Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Sheephead Adventure

This week started out just like any other monotonous week, checking my schedule for upcoming test, seeing the days of the week I work, and of course checking to see when I could go fishing. I had originally planned to hit up the waters of Tampa Bay this weekend with a friend of mine, but after looking at the calendar my plans quickly changed. Noticing that on Saturday night, tonight, we "spring forward" also known as losing an hour of sleep, I soon realized that my fishing would have to be in the beginning of this week. It's tough enough getting up early to go fishing, add on losing an hour of sleep and you can forget it as far as I am concerned.

After finishing my last class Tuesday afternoon I picked up my younger brother and we headed straight to a spot I know in the Davis Island area. My reasoning for traveling to this area was to catch some bait for my fishing adventure the next morning. Once at my location I parked my truck along the side of the road and jumped down the sea wall to wear the water met the shoreline.

We began to lift small rocks hoping to find an array of crabs hiding underneath. It is imperative that you were closed to shoes and jeans during this process. Between the sharp rocks and rushing water you will want to have both your legs and feet with some kind of protection over them. If you talk to my brother he will inform you that you need to wear gloves so the crabs don't pinch you as well. My brother and I had a ball walking the shoreline and catching approximately 50 crabs in around 30 minutes.

We now had all the crabs we would need and we were ready for our fishing adventure the next day. Our targeted species was the small saltwater fish known as the sheepshead. The idea to fish for this species came to me when I was reading the edition of Florida Sportsman and found the bite was hot for sheepshead right now.

We headed out Wednesday morning in my 22 ft. Blazer Bay boat to our "sheepshead hot spot" in Tampa Bay and we crossed our fingers for a good day. We placed our small crabs onto tiny hooks ( you must use small hooks because sheepshead have particularly small mouths) and pitched them into the swift current of the Tampa Bay waters. We were fishing over the top of an old sunken railroad. Sheepshead like to hang out around a lot of structure so when fishing for these fish try and find the structure. It didn't take long for our first hook up and we continued to reel these fish in for hours.

Sheepshead fishing does not take a great amount of skill to succeed. All ages of people can enjoy a day of sheepshead fishing and the younger children will especially like catching the crabs for bait. The fish are generally in the 3 to 6 lb range, but the state record which was caught in 2008 weighed in at 16lbs 6 oz. These fish also make for a great dinner. With all of these intangibles sheephead fishing is the way to go!

1 comment:

  1. I enjoy reading your posts about your fishing trips; they are very well written and descriptive. Also, I like how you incorporated graphics and links into this one, it gives the reader details that they would not have been able to get from just reading the passage. After reading this I felt like taking my kayak out and paddling around the bay, which I haven’t done in a couple years.