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1/12/2019 It was time to try the reefs for sheepshead near shore.

I have not left my dock since this red tide situation water showed up, it has been months. I had an eager crew of Canadians who could care less about cold morning run out. I told them it would be a gamble. I had a few reports of nice sheepy around but they had lock jaw and would not eat. The wind was not in our favor or as forecast, it was a steady 10 to 15 mph.  the ride out was a wet one to the first reef . The key to success is being right over the structure they are feeding on   not 10 or more feet away. To try and anchor right on is all but impossible with the conditions we had. The  RHODAN  tried and did slow our drift off our spot, strong tide and wind were too much.
  Then later in the day the winds did come down. the results were three nice keepers  17 inches and lot of bait stealers  some lanes and a grunt.
larrywitt

Replies

  • tilemantileman Posts: 1,123 Officer
    Those are some nice Sheepies
    Here's ta swimn' with bowllegged women!
  • SerotoninSerotonin Cape CoralPosts: 208 Deckhand
    Very nice.  I'm hoping to try some reefs in a couple weeks
  • chicochico Punta Gorda and PennsylvaniaPosts: 553 Officer
    They are fun to catch!! A challenge to say the least!!
  • JonsredfishinJonsredfishin Posts: 1,943 Captain
    Good job. I see that the Canadians left you to hold the fish that sat on the deck all day while they used rags to hold their iced down trophies! 
    One president put a man on the moon.
    Another president put a man in the Lady's bathroom.
  • winterbeater89winterbeater89 Posts: 50 Greenhorn
    Larry - how deep were you?
  • larrywittlarrywitt Posts: 2,746 Moderator
    We were only at 25 ft at the Causeway reef.  They are public numbers , Just be careful it is a graveyard for anchors. You have to be up tide of the structure  or right on top of it, the bigger fish hang tight to the rubble. I used to have a Alum. grapple anchor that worked fine till all the spokes broke off. 
    Good luck.
    larrywitt
  • winterbeater89winterbeater89 Posts: 50 Greenhorn
    Thanks Larry - I am going to take a friend out this week who wants to target sheapshead (I usually fish grouper).  I may try drifting over the Belton Johnson for the same.  Wasn’t sure if fishing will have recovered in shallow since the red tide.
  • larrywittlarrywitt Posts: 2,746 Moderator
    The sheepshead are kind of migratory they move way offshore when the water warms and are nearshore when the gets cold as it is now. I would like to believe they were not effected  by the red tide bloom we had near shore
    Although I have never caught one offshore.  
    The entrance to Tarpon point at the right high tide  can produce at times. It can get crowded bow and stern are often needed.
    larrywitt
  • JoesarantiJoesaranti Posts: 70 Greenhorn
    larrywitt said:
    We were only at 25 ft at the Causeway reef.  They are public numbers , Just be careful it is a graveyard for anchors. You have to be up tide of the structure  or right on top of it, the bigger fish hang tight to the rubble. I used to have a Alum. grapple anchor that worked fine till all the spokes broke off. 
    Good luck.
    larrywitt
    Thats great to hear the Causway reef has some fish on it! Thanks for the report!
  • dodger31dodger31 Ft MyersPosts: 228 Deckhand
    Thank you for the report! 

    Larry, do you think a drift sock would work vs. having to anchor?  Thanks!
  • larrywittlarrywitt Posts: 2,746 Moderator
    I have never used a drift anchor for sheepshead as the rubble piles are so small.  Mark the pile with a jug or bottle marker with just enough line and weight for it to hold bottom.  drive past in into the wind   then let your boat drift past your  marker you may do this a couple of times  drop your anchor(set up for quick release would be ideal if you get hung up) over sand bottom.  Once you drift back to your spot adjust your position by tieing  your line to you port or starboard  side cleats. It may take 30 minutes to get it just right. it will pay dividends if they are there.
    Good luck and have fun
    larrywitt
  • craigwitkocraigwitko Posts: 29 Deckhand
    Looks like a nice trip. Can’t wat to get out. Nice to see the fish are healthy again. 
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