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Discussion Starter #1
Well i went out trying for sheepshead for my first time as i have never caught one, but wanted to add one to the list. Gotta say i give props to anyone who does so on a regular basis. Needless to say after a couple hours of fishing channel markers and bridge pilings i had zero luck.But the only thing i`m sure would have made me look like more of an idiot would have been if i`da turned my spinning reel upside down while fishing. I left i think half the paint off my boat and trolling motor on every bridge piling i fished.
 

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Sheeps can be hard! I've been trying to catch the ones I see working the pylons on the pier now for a week. Lol. Sometimes you gotta let out a loud BAAAAAAAAAAA so they know you're there. ;)
 

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Fluorocarbon leader...small live shrimp....sand fleas...barnacles...even strips of Oyster or Clam...live or extremely fresh bait...small hooks and Florocarbon.
And a Whole. Lotta. Patients.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Was fishing with fiddlers on a double drop rig made of flouro with 1/0 demon circle hooks. Only bites i got was black sea bass. I kept moving around from pylon to pylon trying different depths but with no takers.Maybe i should have found one spot and stayed, but figured moving around searching would be more productive.I seen one other boat fishing in another spot but never seen them do any good either so maybe just still to early.All fish seem to be screwy this year IMO.
 

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Was fishing with fiddlers on a double drop rig made of flouro with 1/0 demon circle hooks. Only bites i got was black sea bass. I kept moving around from pylon to pylon trying different depths but with no takers.Maybe i should have found one spot and stayed, but figured moving around searching would be more productive.I seen one other boat fishing in another spot but never seen them do any good either so maybe just still to early.All fish seem to be screwy this year IMO.
Circle Hooks are your first problem. Most times I use a small treble or j hook. You wanna set that hook in his jaw and a circle just won't do that
 

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I have only caught them a few times but have had best success with something like a #2 octopus j-hook, gamakatsu, daiichi or the like. I have some of those demon circle hooks and they are fairly thick/heavy, they may have been shying away from it for that reason.

They are hard to catch but really good to eat when you get a few. Good luck.
 

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Use offset j hook...also chum the area first...crush whatever u have for bait and drop it along the pier or wall...give the Sheep a few minutes to snack and think everything is cool...then drop in on them.
 

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Sometimes they just aren't biting or just aren't there.You'll get the hang of it. I use fiddlers on a straight shank hook. They'll make you mad but when you get into them it's awesome.
 

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Even in really clear water?
 

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From piers to the port and ICW I've never needed fluorocarbon for sheepshead. I used to use it, but learned that my 1/4 pound spools of Sea Striker mono worked just as good at half the price. Other than in the winter time I don't think NC has what I would call really clear water anywhere that is salty.
 

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Ten 4............
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Rooster only time i lost bait was when i got into some small black sea bass. Should i pick a spot chum and stay there or move around looking for the fish? Also do they bite better in day or night?
 

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I've only targeted them during the day but caught my largest (12.5 pounds) at night. I was fishing for large black drum with half of a blue crab on an 8/0 circle hook. I don't chum for them. An old sheepshead fisherman told me a long time ago the fish are there knocking barnacles into the water only fills their belly before you drop your bait. It's worked for me. I move around until I find fish. That said, like every species I do have my favorite spots and in this case pilings. A moving tide is the most important thing to me as they rarely bite when it is slack.
 

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Thin gauge wire circle hooks are all I use for Sheeps.

Did you scrap the pilings ? Are you dropping down right beside the pilings & holding tight to it ?
Are you using enough weight for the current ? And do you change weights based on the current flow?
Are you slowly raising your rig off the bottom along side the piling ?
Slack tides are best, less current, clear water, see Sheeps better.
Get some large fenders to save your hull.

Heard of a 6# being caught last week & have been seeing Sheeps while dock chasing Reds this week.

Hope this helps. ....... ICM
 

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I've caught a few while fishing for other species but never targeted them. Do they peck at the bait before passing it back to their crushers like tog do? They look just like tog especially the mouth. If so then I there would be a lot of hits and misses. If one fishes for them in the same way as tog then it's a matter of experience-feel the tap but wait until you feel another Tug shortly after and that is a hook up. The first tap is a tease and does nothing but make you reach into the bait bucket. I imagine sand fleas would be great if they are around. I've heard of people just using the biggest barnacles they can pay off pilings at lowish tide???

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