On my winter trips to Florida one of my favorite saltwater fish to target near pier and bridge abutments is the toothy Sheepshead.
These fish are equipped with human-like teeth that are designed to break oyster shells and barnacles and also to crush their favorite food…crabs!
Small crabs about the size of thumb-nail are ideal rigged on a #4 thin, sharp hook. You don’t want to use to heavy a hook as you need special care in hooking up the crabs without cracking the shell apart. These are gently lowered close to a pile where Sheepshead are feeding. Fishing depth depends on conditions. If its clear water and sunny I fish near the bottom. If the water is stained from a moving tide and its overcast I vary my fishing depth.
Sheepshead don’t hit-and-run. Bites can be very subtle and often your crab is gone without you feeling a thing, so have lots of crabs with you!