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Catching sheepshead in Dauphin Island

Catching sheepshead in Dauphin Island

Sheepshead are a lot like tarpon in the way they only pass through Alabama’s coast for a short period of time each year and they can easily break off. Dauphin Island Alabama is located on the far south west corner of the Alabama coast just south of Mobile. This is a highly populated area with lots of man made structure. This structure along with a health mix of both salt and fresh water make for an excellent sheepshead fishing. In this article we are going to explore where, how and when to catch sheepshead around Dauphin Island, AL.

Where to target sheepshead in Dauphin Island

When targeting sheepshead in Dauphin Island, focus on fishing under Dauphin Island Bridge, or Perdido Pass as well as inshore reefs in Mobile Bay. You can also catch sheepshead around solid structures that has barnacles, or gas rigs. Not to mention, when targeting any structure with barnacles, you can scrape the barnacles into the water to attract swarms of sheepshead, and throwing bait with shrimp attracted near the swarm can lead to a big catch! A few of our charter captains will take a flathead shovel along for the purpose of breaking off barnacles from pilings. For a good frame of reference as to what were talking about check pout this video from our friends at Saltstrong. They do an excellent job of breaking down the process of Sheepshead fishing in this video.

Best bait to use when catching sheepshead in Dauphin Island

The most effective baits to use when targeting sheepshead in Dauphin Island are fiddler crab, live shrimp, sand fleas, tube worms, clams and cut bait. Because sheepshead typically like to bottom feed on mollusk, crustaceans, and shrimp, artificial lures can also be beneficial to use such as bottom-sweeper jigs, or bare jigs with shrimp attached. Although, the best time to switch from live bait to artificial bait, is when the tide starts slowing down, allowing artificial baits to sneak up on sheepshead without live movement. My personal favorite artificial bait for sheepshead is the Z and Kicker Crabs or the Jerk Shrimp.

Seasons for catching sheepshead in Dauphin Island

Sheepshead, Around Dauphin Island,  normally spawn every few days during late winter and early spring. During this time, sheepshead are active and well populated around tidal rivers, bayous, inshore reefs and bridges. Where sheepshead can be found in different seasons, all depends on the water, weather, and wind conditions in Dauphin Island. I would encourage you to look for concrete pilings, as they tend to produce an abundance of natural baits. In addition, when the water warms up in the spring, sheepshead stay closer to the bottom where it’s consistently the same temperature. During the winter, sheepshead gather up under docks or pilings, feedings on barnacles and clams. We cant stress this point enough. If you find the barnacles you will find the sheepshead. Here’s a link that has more detailed information about where sheepshead are found throughout different seasons in Dauphin Island.

As a result, you can catch sheepshead around any hard structures in dauphin island, such as oil rigs, rocks, pilings, under bridges, and even some inshore reefs. When catching sheepshead, you can use baits such as clams or artificial baits. It’s important to know the rules, regulations, and legal bag limit, when attempting to catch sheepshead off any piers or bridges in Dauphin Island. Don’t take our word though, come catch sheepshead off Dauphin Island for yourself!

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