Sheepshead Bait?

Hey everyone, I’ve now seen two Charleston fishing guides who’ve used a mossy barnacle concoction as bait when fishing for sheep on the jetties. One was a guide I hired several years back and the other was a video on YouTube. In that video, there was a one second clip of them scraping the bait off a rock somewhere…but it was too short to figure out where.

Is anyone familiar with this practice? Where would I go to find this bait? Once it cools off enough for the fiddlers to disappear, I would like to have a backup.

Here’s a video of my last trip to the jetties looking for sheep. It’s a 360 video…use your mouse to control where you’re looking.

Are you sure it wasn’t chunks of broken oysters off of pilings?

Any of that stuff works: fiddlers, small live shrimp, oysters, muscles, clams. Sometimes they have a preference, sometimes they don’t.

“Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality.” --Peepod 07-25-2017

I sometimes will scrape the barnacles off of pilings when fishing dock To okind of chum them up

You find things offensive. I find things funny. That's why I'm happier than you.

22 life’s a day

I am familiar with knocking off oysters/barnacles to create a chum…this bait was different in that you could use the moss to weave it onto the hook.

I think you’re looking for something along the right earlobe…

“Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality.” --Peepod 07-25-2017


I know what you’re talking about, but I don’t know the name. I see it growing lower in the water column on certain pilings, but not all of them. We need barbawang.

“Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality.” --Peepod 07-25-2017

I vaguely remember seeing a youtube about that. Maybe Darsizzle? I don’t know. Anyway, in that vid, they jumped off the boat onto the Charleston jetties, onto the rocks, with puddy knives and buckets and scraped the barnacle mats off of the rocks. They then fished with small chunks of those mats (maybe 1"x 1").

That combined with crushed oysters for chum.

I’m not sure I’m brave enough to get my boat that close to the rocks. Nor, do I think climbing around on the rocks is a good idea. Sounds like a really good recipe for a lot of stitches and a torn up boat.

Remember as a kid, we’d anchor bow out. Run a rope through a 3 hole brick and toss the brick up into the rocks. Pull the stern up snug and close to the rocks. Got scared out of that trick when a sub wake caught us and came really close to putting the boat on the rocks. If you’re gonna have the boat that close to the rocks, need to maintain good situational awareness. Don’t let nuke subs sneak up on you.

Kinda’ miss watching those things roll in and out. Cool pieces of machinery.

--------------------------- 17' Henry O Hornet w/ Yamaha 115 26' Palmer Scott project hull 14' Bentz-Craft w/ Yamaha 25

You probably can’t remember the video for sure because you was busy looking at her butt… hahaha. That’s why I watch her videos anyway…

You find things offensive. I find things funny. That's why I'm happier than you.

22 life’s a day

Barnacle Mat…that’s what I was trying to say…and yes I believe we saw the same video.

Y’all got there eventually, I could’ve replied yesterday but that just hinders the real learning process.

So: barnacle mats are comprised of what I believe are small ribbed mussels (Geukensia demissa) held together by their byssal threads, which is what’s usually called the “beard”. I see those mats most frequently in high energy environments like the jetties and surf zones. I think it’s because the harsh conditions stunt their growth enough for them to mat up. My suggestion would be low tide with a putty knife, good shoes, long sleeves and pants, and scramble on some of the rock groins we have on our beaches. I’ve heard the mats referred to generically as “barnacles” by those who fish with them. I have 6 or 7 go-to sheep baits and that ain’t one.

About those nuke wakes… gotta keep a knife handy to cut that back brick in case the water starts disappearing on you real quick like. Those guys on the conning tower sure did look serious about their job.

Lastly, the weirdest two sheepshead techniques I’ve ever heard:

-smear peanut butter on your fiddler crab, they hold on longer

-close up a mason jar full of live fiddlers with a long string jammed across the threads of the lid, lower down and “chum”, old guy claimed the fish would swim right up to the jar trying to get at them

A fly is the last thing on my list of go-tos. I’ve throw a crab fly at easily 200 fish on the flats over the last ten years and never even a look.

Chunky or smooth? I don’t want to look ridiculous.

“Another poon dream splintered on the rocks of reality.” --Peepod 07-25-2017

The fella across the street from us as a kid used to tear up the sheep head.
He had some mason jars in his little old boat. I asked him what they were for.
Said he filled them with fiddler’s used them as a lure ???
Figured he was pulling my leg.
He caught flounder Cherry Grove marsh around 12 lb. His son still has it on the wall with the newspaper clipping…

You find things offensive. I find things funny. That's why I'm happier than you.

22 life’s a day

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The bait in question is referred to as “sheepshead crack” - at least in my circles.
As usual, Mr Wang has it nailed

________________________ 1966 13' Boston Whaler "Flatty" 2018 Sportsman Masters 207 #predatorsstriketheeye

Best bait for large sheeps is oysters . Find some clusters . Shuck the green oysters . Put one or two on your hook . The largest sheephead we’ve caught were on oysters in January off the Folly bridge . Our joke after shucking the green oysters is that sheephead like human blood ( from barking our knuckles on the oyster shells )

A commercial fisherman was fishing in front of my dock ib St Aug years ago and was pulling in 5# sheeps on almost every cast and he was using a single mussel each time for bait

Hunting, fishing, and poker are my sports. Work when necessary.

Ok. It’s really pretty simple. Go to your nearest bridge piling at low tide. Scrape off about 3 big buckets full of marine growth and smash them up with a sledge hammer. Find a spot where the current is not crazy and dump the smashed up oysters on a place where you know where they are. I prefer to mark the spot with a pvc pole.

The hard way. : use fiddlers or a piece of tough conch on a small strong hook

The easy way. Throw an 8’ cast net then keep the legal fish and go clean the fishes

Before the fish police get here. I have checked this out It is legal