Guests - If You want access to member only forums on FM. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on Fishing Minnesota.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

  • Announcements

    • Rick

      1st Please Post Your Fishing Report - Then Join the NEW - Private Fishing Report Clubs   01/24/2018

      Private Fishing Report Clubs - Click Here - Post Your Fishing Report Before Joining
      1st, be sure you post a fishing report in the forums, then ask to join after you post a fishing report in your area forum. The Private Fishing Report Clubs are where folks can share private fishing information with club members who have proven they know what's going on. Fishing Report Clubs Link also in Menu above. Apply to become a member today, while it's still easy. 
  • RECEIVE THE GIFTS MEMBERS SHARE WITH YOU HERE...THEN...CREATE SOMETHING TO ENCHANT OTHERS THAT YOU WANT TO SHARE

    You know what we all love...

    When you enchant people, you fill them with delight and yourself in return. Have Fun!!!

Sign in to follow this  
JBMasterAngler

Catch & Release Sheephead

Recommended Posts

JBMasterAngler

Full swing river fishing is still aways away, but I thought I'd post this now since it's fresh in my mind. I've been fishing the rivers for years and I'm getting sick of watching people catching sheephead and intentionally killing them by throwing them on shore or against rocks. I'd like to point out that littering the shoreline with a fish of any species is ILLEGAL! Also, what is the point of doing that? I myself don't particularly care for sheephead because of they're tendency to swallow the hook, but I release them as quickly and as painlessly as I would a trophy bass. Sheephead are almost as numerous as carp, but unlike carp they play a very important and valuable role in river management. They are one of the few native species of fish that regularly eat zebra mussels, meaning they may be our only natural defense against those exotics. Also, and more importantly, young sheephead are an important forage fish for walleye, northern pike, and catfish. So next time you catch a sheephead, just put it back in the river.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"another IT GUY"

JB, I totally agree with you!!! Any fish you catch and you dont' intend to keep please please just release them and i dont' mean kill them than release them. It really iritates me when i see people do this! How could we solve this issue?? Any thoughts?? Anyone? confused.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JBMasterAngler

I'd like to see the DNR put more of an emphasis on the topic in the rules & regulations. Maybe even at some of the more popular shorefishing areas post a sign saying it's illegal to dispose of fish on the shore, and post the fine too. Could help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
walleyecheeks

When I was younger my uncle would take to the river. He always told to kill those sheeps. As I got older I thought why? There was no logical reason for doing this. Thats true that walleyes eat sheeps. About 3yrs ago I got a 27 inch eye and it had about a 2lb sheep stuck in its mouth. So the only fish I kill now is the ones that go in the frying pan!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TRZ

True enough, but it may be a factor that the sheep head have no predator once they get over a few pounds, there are WAY too many of them. Don't you think it is wise to kill some of them because no one keeps them? i have caught well over 100 of them on some trips that does not seem healthy to have that many of them to me. confused.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JBMasterAngler

I disagree, I think the only populations of fish they could affect are carp or suckers. Besides, about 95% of all the metro lakes have an over abundance of "potato chip" sunfish, I don't see people throwing them on shore.

I also don't think there is an overpopulation of sheephead in the river...there's definitely alot, I just think it's a case of they are very willing biters. I can't say for sure about the mississippi or red rivers, but I read that over 3/4 of all fish in the st. croix and it's major tributaries are redhorse. So as many sheephead as there may be, there's always more of something else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shale

I also release every sheep I catch. They grunt now and then but they don't scream. grin.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TrollerX

I sure hope we are not talking about this in a few weeks. Maybe, we could get a handle on the people that keep a limit of Eyes on every outing or folks that dump those 22 inch beauties into the well before we concern ourselves with the ever important Sheep! I think it will be a few days before we run out of those. One other thing to keep in mind is that once a fish has been handled, snapped by the camera 3 times in multiple poses, and admired for 5 minutes, you may as well keep it. It isn't going to live. It was a tough year on the mighty Croix last year. I don't think it was because too many Sheepies saw the pitch and run release.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Walli1

I'm not to worried about the sheephead, I think they will be just fine. Eyes,saugers is where the concern should lay, proper care is very important and if that 20 cent hook is swalllowed don't dig it out, please cut the line, if you have a shortage of hooks send me a message and I'll get some hooks to you. Catch and release is a very important part of fishing, I love to eat fish, my whole family does but I only keep eyes and saugers in the slot I defined as eaters 15- 17 everything else goes back unless they won't make it! Sheephead have there place but I just can't bring myself to worry about them or even give them much thought!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JBMasterAngler

