SheepsheadDRP.jpg

Sheepshead: Archosargus probatocephalus

Appearance:

Also known as convict fish.

  • Body has lightly colored background with vertical black bars on sides
  • Prominent teeth, including incisors, molars and rounded grinders
  • No barbels on lower jaw
  • Dorsal and anal fins with strong, sharp spines

Similar Species: Black drum, P. cromis (has chin barbels and lacks incisor-like teeth); and Atlantic spadefish, C. faber (lacks incisor-like teeth)

Size: Up to 36 inches; common to 13 inches 

Habitat:

Coastal waters near structure such as oyster bars, seawalls and in tidal creeks. They move nearshore during late winter and early spring for spawning.

 

Behavior:

Fractional spawners (they only lay a portion of their eggs at a time) in inshore waters, typically in March and April. They are omnivorous feeding mostly on crustaceans and small fish.

Additional Information

State Record:External Website 15 lb 2 oz, caught near Homosassa

Fishing Tips and Facts: Use live shrimp, sand fleas or fiddler crabs on a small hook fished on the bottom.  When cleaning, beware of the sharp gill covers.

Recreational Regulations


Image Credit: © Diane Rome Peebles



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