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Clams/Mussels for sheepshead

Well I'm finally getting a chance to go chase some sheepshead but it seems fiddlers are nowhere to be found. I've exclusively fished with fiddlers, so using clams or mussels will be new to me. My question is where is the best place to buy them for bait without spending big $$s. Do the frozen clams work or is fresh best? What about the mussels? Any help will be appreciated. I plan to fish them on a circle hook and small leader. Would love some advice. Thanks!


  • Sea SnakeSea Snake Posts: 5,536 Admiral

    You can use frozen if you want, but I'd suggest getting fresh oysters, or clams, or mussels....bust em up by cracking them together and get the meat out. When you're through with the shells and "juice"....drop in a bucket and smash em all up as fine as possible.....makes great chum. ( tip:....keep receipts from where you bought 'em, so Barney won't hassle you )

    Well how do you keep it on the hook ??

    You may have some luck with clams, as the tongue is pretty hardy....but the soft meat of the oysters and mussels, you will need to wrap em.

    Google up : wrapfishing systems. from Mossy Head bait co.

    These guys sell little bags that you fill with a fat syringe, all the soft meat harvested.....then you just thread that bag on your sheepshead hook, and chum or scrape barnacles, if you're near pilings, and drop the bait down and wait for your bite, without fear of losing your bait.

    It works....and no I'm not affiliated in any way....just a customer.

    I will tell you this...offshore, the little sea bass love 'em..... :s

    ....just sayin'.....

  • GunVizGunViz Posts: 26 Greenhorn

    Thank you sir!! Any tips on cheapest way to get em?

  • Sea SnakeSea Snake Posts: 5,536 Admiral

    Fish markets are the best place.........

  • Back_creek_briBack_creek_bri Posts: 14 Greenhorn

    Sea snake, i ran across the wrap fishing products not to long ago. I was hesitant on trying them. Do they auctally hold up well to the mighty smile of a convict since it sounds like you have used them?

  • Sea SnakeSea Snake Posts: 5,536 Admiral

    Yes they do......I have caught quite a few with them.

    But I mostly fish for my Sheeps offshore.....and to be honest...the sea bass ( the little ones) eat it pretty dang quick. So if I can get my sheeps to eat a fiddler....then the other isn't needed.

    But around bridge pilings and stuff like that...especially if you are gonna chum or scrape the barnacles....this is deadly.

    ...just sayin'...

  • GunVizGunViz Posts: 26 Greenhorn

    Well Sea Snake, you sold me. I'm gonna give it a shot tomorrow. Anyone been out?

  • Sea SnakeSea Snake Posts: 5,536 Admiral

    Let us know how you do......and BTW B and M HAD the fiddler sign up last night....so they have them I assume.

  • GunVizGunViz Posts: 26 Greenhorn

    Yeah, Ricks does too.

  • Big EricBig Eric Posts: 266 Deckhand

    Sheepshead bite has been good inshore and off.

  • Sea SnakeSea Snake Posts: 5,536 Admiral

    Yeah I know......I'm ready for some sea bass too !!

  • bswivbswiv Posts: 8,014 Admiral

    While we sold more than a few mussels over the years for "bait", some going in bulk to B&M Bait I have not used them myself.

    What I have used, with success on more than the occasion, are the local brown mussels....which are a different species. Rusty at B&M indicated that the New England Blue Mussels worked well too.

    The one benefit to wild I can see is that they still have their beard attached which makes for more secure hooking, though some of the wild harvested NE Blue Mussels will at times have the beard still attached too.

    If you decide to gather your own wild be sure to check regulations as I think you would have to get them from approved shellfish waters even though you are only using them for bait. Same with gathering oysters for chum. And too, the oysters for chum must meet size restrictions just as for eating.

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