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.
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
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
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.
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 )