Ask any experienced inshore fisherman their opinion regarding the toughest gamefish species to catch and odds are they will tell you the wily sheepshead. Ask that same fisherman his opinion on the tastiest inshore gamefish and you’ll likely get the same response. These black and white striped members of the porgy family have earned the nick name “convicts” due to both their appearance and amazing ability to steal bait from a fisherman’s hook without the slightest hint of a bite. In warmer months sheepshead spend their time inhabiting inshore waters feeding on barnacles and other crustaceans around dock and bridge pilings and other submerged structures. During this time they are dispersed over a relatively large area and generally difficult to catch. As the inshore water temperatures begin to dip into the 50’s in response to the colder weather and shorter days of winter, a majority of the sheepshead population will leave the rivers and sounds in preparation for the spring spawn and takes up residence at the many near shore wrecks and artificial reefs located just off of our coast. After migrating to the wrecks and reefs sheepshead really strap on the feedbag. This insatiable appetite combined with a very dense population of fish in a relatively small area results in their tendency to feed with reckless abandon while inhabiting the wrecks. While the bite is still very subtle and initially difficult to detect, you’ll get plenty of opportunities to hone your skills on a typical sheepshead fishing trip. This type of fishing is a very interactive experience with the angler responsible for dropping his bait into position, detecting the bite, setting the hooking, and fighting the fish to the boat. The sheepshead caught on the wrecks average between 2 and 6lbs with fish up to 10lbs being not uncommon. A typical trip will yield plenty of action and more than enough fillets for a great dinner with friends and family. If this sounds like your idea of a good time round up some friends and let’s put some “convicts” in the cooler! While you can schedule a sheepshead fishing charter for you, your family, and friends anytime in February, we are offering an individual sign-up trip on Thursday the 18th at a rate of $150 per angler! Hurry, space is limited! If a day in the field sounds appealing check out the Oldfield events calendar for the variety of quail hunting and sporting clays options offered through the Outfitters Center in February.