Fort Pierce Fishing Report for the Week of 12-9-2023

December 11, 2023
Fort Pierce Fishing Charter
Even though Evan caught lots of other fish, this gafftop catfish was the only one we photographed.

With slowly declining water temperatures and winter approaching it’s time to think sheepshead. While I’ve been thinking about them for a couple of weeks now this past Tuesday was my first time targeting them this season.

Evan and Madeline asked for a backwater trip with live bait. He wasn’t specific with what to target, but mentioned they’d been on several charters recently in the Mosquito Lagoon, Sebastian Inlet, Stuart and now Fort Pierce. They’d caught redfish, trout, snook, jacks and more. While they were happy with every trip and would be happy to catch the same critters with me I offered a different alternative.

With six dozen live shrimp in the bait-well we headed to spot number one. As things turned out spot number one was all we needed. I doubt we moved fifty yards from our first spot lock location to our third and last. We went from a slow bite to a bite on nearly every cast, and that was with only Evan fishing! The action was so fast we didn’t take photos other than the gafftop catfish, a species he’d never seen before.

Sheepshead, croaker, snapper, jacks and both hardhead and gafftop catfish were caught. More than one drag pulling monster managed to elude capture by spitting the hook. They kept only four fish of three different species to have for dinner and returned many other legal catches for others to enjoy down the road.

Hard structures with a good current flow are essential elements for targeting sheepshead. Dock and bridge piling are considered prime structures, but don’t overlook sunken shell-bars or rocky spoil island as possible hot spots.

Live shrimp, fiddler crabs and sand fleas are fantastic baits as are cut clams and oysters. You might also be surprised how effective the manmade baits can be, like fishbites, fish gum and gulp…

Until Next Time!
Capt. Mark Wright

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