The Fall weather pattern is steady moving along and so are the Sheepshead and near shore species. The Sheepshead migration into the inlet is stronger than ever. Lots of good, healthy fish are being caught. They're averaging 2.5-4 pounds but several are quite a bit larger, 4-6 pounds. The quality of the fish being caught has vastly improved since 2 weeks ago. The shark activity has finally died down with far less of our fish being taken by the Grey Suits. It's still happening but, rarely....
The tips of both the South and North jetty are holding plenty of fish. There are also a lot of healthy fish on the outsides of the rows. On those rough days, which seem to be most days this time of year, you can often move outside the river and find calmer conditions. Particularly, outside the south row. With the wind and seas pounding the north end of the inlet, the rocks form something of a sanctuary on the outside, south row. If you can make it around the rough water of the south tip, you'll often be rewarded with calmer conditions on the south side.
I'm still using the usual Fiddler Crabs on Carolina Rigs for the Sheepshead. The Blenny by-catch will be a factor but they're not a deal breaker. Just an observation, I'm noticing that after you catch a dozen or so Blennies, you'll notice them become less of a problem. Blennies are similar to Toad Fish in that they lay on the bottom. They're an ambush predator. They take up residence in the rocks scattered throughout the Inlet. Once you clear a section of bottom, you stop catching them. Each time you move the boat, you'll be thick in them initially. Something to consider when the bite slows down and you consider moving lol. I personally feel that it's better to wait for the Sheepshead to migrate by than moving when the bite slows down. The Blenny reset will wreak havoc on your bait so either come loaded down with Fiddlers or be patient and wait for the Sheepshead schools to come to you.
We did a little bit of jig fishing for them this week. One of my clients wanted to give jigs tipped with a Fiddler a shot. We didn't do half bad. The snags weren't really any worse or better than fishing with Carolina Rigs. What we did notice though was that the variety opened up considerably. We caught several Reds, Porgy's, Sheepshead and Black Margates. I've fished like this for Reds and Porgy's in the past. The only difference is we normally tip our jigs with live Shrimp. I could see fishing like this being difficult for newer anglers but when done right, It's a blast. Touche Jimmy06, good call.
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