Sheeshead Rules and Regulations

Sheepshead Regulations By State

Each States Laws & Regulations To Help Protect Sheepshead

During the winter months and early spring anglers will flock to their favorite inshore fishing spots for their chance to catch sheepshead. The sheepshead is an elusive fish that earns its nickname of "convict" not only for the strip pattern it holds but also because of its ability to steal bait right off of your hook. Many consider the sheepshead as a weird looking fish because of it mouth of human like teeth. Not only are they a challenge and fun to catch, but they will provide fillets that make for one heck of a meal. It is our duty as anglers to help protect these fish and make sure they survive so our kids can have a chance at catching them. All coastal state in the United States have put sheepshead rules and regulations in place to help protect them and prevent over fishing. Because this is a state driven initiative, sheepshead regulations will vary from state to state. Knowing the correct laws for the state waters you fish will help avoid unwanted fines and tickets and help preserve sheepshead populations. By educating all anglers we make smarter anglers to help drive sheepshead conservation. Let us take a look at each states rules and regulations more in-depth.

Catching Sheepshead

Knowing The Regulations For Sheepshead Helps With Conservation

Sheepshead Regulations For Each State

The beauty of knowing these rules and regulations is it will prevent you from breaking laws and losing money out of your pocket. After conducting some research many states allows for different sizes and quantity of sheepshead that you are allowed to keep. If you ever ask yourself, "How many sheepshead am I allowed to keep? or "What is the minimum size for sheepshead that I can keep?" then we hope you find this very informative.

1) Alabama Sheepshead Regulations:

Sheepshead are found throughout the inner coastal waters of Alabama. During the winter months anglers will fish the gulf of mexico for sheepshead. Here are the currents sheepshead regulations for catching convicts in Alabama to help all anglers avoid fines. 

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Website:

https://www.outdooralabama.com/fishing/saltwater-fishing-creel-and-size-limits

License:

A saltwater fishing license is required for anyone older than 16 but younger than 65.

License Alabama
Annual 23.35
Trip 9.80
Pier 6.20
Spear Fishing 6.00
Disabled 3.00

Break Down Of Alabama Fishing License Prices Depending Where You Fish

Once you have your fishing license it is best to know the sheepshead creel limits. These limits let you know how many sheepshead you can keep and how big they must be.

  • Daily Limit: 10 per person
  • Minimum size: 12″ minimum

Sheepshead Season: All Year 

Updated Alabama Sheepshead Regulation: May 2017.

2) Delaware Sheepshead Regulations

Sheepshead fishing in Delaware is something many anglers do. There have been some big sheepshead caught off the coast of this small state. Here are the Delaware rules and regulations for sheepshead.

http://fishspecies.dnrec.delaware.gov/FishSpecies.aspx?habitat=2&species=163

Delaware Sheepshead Limits:

  • Daily Limit: No Limit
  • Minimum size: No Limit

Sheepshead Season: All Year 

Updated Delaware Sheepshead Regulation: 2018.

3) Georgia Sheepshead Regulations:

Many anglers will visit the Georgia coast each year for their chance to catch sheepshead. This part of the country is known for their inshore fishing. Here are the current sheepshead regulations in place in Georgia.

Georgia Department of Natural Resources Website:

http://www.marinefishesofgeorgia.org/popular-sport-fish/sheepshead.html

License:

A saltwater fishing license is required in the state of Georgia. A free Saltwater Information Permit is additionally required to fish in salt water. 

Saltwater Fishing License

(Resident: 16–64, Nonresident: 16+)

Annual

 

Resident

$15.00

Non-Resident

$50.00

https://georgia.gov/popular-topic/fishing-licenses

The Georgia limit for sheepshead is one of the highest of the east coast. This allows for anglers to harvest more fish.

  • Daily Limit: 15 per person
  • Minimum size: 10″ minimum

Sheepshead Season: All Year

Updated Georgia Sheepshead Regulation: 2018. 

4) Florida Sheepshead Regulations

Sheepshead fishing in Florida has become almost a way of life. Many anglers target only sheepshead. Florida has changed their sheepshead rules and regulations in 2018 to better protect sheepshead. Knowing the proper Florida sheepshead regulations can save you a hassle and money in the long run. Here are the rules and regulations for catching sheepshead in Florida to help all anglers avoid fines. 

