Sheepshead - Fishing Florida Gulf Coast

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Instructor: William Toney

In this In The Spread fishing video, Capt. William Toney teaches you how to catch sheepshead fish, including shallow water structure, baits, rigs, and tides. As a top inshore fishing guide in Florida, his tips will help you catch more fish and become smarter in your fishing endeavors.

Description / Review / Instructor

The sheepshead fish or the striped bandit is an inshore fishing species that is typically fished for and caught in the winter months when they congregate for the spawn. These black and silverish gold striped fish makes for great table fare. The Gulf of Mexico coast on Florida's west side offers excellent saltwater fishing for these tasty fish. This In The Spread features Captain William Toney sharing his knowledge on when, where and how to target sheepshead fish. This is a structure oriented fish, so rocks, reefs, pilings and structure that line Florida's Gulf coast afford some great wintertime action.

In the winter months, when the grouper move offshore, what is typically grouper structure switches to sheepdhead. These striped bandits move in on the rocks to feed and spawn. Learn some of William's proven tactics for targeting sheepshead on shallow water structure, the baits and rigs that produce, bait rigging, fishing tackle, lines and leaders, knots, working the tides and currents and more.

Structure and Presentations

Since sheepshead love structure, the rocky areas just offshore is where you start. Once you pinpoint some nice structure, you will need to anchor up on it. Capt. William Toney will explain best practices for how to anchor and get set up. He will cover which side of the rocks you want to be on, based on the current and how you should fish your baits. You really want to know which way the current will move you boat prior to tossing your anchor. If you do not approach the structure the right way, you may end up spooking all the fish away. Learn about the sheepshead rig he uses, how much weight is involved and how he uses the current to get his bait in the line of fire. Catching these fish is not hard, but you do need to know a few practical techniques to catch more. Knowing how to feel the bite is one key aspect. These fish eat differently than grunts and other usual suspects. You can feel the difference. See how to fish for sheepshead and fill your cooler.

Fishing Conditions

William Toney has specific recommendations for you on how to plan your trip around the best moons and tides. He will explain how the winds impact the bite and why this is important. You have to know where the good structure is, but you have to be smart about heading out, so you end up fishing the most ideal conditions.

Sheepshead Bait

Wintertime saltwater fishing for these guys will be far more productive, if you have to right baits. Take into account what they feed on. When you look at their mouth structure, you will see a set of teeth that is used for crushing crustaceans. So, shrimp, crabs and oysters make excellent baits. Plan ahead and get the best baits you can. For this fishing video, William used live shrimp, which is always a good choice. Shrimp work great for most every inshore species. You also need to have the right sized shrimp. See how to hook live shrimp on jig heads and what size jigs are best suited for this style of fishing.

Capt. William Toney, of Homosassa Inshore Fishing, offers you his simple sheepshead fishing practices, so you can go out and catch plenty of wintertime sheepshead. Take advantage of this video to learn from one of the best. Fish smarter and catch more.

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Captain William Toney

Captain William Toney, a Florida native, is a fourth-generation fishing guide known for his expertise in Redfish, Sea Trout, Mangrove Snapper, Snook and other fish species. He is a licensed and insured guide, a Homosassa Guide's Association member, and hosts 'In The Spread', an online fishing instruction platform. Toney's expertise in redfish, tides, and bait presentation is unparalleled, and he shares his knowledge on seasonal fish migration patterns and tidal flows. His dedication to passing on his knowledge to younger generations is invaluable.

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