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A Guide To Florida Fishing:
Sea Bass, Rock Bass or Blackfish
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Because of his five distinct stripes running vertical to the body, Sheepshead also is known as Convict. The Sheepshead probably is the most common and best known salt water panfish. His flesh has high food value.
The natural range of this fish extends from Cape Cod, on all coasts of Florida, and in the Gulf to Texas. The Sheepshead is a bottom feeder, and is equipped with powerful jaws and teeth capable of snapping even light hooks. The type of water most frequented by Sheepshead is brackish inland creeks and rivers, around bridges, wharves, piling, and jetties. Average size is one to two pounds. He is most plentiful where barnacles are present or oysters and rock are on the bottom.
Tackle and methods: A wire leader and sinker should be used with rod and reel or a cane pole. Such a hook as a 1/0 to 4/0 O'Shaughnessy in bronzed finish is suitable. The Sheepshead is a wary biter, and usually many baits will be lost to each fish before he finally is hooked. His natural foods are crabs, shrimp, clams, young oysters. Such as those as are suitable for bait, and fiddler crabs, are used to catch them locally.