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Jetty Fishing For Sheepshead

Jetty Fishing For Sheepshead

Fishing The Jetties For Sheepshead: Tips and Tricks For Your Next Jetty Adventure

One of the best types of fishing anglers prefer at the jetties is sheepshead fishing. Sheepshead fish can virtually be caught anywhere there are rocks, pylons, piers, or seawalls. These areas attract sheepshead because of the food sources often found near and around these them. Sheepshead is a sought-after inshore species of fish in Florida and surrounding areas. Many anglers target them from bridges and piers, but one of the best areas to fish for sheepshead is the jetties. Fishing the jetties can be a challenge when sheepshead fishing, but often time will yield some of the biggest sheepshead anglers can catch. Here is why you should be targeting the jetties for sheepshead and what you need to know to fish for them successfully.

What Is A Jetty?

Jetty Fishing In Destin Florida

Jetty Fishing In Destin Florida (Photo Credit:

A jetty is a human-made structure usually of wood, stone, or concrete that extends into the water from the shore. Jetties typically tend to be long, narrow rock structures that are used to protect the coastline and harbors from currents and tides. These human-made structures are made to be walked on often and provide excellent areas for fishing. In Florida, many of the inlets that connect the inter-coastal waterway to the ocean are lined on both sides by large piles of rocks. These jetties provide a barrier for the inlets that connect inshore waters to the ocean. Fishermen use them as navigational aids for finding inlets for safe passage through the shallow inshore waters.

One thing that makes jetties such a positive thing for the environment is the fact they act as a natural barrier that protects small baitfish, crustaceans, and other aquatic animals. It is because of this that many of the larger predatory fish will assemble near the jetties, making it one of the best places to fish from land. Some of the biggest fish you can catch from land come from the jetties. Because jetties are often a collection of rocks, they tend to grow barnacles and have a large number of crabs that hide in them. This attracts man sheepshead during the right times of the year. Jetties are a known area to catch sheepshead and should be an area fished when sheepshead are running.

Jetty Fishing: Things To Know When Sheepshead Fishing The Jetties

Jetty sheepshead fishing

Jetty Sheepshead Fishing 

Fishing for sheepshead can be a challenge and a dangerous thing. Often time your larger sheepshead will be found off the jetties making it a risk many anglers are willing to take. The first thing every angler must consider is safety. Many areas have paved or built piers on their jetties to keep accidents to a minimum. Many anglers will brave it out to fish from jetties even if they are just a rock pile. Every angler fishing for sheepshead should remember that the jetty rocks are very slippery during different tidal ranges. On top of being slick, often, they are covered in barnacles, making them sharp and dangerous if you fall. Knowing the tide line can help you understand where to walk.

Another thing anglers must remember is on a rough day; how the waves crash into the rocks. You do not want to be the angler that gets knocked down or swept into the water. Know your laws for fishing the jetties before you adventure out for sheepshead fishing. If they are posted as no fishing, there is probably a safety reason, and you will avoid hefty fines.

Jetty Fishing Gear for Sheepshead

Jetty Fishing Gear

Jetty Fishing Gear

The first thing that every angler needs when fishing the jetties is a good pair of shoes. Flip flops are not your friend on the jetties. An excellent sole shoe to help you not slip and fall is essential. You do not want your trip over before it started because of a slipping accident. Always remember the reason jetties attract so many sheepsheads is because of the rocks that make them and hold the sheepshead food. Whenever you are fishing around rocks, you know that many fish will break you off on the sharp rocks. Having the right line and equipment could be the difference between hooking and landing that 10lb sheepshead. Every angler needs the right set up with rod and reel to get out on the jetties. You have to fish with equipment that can land some of the largest fish like a 12lb sheepshead or 60lb redfish.

It is because of this we would recommend a 7 to 8' medium to heavy rod. I swear by a canyon reel to catch all my fish when fishing the jetties. Lately, I have fished the jetties with my Canyon Reels 3500 and 5000 series. With the threat of losing a sheepshead on the rocks, it is imperative to use the right type of fishing line. The like of choice would be 20-40lb braid from Vicious Fishing. I add a 20-30lb fluorocarbon leader line to all my rigs to give it a little bit more to ensure you land the big sheepsheads. By using a set up like this with heavy braid will allow you to handle any sheepshead or fish hooked off the jetties.

How To Be Successful At Sheepshead Fishing From A Jetty

Catching Sheepshead At The Jetties

Catching Sheepshead At The Jetties

 Once you are out on the jetties, there are a few different techniques to fish for sheepshead. One of the best methods is with a sheepshead jig. On the hook of the sheepshead jig, place a fiddler crab. Carefully cast it out away from the rock and slowly retrieve it off the bottom. Bounce it across the rocks that are under the water allowing it to come across the face of any sheepshead present. This will be an irresistible meal for the jetty sheepshead. Another method that I have had success with is by finding a rock submerged in the water and holding a live shrimp or fiddler crab over it. I like to use a 2/0 or 3/0 Mustad octopus hook. I attach a foot long lead with an egg weight above the swivel. I will put the shrimp on the hook by piercing it through the back of the head or the fiddler crab on by piercing the shell just inside of its back, walking legs. Drop the bait down around the submerged rock and let it sit there until its a sheepshead next meal. Do not be discouraged if they pick your jig or hook clean. They are known as convict fish for a reason. Always remember to be patient and wait for the subtle bump bites. Sheepsheads are aggressive eaters and always come back again after that first bite. One thing I like to keep with me is a small shovel when fishing the jetties. I often use this to scrape barnacles off the rocks to add some natural chum in the water for sheepshead. You honestly can not go wrong fishing the jetties for sheepshead. If you fish during the right time of year, you will bring home a cooler full of sheepshead.

Stringer of sheepshead caught at the jetties

Stringer of sheepshead caught at the jetties

 If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to leave us a comment below or email us at We would love to hear your jetty experiences for catching sheepshead. We would also like to see all of your sheepsheads catches, so make sure you send us all your great catches to be featured on our social media pages. Check out our other blogs that can improve how good of a sheepshead angler you are and help you catch more fiddler crabs. Once you have caught your share of sheepshead, you will need the perfect sheepshead recipes for cooking them. Stock up on all the sheepshead jigs you need for your next fishing trip. Join Sheepshead Nation today and be part of a large sheepshead community. We look forward to hearing about your jetty fishing adventures and the sheepshead you will catch when fishing them.

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Abel Garza - June 10, 2023

What is the best time of year to fish sheepshead in the gulf Mexico?

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