Common: to 5 pounds
Closed Season: None
Size Limit: 12″ pinched tail
Bag Limit: 15 per person
Florida Record: 12lbs., 2ozs.

Basic silvery color: with 5 or 6 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.Game Qualities: Sheepshead, once hooked, will be sure to try and wrap you around any existing structure. During the fight, sheepshead will dish out numerous head-shakes, and the larger ones will take lots of line.

Fishing Tips: These fish are structure hogs! They can be found almost anywhere where there is barnacle covered structure. They can be caught on shrimp, barnacles, muscles, and crabs. They fight extremely hard for their size, but beware or their pectoral fins, they are very sharp.

Food Value:

You’ve Gotta Try Captain Chuck’s Sheepshead in Crab Sauce: In a stainless-steel skillet, bring one cup of the wine, and all of the lemon juice to just barely a simmer over low heat. Add the fish, carrots, celery, and peppercorns and poach for 6-8 minutes. Check it after five minutes to see that it doesn’t overcook (the fish should not fall apart into flakes when done). While the fish is poaching, sauté the leeks in Tbs. butter until they turn soft–about three minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Cook for another minute, and then turn off the heat. Remove the fish when done to a warm plate. To the poaching liquid in the skillet add the remaining butter, cream, Herb saint, salt and pepper. Over a medium fire reduce it for about five minutes, until the mixture thickens. Add the crabmeat and cook, agitating the pan lightly, until the crabmeat is cooked through. Place the leeks on the serving plate, put the fish with the celery and carrots atop that, and top with the sauce.

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