Sheepshead, often called convict fish, bait bandits and at the very least bait stealers are a prime year round target for anglers visiting the Nature Coast. The tap, tap, tap, bite that’s typical of a hungry sheepshead requires a great deal of patience, as they are expert nibblers.
Savvy anglers will find that Sheepshead prefer structures that have oysters growing on them such as mangrove roots, rock piles, and dock pilings. Most Nature Coast sheepshead average around 3-4 pounds but during the winter months before their spawn, fish in excess of 10 lbs. can be found on structures just offshore.
The easiest way to target sheepshead is by chumming with oysters, shrimp, clams, clam juice, scallop guts, sand fleas, or fiddler crabs. Once located a knocker rig featuring a #1 hook with a ¼ oz. egg sinker and a small live shrimp is the rig of choice for the Nature Coast.