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Them Sheeps! 11/27

RevJoeyFitzRevJoeyFitz North FLPosts: 211 Deckhand
They say the official start of sheepshead season is the day after Thanksgiving. So, I wanted to give them a try. Called a few bait shops the day before and no one had fiddlers. So, I had it determined I was going to have to dig for fiddlers.

Headed to the coast Saturday morning. Got there about 6:30 AM. Found a spot that looked like prime with holes all over the ground. Dug prob 20 holes as far as foot or so down, nothing. Maybe I needed to dig deeper? Maybe they just weren't there? I don't know. So, I changed the game plan and wanted to get some mud and mangrove crabs. Went to a muddy area and started turning over rocks, debris, basically anything and collected about 3 dozen or so. It was just before 7 and I was headed to the sea wall!

Got there with no one else around. Ran a small #3 or #4 short-shanked j-hook with a small split-shot (1/16 or 1/8 oz.) about 10 in up on 20 lb. flouro to 18 lb. braid. Hooked on a crab and let it lightly bump the bottom over some rocks. First cast, fish on! Caught an 11" mang! In the box. Not what I was expecting, but cool. Kept bumping crabs on the bottom, got hooked up with a lunker and pulled the hook. About 2 casts later, a keeper sized got on and pulled the hook. Borderline depression setting in.

Started walking down the sea wall, bumping with the current. Got a few small ones, landed a 13" sheep that went into the box. Then, hooked on a smaller mangrove crab on a yellowtail jig to try something different. First cast felt a slight bump, felt tension on the line, set the hook and this one immediately pulled drag! I saw a huge flash in the water and was stoked. Got him to the edge of the wall and flipped him over. Nice 18" sheep, my PB.
As you could tell, I was super stoked!

Got a few more keepers for the day with a whiting. The mangrove crabs were the bait of choice. Every time I put one on, they got hit on the first cast. The mud crabs took a minute and several casts. I would say a solid first outing for the season.

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