Friday I had Greg and Darius in the Blue Wave and we set out with our sights on filling the coffin with sheepshead. The wind was down to 10 knots but had been blowing hard from the south the day before so I counted on it being crunchy. We hit the gulf and found smooth tops but a 3 foot ground swell at 5 seconds. That was a bit too tight for the 24 footer so I chose a rig heading bow into the swells. I could make about 15 mph and it was a long ride but I'm glad we endured the beating because the heads were waiting. The Motorguide Xi5 had no trouble holding us in place in the swells and the guys began dropping shrimp. This was a furious bite and the guys were hooked up non-stop from start to finish. When the smoke cleared we had 87 sheepshead flopping around in the coffin box. The gulf gradually settled down which made for a smooth ride home.
Saturday I had long-time friend and repeat customer Tommy Truxillo, his son Matthew, and Matthew's cousin Tucker. The seas had calmed down a lot so we were able to make the long run to the sheepshead hole without a hitch. Once again we found them stacked up like cordwood and devouring the dead shrimp. The boys yanked on the sheep until the kill box had 30. That was dad's plan all along since he really comes for bull reds. Armed with bait crab we headed north to the bull red holes. Usually by this time of year they are loaded with both reds and drum, however, they are late for some reason this year. No reds were found but the guys bowed up on quite a few bull drum which made for good fun.
Side note: I don't know where the bad reputation for sheepshead originated but most folks from Louisiana simply shake their heads in disgust at the thought of keeping them. Maybe it's the difficulty cleaning them, unattractive appearance, or the few extra bones in them. With the introduction of the handheld reciprocating saws and blades to match, I can assure you cleaning them is no more difficult than any other scaled fish. As far as the meat goes, if you have never tried it, you will be surprised at the mild and delicate flavor. Say what you want, but these fish are also very sporty on light tackle, especially the 8-10 pounders we are catching right now during the spawn!
Capt. Rob Dupont