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission:

https://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/sheepshead/

License:

A saltwater fishing license is required for all anglers.

Florida resident saltwater licenses

One-Year Saltwater License $17.00
Covers both watercraft and shoreline fishing
Youth Saltwater Fishing License — valid until 17th birthday $17.00
Five-Year Saltwater License $79.00
One-Year Saltwater Shoreline License $0.00
Covers saltwater fishing from shorelines and attached structures. Does not cover fishing from a watercraft, fishing from a shoreline reached by watercraft, or fishing while swimming or diving.

Non-resident saltwater licenses

Three-day Saltwater License $17.00
Seven-day Saltwater License $30.00
One-Year Saltwater License $47.00

 

The Florida limit for sheepshead has evolved to better protect them due to recent popularity in catching them. Know your sheepshead regulations before targeting them.

  • Daily Limit For Anglers: 8 per person
  • Boat Limit: 50 per boat (March and April)
  • Minimum size: 12″ minimum

    Sheepshead Season: All Year

    Updated Florida Sheepshead Regulation: 2018. 

    5) Louisiana Sheepshead Regulations:

    There is no better feeling than catching a Louisiana sheepshead. Louisiana has an extensive coastline that is perfect for sheepshead fishing. Knowing the laws for Louisiana sheepshead will hep you avoid tickets and fines

    Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries:

    http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/saltwater-season/sheepshead-0

    License:

    A saltwater fishing license is required for all anglers.

    License Type

    Resident Fee

    Nonresident Fee

    Hook and Line (cane pole)1

    $2.50

    Basic Fishing

    $9.50

    $60

    Saltwater (Basic Fishing License required)

    $13

    $30

    Nonresident Basic Trip (1 day)

    $5

    Nonresident Saltwater Trip (1 day)

    $17.50

    Nonresident Saltwater Season (Basic Fishing License required)

    $30

    Senior Hunting/Fishing2

    $5

    Louisiana Sportsman’s Paradise3

    $100

    Charter Passenger4 (3 day)

    $10

    $10

    Charter Skiff5 (3 day)

    $30

     

    Knowing the Louisiana limit is something that all saltwater anglers in La must know.

    • Daily Limit: No Limit
    • Minimum size: 10″ Minimum  

    Sheepshead Season: All Year

    Updated Louisiana Sheepshead Regulation: 2018. 

    6) Maryland Sheepshead Regulations

    Maryland is known for their blue crab. They are also known for their sheepshead.  Here are the rules and regulations for sheepshead in Maryland.

    http://www.eregulations.com/maryland/fishing/atlantic-ocean-coastal-bays-seasons-sizes-limits/

    Maryland Sheepshead Limits:

    • Daily Limit: Daily—20 in aggregate
    • Minimum size: No Limit

    Sheepshead Season: All Year 

    Updated Maryland Sheepshead Regulation: 2018.

    7) Mississippi Sheepshead Regulations:

    When it comes to coastline Mississippi has one of the smallest compared to other states. This does not stop anglers from catching sheepshead. Knowing the Mississippi sheepshead regulations will help you avoid any trouble while fishing in MS.

    Mississippi Department Of Marine Resources:

    http://www.dmr.ms.gov/index.php/recreational-fishing/recreational-catch-limits

    License:

    In Mississippi, it is required to possess a fishing license when saltwater fishing.

    Resident Licenses Price Agent Fee Process Fee
    Sportsman's License
    Does not include saltwater fishing.
    $45.00 $1.00 $1.29
    All Game Hunting/Freshwater Fishing
    Does not include Archery/Primitive Weapon/Crossbow.
    $25.00 $1.00 $1.29
    Small Game Hunting/Freshwater Fishing $10.00 $1.00 $1.29
    3-Day Freshwater Fishing $3.00 $1.00 $1.29
    Saltwater Fishing $10.00 $1.00 $1.29
    Senior Lifetime Saltwater License - age 65 and over. $5.00 $1.00 $1.29
    Non-Resident Licenses Price Agent Fee Process Fee
    Armed Forces 14-Day Hunting/Fishing
    Must apply through MDWFP - Application. (Includes Fall Turkey and Archery/Primitive Weapon/Crossbow. Does not include Saltwater Fishing)
    $33.00 $0 $1.29
    Freshwater Fishing
    $60.00 $3.00 $1.29
    3-Day Freshwater Fishing $15.00 $2.00 $1.29
    1-Day Freshwater Fishing $8.00 $1.00 $1.29
    Saltwater Fishing $30.00 $3.00 $1.29
    3-Day Saltwater Fishing $15.00 $2.00 $1.29

