Monday, April 15, 2013

Sheepshead-good table fare?

   Here in the Great Lakes area, sheepshead are practically a dime a dozen. They hit on just about everything but especially when trolling.
   Walleye anglers have plenty of experience with them. They often strike very similar to a walleye. Even experienced tournament anglers can confuse them initially for a walleye bite. Usually, they are considered a nuisance fish and are tossed back.
   But down in Alabama, particularly in the Gulf Shores area, sheepshead are treated differently. While not considered the lobster or flounder of the area they are considered good eating.
   I ran into a couple of fishermen coming off the pier at Gulf Shores carrying a large cooler. By the way they were hauling it, I could tell it had some weight to it.
   I asked them how the fishing had been. They stopped and opened the cooler revealing sheepshead completely filling the cooler.
  "What kind of fish are they," I asked noticing the wide dark strips and sharp looking teeth. "Sheepshead," they answered then went on to say that they were really good eating.
    They seemed to know we didn't care for them up this way. On this same pier, underwater lights have been installed. They are turned on at night to attract sheepshead and other fish.
   Another method is to take an ordinary flat shovel and run it down pilings of a pier knocking off barnacles and small shell fish that sheepshead eat.
   This is similar to chumming for fish and brings them in hopefully to take a bite out of the shrimp you have hooked up for bait.
   Wherever you go, especially around water, you'll find different techniques for catching fish, and the fish you do catch you might have never considered eating.

1 comment:

  1. I have never tried Sheephead, but I used to smoke Carp and take them into work where they were eaten within minutes. They are that good.