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TribeNwater Marine Field Guide Thread, Sheepshead, Western Atlantic in ; Sheepshead - Archosargus probatocephalus Family Sparidae, PORGIES Description: basic silvery color, with 5 or 6 distinct vertical black bars on ...
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Old 02-11-2007, 05:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Sheepshead, Western Atlantic



Sheepshead - Archosargus probatocephalus

Family Sparidae, PORGIES

Description: basic silvery color, with 5 or 6 distinct vertical black bars on sides, not always the same on both sides; prominent teeth, including incisors, molars, and rounded grinders; no barbels on lower jaw; strong and sharp spines on dorsal and anal fins

Similar fish: black drum, Pogonias cromis; Atlantic spadefish, Chaetodipterus faber (black drum have barbels on lower jaw, sheepshead do not; vertical barring on sides of black drum and spadefish disappear as fish mature; spadefish have small, brush-like teeth)

Where found: inshore around oyster bars, seawalls and in tidal creeks; moves nearshore in late winter and early spring for spawning, gathering over rocks, artificial reefs, and around navigation markers

Size: inshore, 1 to 2 pounds; offshore, common to 8 pounds

Remarks: feeds on mollusks and crustaceans such as fiddler crabs and barnacles; famed nibblers, prompting the saying that "anglers must strike just before they bite"
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Old 02-11-2007, 04:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sheephead



sheepshead caught fishing a piling with a small dock crab.



this one was caught on a med. sized blue crab in Port Canaveral...the bait was intended for redfish.

fiddler crabs sold at many local bait and tackle shops are the most popular bait.

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Old 03-06-2007, 09:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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What is the approximate average size of the fiddlers crab ? ( for bait that is )

and how are they hooked for fishing ?
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Old 03-06-2007, 11:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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1/2 inch to an 1 1/2 inch wide. You hook them up through their belly right out the top of the shell. Sheephead will swim up, gently crack the shell and suck out the insides. Unless you know what to feel for you'll never even notice the bite. As a kid I used to fish the S.R. 206 bridge in St. Augustine. We'd collect a hundred fiddlers in the canal behind my folk's house then ride our bikes down to the bridge. You'll wind up a dozen empty crab shell before you figure out the drill...
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