Guestpost by Captain Chris Cockerham
The bite is heating up and you don’t want to miss out! Great reports have come in from all over the Northeast Florida region. For many, fishing season starts during Sheepshead season. With that said, it looks like it’s going to be a banner year. These cold snaps will make it tough to get fiddlers so gather them up as soon as you can. Oyster’s, clams and Fiddlers are by far the best baits so if you can’t find one the other will suffice.
I’ve received several reports and have been sent many pictures of quality fish. Yes, most of the bigger sheepshead have been caught offshore but a few are coming from our local Rivers. The jetty’s are firing off so check the marine forecast and find the best days to suit you. This weekend, look for a good bite around mid morning. The entire outgoing tide to should be good but the first of the incoming has been on fire. You’ll need to focus on breaks in the current and you can find that in may different places. Rock piles, trees and and bridge pilings are excellent locations to start.
Keep a few larger weights handy in case you need more lead to stay in the strike zone. Once you find the fish, be patient and cover the area well. Chum legally when you can because the outcome is usually much greater. Use a standard fish finder rig or simply use a Reel Habit Sheepshead Jig. Tip them with a live fiddler and slowly vertical jig them over submerged structure. The jigs will allow you to feel the fish immediately and many times that’s the best scenario. The idea in most cases are to snag the fish before he steals your bait. The sheepshead jigs are also hard to hang up and when fishing around structure, you know how often that happens. A standard fish finder rig may also be an advantage. Sometimes these fish will be leader shy in slower moving currents. So a basic live bait hook with a fluorocarbon leader may work best.
With the Sheepshead you’ll find Black Drum. Also look out for the Illusive “Gator Trout”, they may possibly be running too, “wink wink.”
May you all have an awesome weekend on the water!
Captain Chris Cockerham
Cajun Rods® ProStaff
Reel Habit Jigs