Late fall and winter is one of the best times to target Sheepshead in southwest Florida waters. Many Canadians spending a holiday in Florida and packing a fishing rod can buy live shrimp and use small hooks and some split-shot sinkers to catch these fun and tasty fish right off bridges and piers.
My favorite bait for these fish are small fiddler crabs fished on a #6 light-wire hook and fished as close as you can to a barnacle-studded piling when the tide is moving slower. Sheepshead have a very toothy-mouth and hard crushers on the upper and lower jaw which doesn’t leave many areas to hook them up.
Once you do hook a sheepshead you have to get them away from the piles as fast as you can or odds are good that your line will get cut. Not only are these fish plentiful through the winter and great fun, they are delicious grilled or deep-fried!