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Regulations Gulf and Atlantic State Waters

Sheeps head

Minimum Size Limit: 12" total length

Daily Bag Limit: 8 per person

Vessel Limit: 50 per trip during March and April

*State regulations extend into federal waters.

Season: Open year-round

Gear Requirements:

  • Legal Gear: hook and line, cast net, seine, spear or gig
  • Illegal Gear: Harvest prohibited by or with the use of any multiple hook in conjunction with live or dead natural bait; Snatching prohibited

Special regulations apply for this species when fishing in Biscayne National Park.

Can oysters and barnacles be used as bait or chum for sheepshead?

Oysters and barnacles are very, very different when it comes to regulations. 

Oysters have closed seasons, bag limits, size limits and can only be legally harvested in specific shellfish harvesting areas that are classified as "approved" or "conditionally approved" and in the "open" status. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Aquaculture manages these shellfish harvesting areas.

Barnacles on the other hand do not have size limits or specified bag limits, which means that you can harvest up to 100 pounds per person per day with a recreational saltwater fishing license and you can use them to chum sheepshead. You can also simply scrape them off bridge piles and allow them to sink and attract sheepshead. Do not scrape barnacles from private docks or other private structures without permission of the property owner. 


Image Credit:Diane Rome Peebles