     

    Mississippi limits anglers for how many sheepsheads they can keep and require them to be a certain size before harvesting.

    • Daily Limit: 15 per person
    • Minimum size: 14″ minimum 

    Check out the Mississippi Guide to Saltwater Fishing for additional reading  PDF here.

    Sheepshead Season: All Year 

    Updated Mississippi Sheepshead Regulation: 2018. 

    8) North Carolina Sheepshead Regulations:

    North Carolina has an awesome coastline for fishing. There are many areas that are perfect for sheepshead fishing. Fishing the waters of North Carolina can produce some of the biggest sheepsheads around. Knowing the laws will help you avoid issues with your local DNR officers.

    North Carolina Environmental Department:

    http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/recreational-fishing-size-and-bag-limits

    License:

    Resident Fishing - Annual Cost


    Inland Fishing (basic)
    Statewide inland fishing during a license term. Includes fishing in joint waters. It does not include fishing in coastal waters. Additional privilege licenses.
     

    $20


    Comprehensive Inland Fishing
    Statewide inland fishing for residents during a license term. Includes fishing in Public Mountain Trout Waters, fishing in trout waters on game lands, and fishing in joint waters. It does not include fishing in coastal waters.
     

    $25

    Special Inland Fishing Devices 
    Authorizes the taking of nongame fishes from inland waters (does not include joint and coastal waters) during designated seasons with seines, cast nets, gill nets, dip nets, bow nets, reels, gigs, spear guns, baskets, fish pots, eel pots, traps, and hand-crank electrofishers where authorized by local law. Includes the sale of these nongame fishes. Taking of nongame fishes with archery equipment is authorized under any of the licenses providing basic hunting or inland fishing privileges. Certain special devices may be used to take nongame fishes for bait or personal consumption using any valid license that provides basic inland fishing privileges.
     
    $75

    Coastal Recreational Fishing
    Authorizes fishing in coastal and joint waters during a license term. It does not authorize fishing in inland waters.
     
    $15

    Unified Inland/Coastal Recreational Fishing License
    Statewide inland and coastal recreational fishing for residents during a license term. Includes the privileges of fishing in Public Mountain Trout Waters, fishing in trout waters on game lands, and fishing in joint waters.
     
    $40
    Non-Resident Fishing - Annual Cost

    Inland Fishing (basic)
    Statewide inland fishing during a license term. Includes fishing in joint waters. It does not include fishing in coastal waters. Additional privilege licenses.

    $36

    Special Inland Fishing Devices 
    Authorizes the taking of nongame fishes from inland waters (does not include joint and coastal waters) during designated seasons with seines, cast nets, gill nets, dip nets, bow nets, reels, gigs, spear guns, baskets, fish pots, eel pots, traps, and hand-crank electrofishers where authorized by local law. Includes the sale of these nongame fishes. Taking of nongame fishes with archery equipment is authorized under any of the licenses providing basic hunting or inland fishing privileges. Certain special devices may be used to take nongame fishes for bait or personal consumption using any valid license that provides basic inland fishing privileges.

    $500

    Coastal Recreational Fishing
    Authorizes fishing in coastal and joint waters during a license term. It does not authorize fishing in inland waters.

    $30

     

    North Carolina Sheepshead Limits and Regulations:

    • Daily Limit: 10 per person
    • Minimum size: 10″ minimum

    Sheepshead Season: All Year 

    Updated North Carolina Sheepshead Regulation: 2018. 

