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Fish Off the Seawall at My Condo Complex

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  • Around here I have caught sheepshead, for which the best bait is barnacles (I said periwinkles before but I meant barnacles, though who knows, periwinkles might work too).. The barnacles stay on the hook and the sheepshead bite right through the hard outside.  The hook can be 2 - 3 times the size of the barnacle (1 or 1/0), and the fish still don't seem to see them.   It's a really subtle bite though, especially if you fly line them, which works well, as long as you keep checking for weight on the line.  Depending on the tide, it may be possible to scrape a few barnaclesfrom some pilings, but if anyone lives near a dock or seawall and can bring some, do.  Another killer bait is the small brown crabs that crawl around the underside and sides of the docks, but it's time consuming to catch them and you pretty much need a kayak to do it.

    There can be snook in the general area, but I have only caught them in the early morning dark hours, from a kayak, fishing the areas where some people leave lights shining in the water.

    If you fish cut bait on the bottom you will catch nuisance saltwater catfish all day.  These guys have spines with toxins in them, so you have to be very careful getting the hook out.  It's best to wear gloves and use a fish grabber of some kind.  If you fish live shrimp or other live bait and higher up in the water you'll get less of the cats.  Or use the barnacles as bait.  Some oysters grow on the docks and oyster also works for the sheepshead in theory, but good luck keeping it on the hook.

    You'll see mullet, but won't catch them unless you have a cast net and they happen to be close.

    We occasionally see a dolphin or two swimming around. 

    It's mostly muddy bottom, 3 - 9 feet depending on tide.   Occasional boats going in or out through the channel so keep casts not too long.  The fish are more likely to be lurking around the pilings anyway.

    I once saw a school of jacks there chasing a bit bait ball going through, but that's not a regular thing.   The body of water is called Hurricane Harbor, and it's South and East of Doctors Pass.

    Light tackle is good enough.  I usually fish braid going to 8 lb fluorocarbon.

    There is limited parking.  There are 5 guest spaces plus a handful of residents won't be around at any given time, though this is "season."  As the date draws nearer, I'll find out which residents are away, and post some numbered parking spots that can also be used.  Don't park anywhere but the guest spots and the spots with the numbers that I post. If we get too many people (never a problem yet), we'll take just as many as we have parking spaces, unless some people want to meet a mile away near Publix and carpool.  If you sign up, try to shoot me your cell number so we can coordinate the parking if necessary.


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  • Claudia G

    Just got the news I'm singing in church that sunday.
    :-(

    November 30

  • Brett

    I use shrimp meat for sheepshead. Ultra light tackle with 4lb mono. I go to publix and buy the gulf shrimp if they have it.

    November 15

    • Stephen P. R.

      Yeah Brett, I have not tried the shrimp meat myself for sheepshead, but I'm sure i will work. I'd keep it off the bottom unless you want to catch the catfish. And I imagine you might get some other takers as well.

      November 21

    • Tami

      I catch sheepshead and lots of other fish on live shrimp all the time. About a foot or two off the bottom.

      November 21

  • Stephen P. R.

    Depending on whether I have time (no promises), I may bring some live shrimp, check the beach for any baitfish I could net, scrape some barnacles from the pilings, or try to catch a few of what I call "pier crabs" (anyone know what those little brown crabs that you see hanging around the underside of the piers in the bay actually are called)? If anyone else is inspired, you could bring bait, or coffee or donuts, or anything else you consider useful, but just yourself is more than enough. Beginners through expert welcome. Don't forget your fishing license. This is not a public pier. Anyone who wants to can walk across the street to the beach access after, whether to fish or swim. Just don't make it your regular beach parking spot or the condo parking police will be mad. If the weather is warm and sunny, there may be too many swimmers mid-day on a weekend in season to allow for peaceful fishing unless you walk down to the jetty (200 yards).

    November 21

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