Isn't the minimum size limit for walleyes on the croix 16 inches (it might be 15, not 100% sure)? Hopefully nobody is keeping any that are too small.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TrollerX

Eyes are 15 inches on the Croix. Sheep can be taken at any size though. I hear they are quite tasty with a plate full of fried taters. Maybe, that is only if you smoke them with some of that special catfish sauce! I hear some river rats count them in tournies now and then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
croixeyes

Shale...I heard rumor that you are a master sheep herder grin.gif.Heres a good recipe,carefully fillet the sheephead and soak the fillets in milk for 24 hours,then throw them in the garbage and go to the store get a steak.Just kidding for those who may be offended,Ive never eaten sheephead so I couldnt tell you what they taste like,Turk probably knows though.When I get tired of hooking sheep I start trolling,they still hit cranks but not as often as live bait.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JBMasterAngler

I've caught them on EVERYTHING!!! They are however less likely to swallow a minnow than they are a nightcrawler.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
john.wells

this is the year that I will try sheepshead. I have heard that they are excellent table fare, they are freshwater drum and are related to several saltwater species that are much sought after, such as redfish, and are reportedly better than most of the stuff you find for sale at the store. From what I gather, they are easy to fillet, have flaky white flesh, and are plentiful and easy to catch (which we all know). I will post results.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
catflisher

years ago, when i used to take care of the launch at beanies (1987...go twins!)i used to fillet sheepskins and feed them to the three cats we had down there.the meat was firm,not at all greasy or nasty,pure white and it did make me wonder..never did fry some up for myself,but that will change this year.i would think that spring caught sheepers would be just fine..after all people turn thier noses up at bullheads,(muddy tasting?,eat them in the spring or soak them in milk overnight)perch(wormy,sometimes that is the case)northerns(too many bones,don't eat the bones)etc.I think the only fishes i can think of that are definatly not edible would be dogflish and gar(Terry?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TrollerX

Seriously. You might want to think that through just a little. You can survive for 3 weeks without food. I think, maybe, on day 20, I would take a gander at eatin a Sheepy..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tunrevir

Don't know about the old bowfin but I do know that some of them cajun alligator bits you get down south are just gar battered and deepfried. They eat them down south and you may have too if you ever tried alligator, and didn't know the source of where the meat came from. Kinda tastes like chicken if I recall but with the distinct aftertaste of fishiness! grin.gifsmirk.gif

Tunrevir~

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
croixeyes

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM................Mudpuppy crazy.gifcrazy.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FINGRIN

Hey guys I eat sheepheads, they are very tasty you just fillet and after you take the skin off you will see the reddish colored meat left on the fillet, just make sure to get all of that off and you will have good eats. I was a skeptic until I was shown this about the lowly sheephead.mmmmmmmm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tunrevir

MMMMMMMMM, MUDPUPPY! TASTES LIKE...............striped bass with a hint of chicken. grin.gifgrin.gif

Tunrevir~

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lotsofish

If you're eating it, don't call it Sheepshead. It's called Freshwater Drum. Sounds classy, like something a nice restaurant would charge a lot for.

But, if you are fishing 'eyes, you hook one... "Oh this feels like it's a good one... Arrggh, it's another #$%@# SHEEPSHEAD!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Turk

I think they sell freshwater drum in Cub? Maybe it's another drum fish?

Sheeps are the firmest fish I've filleted and white, pure white... That's all I'll own up to!

Turk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JBMasterAngler

I'm not sure, but isn't redfish in the drum family as well? A sheephead definitely has good genes anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tunrevir

I too had a good pair of jeans once but when the battery acid spilled on them they became "fashionable" jeans then after they were weathered a bit more and worked over they became "old jeans" and then after awhile they became "cutoff jeans" but man if I had "jeans" like those I guess I'd never eat them, that'd be like eating my shor, errh, ah jeans!

Tunrevir~ grin.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Grant

Quote:

I too had a good pair of jeans once but when the battery acid spilled on them they became "fashionable" jeans then after they were weathered a bit more and worked over they became "old jeans" and then after awhile they became "cutoff jeans" but man if I had "jeans" like those I guess I'd never eat them, that'd be like eating my shor, errh, ah jeans!

