Skip to content
Sheepshead Stance - Anglers "Hangover" For Sheepshead Fishing

Sheepshead Stance : Anglers "Hangover" For Sheepshead Fishing

Hooking Sheepshead Is A Challenge For Many Anglers

One of the best types of fishing involves fishing on or around piers and bridges. One of the species of inshore fish that seems to congregate in these areas are sheepshead. One reason for this is the amount of food they can find. Pier and bridge pylons are usually covered in barnacles, a sheepshead favorite. The number of small crabs, like rock crabs, can generally be found as well. If the food is there, so will the sheepshead. When fishing for sheepshead, they can be a challenge to catch. Fishing with the right bait is critical, knowing the correct technique is crucial, and knowing when they hit to set the hook is imperative.

Sheepshead Stance For Fishing On Piers

Sheepshead Stance For Fishing On Piers (Photo Credit: Instagram)

Fishing off a pier for sheepshead is all vertical dropping and vertical jigging for sheepshead. When anglers are fishing for sheepshead, you know it due to their verticle "hangover" off the pier. This is the ultimate sheepshead stance. Think of this as the stance you make to make a tackle in football or the stance you make to field a ground ball in baseball.  Sheepshead fishing has its unique position when pier and bridge fishing. By learning and mastering this sheepshead stance, you should be able to achieve more success at hooking sheepshead fish. To catch sheepshead fish, you need a finesse approach mixed with a 6th sense and feeling or just a sensitive rod. Let's look in more detail on how to do the sheepshead stance properly.

Sheepshead Stance On Piers And Bridges

When getting into the sheepshead stance, you will always use the bridge or pier. Just rest your arm on the railing of the pier, bridge, or boat. Allow for your head to rest on the shoulder of the arm that is on the railing. This will allow you to look down into the water to target sheepshead. On the opposite hand, hold your rod over the water and angle it down toward the surface at a 45-degree angle. As an angler, this should feel like a natural position and will give you what you need to fish this structure properly. There are several reasons for the importance of this stance. The first being that you want your bait directly down the pylon. Sheepshead feeds on the barnacles and crabs that are feeding and growing on the pylon. The key to enticing a sheepshead to bite is putting the bait in front of him. By dropping your bait directly down, the pylon will put it in front of any nearby sheepshead.

Catching Sheepshead On The Pier

Catching Sheeps On The Pier (Photo By Florida Sportsman)

The second reason the sheepshead stance works is for sight fishing. One of the hardest things for anglers to pick up is when sheepshead bite. Often a bite from a sheepshead will feel like a tap-tap. If you are fishing with a heavy rod, you may miss it altogether. Typical mistake anglers make setting the hook directly after this first tap. All the sheepshead is doing is mouthing the bait. By setting the hook, thinking you're going to land the fish will result in missing the fish and ultimately losing your bait. There is a reason the sheepshead are known as convict fish. It is not only for their looks, but it is because of how good they are at being bait thieves. When the sheepshead has successfully swallowed your bait, it will try to return to around structure. During this process, you will see your line begin to move in the water. This is the time to set the hook and prevent the sheepshead fish from returning to cover structure. By preventing the sheepshead from getting to the structure, it will decrease your line breaks and help you land more fish because you have eyes on the water.

Sheepshead Stance

Sheepshead Stance (Photo By Charleston Angler)

The third reason is that in this stance, it allows for your rod to become an extension of your arm. You will be able to get a better feeling for what the fish is doing with your bait. It is all in the movements. The more you do this, the more accustomed you will be to the feelings of a sheepshead bite. From the first tap, you should be ready to allow the fish to eat the bait and set the hook. A sensitive rod will help with feeling these taps. The only other way to increase sensitivity is with the type of line you are fishing. Using a sensitive braid from Vicious Fishing anywhere from 10lbs to 15lbs will help aid in the bite. 

Hooking Sheeps While Sheepshead Fishing

Hooking Sheeps While Sheepshead Fishing (Photo By

There is a science to catching sheepshead. Knowing the right ways of fishing for them could be the difference between a cooler full of fish or getting skunked. 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 near-record monster sheepshead experiences. We would also like to see all of your sheepsheads catches, so make sure you send us all your great catches from a pier to be featured on our social media pages. Make sure to check out our sheepshead Species page for other great sheepshead blogs. Find more great informative information on at sheepshead nation. Don't forget to get stocked with our sheepshead jigs for your next fishing trip. Try the sheepshead stance and see if it helps increase your sheepshead hookups.

Previous article Sheepshead Regulations By State
Next article Guide For A Successful Duck Hunting Season

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields



Sold Out

Net Orders Checkout

Item Price Qty Total
Subtotal $ 0.00

Shipping Address

Shipping Methods