Sheepshead fishing florida


Sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus)

Sheepshead

Description: Basic silvery color, with 5 or 5 distinct vertical black bands 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 croms, Atlantic Spandefish, Chaetodipterus faber (black drum have barbles on lower jaw, sheepshead do not. Vertical barring on sides of black drum and spadefish mature. Spadefish have small, brush-like teeth).

Where found: Inshore species around oyster bars, seawalls and in tidal creeks. Moves nearshore in late winter and early spring for spawing, gather over debris, 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." [back to top]

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