    9) South Carolina Sheepshead Regulations:

    South Carolina Department of Natural Resources:

    http://www.dnr.sc.gov/regs/saltwaterfish.html

    License:

    Resident Saltwater Fishing

    Duration Type of License Price Notes, Prerequisites
    3 Year Saltwater Fishing License $30.00 Valid 3 years from date of purchase.
    Annual Saltwater Fishing License $10.00 Valid 1 year from date of purchase.
    14-day Saltwater Fishing License $5.00 Valid 14 consecutive days.

    Nonresident Saltwater Fishing

    Duration Type of License Price Notes, Prerequisites
    3 Year Saltwater Fishing License $105.00 Valid 3 years from date of purchase.
    Annual Saltwater Fishing License $35.00 Valid 1 year from date of purchase.
    14-day Saltwater Fishing License $11.00 Valid 14 consecutive days.

     
    Finding sheepshead in South Carolina is rather easy. The coast has a ton of inshore land perfect for convicts. 

    • Daily Limit: 10 per person per day, not to exceed 30 per boat per day
    • Minimum size: 14″ minimum

    Check out South Carolina State’s Saltwater Fishing Regulations and Tips for more additional reading (PDF)

    Sheepshead Season: All Year 

    Updated South Carolina Sheepshead Regulation: 2018. 

    10) Texas Sheepshead Regulations:

    They say everything is bigger in Texas, that applies to their sheepshead. Texas is known for their sheepshead fishing. Sheepshead are found on the coast of Texas. Here are the currents regulations for catching sheepshead in Texas to help all anglers avoid fines. 

    Texas Parks and Wildlife:

    https://tpwd.texas.gov/regulations/outdoor-annual/fishing/saltwater-fishing/saltwater-bag-and-length-limits

    License:

    In order to fish for sheepshead in Texas all anglers are required to have a fishing license.

    Item Item Description Price
    231 Resident Freshwater Fishing Package $30.00
    232 Resident Saltwater Fishing Package $35.00
    233 Resident All Water Fishing Package $40.00
    303 Non-Resident Saltwater Fishing Package $63.00

    Texas Sheepshead Limits:

    • Daily Limit: 5 per person
    • Minimum size: 15″ minimum 

    Sheepshead Season: All Year 

    Updated Texas Sheepshead Regulation: 2018. 

    11) Virginia Sheepshead Regulations:

    Sheepshead fishing in Virginia can produce a cooler full of meat. Here are the currents regulations for catching sheepshead in Virginia to help all anglers avoid fines. 

    Virginia Marine Resource Commission:

    https://webapps.mrc.virginia.gov/public/reports/swrecfishingrules.php

    License:

    Saltwater fishing in Virginia requires all anglers to possess a saltwater fishing license.

    Recreational Saltwater Fishing License Fees

     

    Individual SW, Resident 

    $17.50

    Individual SW, Nonresident

    $25.00

     

    Virginia Beach and the Chesapeake Bay area are great places to find sheepshead. As an angler, knowing the bag limit will allow you to keep the correct number of fish.

    • Daily Limit: 4 per person
    • Minimum size: No size limit

    Sheepshead Season: All Year 

    Updated Virginia Sheepshead Regulation: 2018. 

    Here are a few other states with sheepshead rules and regulations: 

    New Jersey and New York no limits found 

    An angler that knows his state sheepshead regulations is one that truly cares about the waters he is fishing. These laws and regulations were put into place to protect convicts and keep them around for future generations. It is our duty to make sure they are not over fished. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to leave us a comment below or email us at info@HFDepot.com. We would love to hear your near record monster sheepshead experiences. We would also love 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. Make sure to check out our sheepshead Species page for other great sheepshead blogs. Find informative information on fishing for sheepsheadchumming for sheepshead, finding fiddlers for baitcleaning sheeps, or amazing sheepshead recipes. Don't forget to get stocked with our sheepshead jigs for your next fishing trip. Know your state laws, help better protect sheepshead, and avoid unnecessary fines.

    Previous article Record African Pompano Sets Women's 20lb Line Class
    Next article Sheepshead Stance : Anglers "Hangover" For Sheepshead Fishing

    Leave a comment

    * Required fields

    Sale

    Unavailable

    Sold Out