a few details earlier in the previous section on the best line to use.
Next, we’ll share with you some tackle tips that will simply come in handy with this fish species.
Experts opt for a dropper loop, which basically comes with an egg sinker, as well as a swivel. The hook to use is 1/19 light circle, which goes perfectly well with your 24-inch to 36-inch section of monofilament or fluorocarbon leader.
Be sure that your hook is absolutely sharp. Thus, you may have to change it anytime within the day once it has gotten dull.
Find the perfect balance between the right width and quality. Go too cheap, and you’ll end up losing your fish. So, it’s not the perfect time to go cheap at the expense of missing out on a hefty catch.
Next, drop the hook as close as possible to the structure. The dropper loop allows you to feel every single hook action that’s happening. Tie it up with the right loop, and this gives it a nice wiggle action that’s irresistible to your target.
The goal is to keep the fish engaged and interested in biting your bait. With the right lure, it is not impossible to do!
Keep it as close to the bottom as possible. But at the same time, don’t just keep it down there. You want to lift your line slowly until you have felt the egg sinker touching the bottom.
A 1/8-ounce jig also works as it drifts down right in front of the fish, enticing it to bite. So, you should be ready for an abrupt hit. We also suggest you test out some peeled shrimp, and the colors can vary from white, red, or orange.
If you want to take the bait to the next level, you may want to go for fiddler crabs. They are, however, a little bit harder to find that shrimp. So, you can stick to freshly shucked oysters and clams, as long as you stay away from sand fleas. These things don’t do much work.
Final Word on the Best Time to Catch Sheepshead
So, you have already learned more about the location, the best time to catch Sheepshead, and the tools to use…
Now, we want to make it clear that fishing for Sheepshead is a very engaged activity.
It is not the time to get lost in your thoughts or to doze off.
These fish are quick to bite when you have the right bait.
So, be sure you have all the tools you need in your tackle box, pick the right spot, keep your eyes peeled, and apply all of these tips we have just shared with you.
Best of luck on your fishing adventure!