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Sheepshead

sheepshead3Life Cycle: Sheepshead spawn offshore in the spring and return to nearshore and estuarine waters. Juvenile sheepshead are most abundant in grass flats and over muddy bottoms. As they grow, they begin to leave the grass flats and congregate with adults around jetties, breakwaters, piers and wrecks.

Migration: None

Fishing Tips: Fish very close or around piling or riprap.  Sheepshead eat barnacles so you want to be close to structure.  Traditional bait is fiddler crabs.  But any small crab will do.  Shrimp can be used as well.  Sheepshead are notorious bait stealers.  Slowly moving the bait will help to detect the strike.  Artificial lures are ineffective.

Food Value: Excellent 

Regulations:

12″

Limit 8 per person

State Record: 15 lb. 2 oz., caught near Homosassa

No closed season