October – Sheepshead Move Inshore

In the early parts of winter one of the most popular fish to catch from Florida Shores is the Sheepshead. In late September/Early October the Sheepshead start to migrate inshore and are readily caught in many areas around Florida.

Where to Find Sheepshead

Sheepshead primarily eat cru stations such as barnacles, small crabs and shrimp. Because of this diet they are most frequently found hanging out around structure like pylons, bridges, piers and docks. If this type of structure is available, there is a good chance that Sheepshead will be found in the area.

How to Catch Sheepshead

Sheepshead have very hard mouths that are full of dull teeth. A very sharp, sturdy hook is needed to penetrate the mouth of this fish. Fiddler crabs are the best bait, but any small crab or live shrimp will work. Hang the bait, under a sinker heavy enough to hold the bait in place, near structure and when you feel the tap of a hit, set the hook immediately.

Tips and Tricks

  • Do not allow the fish time to eat the bait, they are master thieves
  • Use a swift upward hook setting motion
  • Don’t be disheartened by many missed hits, this happens to all Sheepshead anglers
  • In Florida, the minimum size is 12”, but they are often not worth keeping until around 14-15”