Simple Trick Gets More Sheepshead With Less Bait (Video)

Use this technique to catch a cold-weather thief

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Sheepshead are distinctive for their black bars and creepy teeth, but the so-called “convict fish” is also a prolific bait thief. Criminal tendencies aside, they make a great winter target for anglers in Florida. JC, host of Rad Reeling Fishing, shows off his expertise by reeling in a string of keeper sheepers. He shares a simple trick to land more sheepshead with less, but stick around for other nuggets of wisdom and JC’s genuine gusto for fishing.

How to Catch More Sheepshead with Less Bait

The trick is so simple that we hesitate to spill it here, but the way to catch more sheepshead with less bait is to use—that’s right—less bait. JC breaks his live shrimp in halves or thirds rather than hooking them whole, which he says “seems to make the shrimp more attractive because it allows more scent to be emitted into the water.”

kayak angler reels in a sheepshead caught in Florida
The way to catch more sheepshead with less bait is to use—that’s right—less bait. | Image: Rad Reeling Fishing/YouTube

Scent aside, JC speculates that a partial shrimp may also make for a more attractive profile. “I don’t know,” he chuckles, “anyway, sheepshead like ‘em that way.” So, how does it work? JC delivers with a string of nice sheepshead catches before his battery dies for the day.

The next morning, JC takes some time out to jig for pompano. He uses the Spot-Lock on his Old Town Sportsman Autopilot 120 and lands a ladyfish after losing several jigs to them. Luckily he has dozens more on hand, but no luck with pompano on this day. You can’t win ‘em all.

The Sheepshead Bite is On

Other catches over the two days include a toxic toadfish, mangrove snappers, sand perch and more. JC has a great way of saying, “See ya!” as he tosses them back in the water. He finishes off with another fine run of sheepshead caught on leftover shrimp tails. No time to rest when you’re hot on the trail of a thief.


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