Pensacola Sheepshead Fishing

I was fortunate enough this year to spend a month in Pensacola and as luck would have it, the annual Sheepshead migration started before I left. For those of you unfamiliar with this fish, it has teeth that remind me of human teeth and the pictures will show that to you.

These fish come into the bay there in massive  schools and can be caught by the savvy angler. Live shrimp is the bait of choice but the last night I fished for them they were hitting any piece of shrimp offered. I got to fish some in a boat with my friend Reed Files and we really didn't find any that day. A few fish came to net but it was slow.

I was staying on Fort Pickens campground and there is fishing from the bank there. FInding an area with deep water right offshore is the key to finding the fish. I also read a lot and asked some older men about the methods and by reducing my leader to about 15 inches was able to catch a lot of fish quickly. I think this allowed the bait to stay closer to the bottom as most ppl use about 30 inches of 20 pound test leader. Small hooks are the best bet as you need to hook them deep to avoid the rock hard mouth and teeth.

Reed came out one evening and we quickly caught our limit of fish and I spent the next several hours turning those into white flakey fillets. They have the toughest skin of any fish I have ever seen. And the teeth are to be avoided at all times.

If you get a chance to go down there contact my friend Chris Williams for a guided trip out on the ocean blue. He charters under FISH HAPPENS.

Or stay out at Fort Pickens and try your luck from the free public fishing pier or bank. It takes some learning but anyone can access the areas and beaches for some fun fishing.

I also got a 4 foot brown nosed shark, some Spanish Mackerel and other fish. So it was a good time with good weather and great friends. There is a lot of seafood available to eat at the local fish market and they will cook it for you to save you a mess in your camper or condo or hotel.