KEEPIE SHEEPIES - Wintertime harvesting at its best!

The Grumpy Grouper and I made another run to the sheepshead grounds for one more productive cold water harvest. On this hunt, we were joined by father and son team (Mike Jr. aka USFpyro and Mike Sr.). It was a blast to fish with these fun and experienced anglers and is a tribute to this forum which provides a platform for making new friendships.

The day was cold but the bite was hot and by the time we brought up our last line we had 42 keeper sheepshead in the box, mixed in with a couple chunky Key West grunts and black sea bass. Another 20 or more short sheeps were released. The Bay continues to yield a healthy sheepshead fishery each winter and mid to late February has proven to be the best time to fill a bucket. Fighting them is tons of fun on light tackle because the bigger fish can really pull! Next time you catch one, check out those long, wispy pectoral fins to see how they generate so much bulldogging power.

The only thing better than catching them is eating them. Fried sheepshead nuggets dipped in your sauce of choice is heaven. Whichever way you prepare them, the filets are firm and white and easily one of the top five table fare in our Tampa Bay waters.

Mike Sr. with a fat fish weighing down the boga grip
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Mike Jr. showing one of his nice fish while dad is hooked up in the background
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freshfromthesalt with a slab
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Grumpy Grouper with a big ol' sheep
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Father and son with a pile of fish
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FFTS and Grumpy Grouper enjoying the spread
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Nuggets ready for the pan
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Nuggets fryin'
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Nuggets - round 2
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FFTS impatiently chowing down
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Some Vigo, some Zatarans - it's all good
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Dinner for four with rice and veggies - "Gulf Life"
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2000 Maverick Master Angler 17 -Catch A Fire
www.freshfromthesalt.com

Replies

  • sagorysagory Posts: 614 Officer
    Yummy! Nice work that is alot of convicts
  • spydermonkeyspydermonkey Posts: 765 Officer
    Nice! Would not want to be cleaning that.
    "Insert intelligent sounding quote here"
  • saltyseniorsaltysenior Posts: 829 Officer
    over this side(Stuart), our season is not too good...If you catch 'em , 3 out of 4 are short.. Never caught one this year where you really needed a net....3 years ago we never even came close to have to measure ...???
  • NailerNailer Posts: 302 Deckhand
    Great job! There a blast to catch, and eat.
  • freshfromthesaltfreshfromthesalt Posts: 138 Officer
    over this side(Stuart), our season is not too good...If you catch 'em , 3 out of 4 are short.. Never caught one this year where you really needed a net....3 years ago we never even came close to have to measure ...???

    Saltysenior,

    Wow I'm surprised to hear that because I've always heard that east coast convicts are, on average, bigger than the ones we have on the west coast. In fact I think a guide set the FL record last year with a 17 lb. fish on your coast. Hmmmm... I wonder what happened.
    2000 Maverick Master Angler 17 -Catch A Fire
    www.freshfromthesalt.com
  • Reel-LuckyReel-Lucky Oldsmar, FLPosts: 3,011 Moderator
    Great catch and looks like a delicious dinner, mmm, mmmm.
  • saltyseniorsaltysenior Posts: 829 Officer
    Saltysenior,

    Wow I'm surprised to hear that because I've always heard that east coast convicts are, on average, bigger than the ones we have on the west coast. In fact I think a guide set the FL record last year with a 17 lb. fish on your coast. Hmmmm... I wonder what happened.

    went yesterday..fished 2 old channel markers....first [which was always better..0]......second one was 1/4 mile away,was loaded...but, the 15 fish caught 2 were 14'', 3 were 12''[+or-] and the other 10 were the size of lrg.bluegills...never had small fish at all here in the past .
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