Tunrevir~
grin.gif


*groan* crazy.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  



  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Rick
      Nice video. Thank you @papadarv NOTE:We will be updating the forums and all videos uploaded here will go straight to a player that folks can just click and watch instead of downloading and watching.
    • papadarv
      Out Saturday afternoon doing some sight fishing with my camera on one of Chisago County lakes. Water was a bit dirty and with 26 inches of ice camera clarity was a bit lacking. Did get some nice video of the afternoon. Battery augers failed after a couple of holes so went with the Eskimo gas. Lots of fish above the weeds in 10 FOW.  EazyCam site fishingHB.mp4
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      Weather forecast looks to be consistent starting Wednesday with average temps in the  mid 20's. Consistency typically good.  Right now anglers are working fish hard and putting fish in the pail. Electronics are playing a huge roll as some walleyes suspended as far as 10 feet below the ice. Most resorts are out in 31' with some in a touch shallower. More saugers in deep mud with walleyes shallower. Reefs to the west also productive with a few perch being pulled in as well. Rattle and flutter action spoons doing well. Gold, pink, and other glow colors best.  Pike already active in shallow water.  Auger extension needed if fishing on your own with 3+ feet of ice in most areas.  Snowmobilers stay on marked trail, big ice chunks off of trail. Ice houses allowed to be left on lake through March 31st, walleyes open through April 14, pike all year.   Rainy River pushing out some bigger walleyes in the morning/evening with an occasional sturgeon.  Local fish houses along the snowmobile trail from Wheeler's Point to Baudette Bay.  Morning, evening bite most effective.   The NW Angle continues to put nice fish in the bucket. Walleyes and saugers in good numbers.  20-24' early and late, 26-30' during day.  In Ontario waters, crappies in deeper holes of 28-32' on light tackle set ups. Mortality rate is high for released crappies in 25' or deeper, catch fish and move on.  Walleyes all over!  Snowmobile trails on and around the lake are marked and groomed.  
    • mrpike1973
      Hi all hope to make it this Saturday. Depending on the snow coming we should be able to drive on correct?
    • Hoey
      This past weekend, only two were caught by our group of three fishermen and they were small, in the 10" range.  
    • Hoey
      Why not go out of Swift?  I nothing about the Warroad access, sorry.  
    • Hoey
      OK - we made it back!!!  Every trip is different with it's own potential perils.   I finally got into my house on Friday around 11am.  My guests were rookies, so i spent time with each of them, getting setup, heaters started, Vexilars set, houses banked, lines prep'd and set, bait, etc...  The bite was somewhat slow and many small ones.  The day got better 3 to 430pm.  Ended up with 6 nice eyes (19, 18x3, 17x2), 13 jumbos (most ever for a day), 12 small sauger which we ate for dinner.   On Saturday we headed up to the south shore of the Angle, longer ride, so again did not get started too early.  Ended up with our 6 eyes for our limit, these ranged from 15 to 16 inches and a 4-pack of sauger.  Again the bite seemed to pickup at 3 or so and was done by 430pm.   Ice as 3 foot or so.  Snow depth varied a lot, depending on the condition of the ice.  Smooth areas were blown off to crusty 6 inches or so.  Rough ice surely held a lot of snow.   The drive back on Sunday was somewhat tough from Baudette to Emily, winter storm warning.  Slow go, low visibility, and icy roads, sometimes down to 15 mph.   Next scheduled trip is with my wife, son, and three of his Gopher swim teammates for spring break in three weeks.  
    • Naturboy
      Those were caught from a shallow lake (17’) in 9 feet of water at the bottom of the first shoreline break. I was using a UV buckshot and minnow head since the water was murky. The crappie is still swimming the walleye not so much. I didn’t get the exact location. Sorry  
    • Sunset Lodge
      Hello from the NW Angle!

      Minnesota fishing has been most productive in 20-24 feet of water.  Guests are bringing home their limits of Walleye and Sauger with the occasional Perch and Northern mixed in. Fish have been most active early and late in the day and the bite has been terrific. The use of electronics continues to be very beneficial with fish taking jigging spoons, jigg’n raps or rattle baits.  Snowmobile ttrails on the Minnesota side continue to be maintained and are in great shape. We are still making ice, with most spots at over 30 inches. 

      North and East of us in Canada, big Crappies are coming in on light tackle setups out of 30 feet. If you are looking for walleye, they are everywhere!

      Until next week, 

      Sunset Lodge
    • JBMasterAngler
      On the Bayfield side of the bay, the target depth is typically 10 to 40 ft. The basswood island area is where they go after lakers. There’s a plowed road that goes out there. As of last week the ice was about 20 inches in that area, might be thicker now. Check out the Bayfield webcam, you can see what kind of activity is going on.
  • Share & Have Fun