One of the best all around fish to catch in the Gulf of Mexico has to be the Sheepshead. Although we typically only see them in the Big Bend Region during the winter months, these pelagics show up every year in big numbers. Not only are they plentiful, they move around in tight schools which make getting your limit a snap, once you’ve found them.
We have several spots we fish for them, but like the Grouper, they prefer hard bottom and structure.
Years ago we would go from channel marker to marker scraping the barnacles to attract them. A sure fire method to find them, as well as keep them on the spot you are fishing. These days we typically run offshore a bit and fish for them on the rocks and wrecks off the Citrus and Levy County Coasts.
With all the fishing restrictions, especially this time of year, the Sheepshead is no doubt your best bet for filling the cooler. They’re great table fare, the bag or catch limit is 15 per angler, they typically run from 5 to 10 lbs. each, and are easy to hook once you’ve mastered the art of jigging.
As I have said before, “The measure of a successful fishing trip is directly proportionate to the weight of the cooler at the days end”.