Sheepshead (Archosagus probatocephalus) is a curious, great eating, spiny armored fish that inhabits the waters in and around St. Simons Island year round. The window to target these fish is definitely better during the winter months, but it is not uncommon to catch a nice one anytime of the year.
The Sheepshead’s teeth have an eerie resemblance to a humans and have a unique ability to swipe the bait right off your hook with their curious canines. Sheepshead typically feed on barnacles, small crabs, oysters, snails and clams but will definitely eat shrimp as well as other marine morsels. Docks, bridge pilings, blown down trees, jetty rocks, bulkheads and many other manmade and natural structures that harbor barnacles are home to the sheepshead.
Often, the best strategy to fish for sheepshead is with a vertical presentation, directly above this striped bandit. It’s often stated that you must set the hook right before they bite, but once the knack is obtained, it is very possible to catch quite a few. Sheepshead must be 10″ long to keep. Often it is more prudent to keep only those over 14″ as those smaller fish yield very little meat.