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.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
JBMasterAngler

Catch & Release Sheephead

9 posts in this topic

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

Great post. I agree with you 100%. Release any fish that you do not want to eat. ~hogsucker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In all honesty the mortality rate in sheephead might be greater than in other species because of their tendency to swallow the hook, but at least if you put them back in the river you eliminate the stinky shoreline factor. Besides, the turtles will eat them up overnight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes cut sheepies are a hot ticket for channel kitties.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think all sheephead should die. dont they eat game fish eggs? I f so I say kill em. im a river rat i dont kill them myself but see many people who do. My buddie bottle caps there heads and gets the hook right out. anyway if u dont want to catch em dont fish the rivers. Do they eat game fish eggs?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All fish eat other fish its part of the way the cycle works. Probably should kill all the big pike as long as we are at it becuase I have seen them eat walleye before and we can't have that can we.

Sheepshead are a natural part of the river, killing them will more then likely have more negative impacts then positive.

I guess some people just like to play god with the river since they apparently know whats good and whats bad for the river.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a very good point. With the exception of carp and zebra mussels (because they're exotics) every fish plays a role in the balance of life in a river system. And contrary to popular belief, a sheephead's role is pretty darn important!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also think part of the issue is that it used to be illegal to throw back carp and some other "undesirable" non-gamefish. However it isn't true anymore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the rule should be more noticeable in the rules & regulations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    • Poutwhacker
      Any new info on locations and bait preferences? Depths? Reefs? Minnows, worms or leeches? Heading up Saturday. Thanks
    • bassbouncer
      marty's heating 966-2393
    • leech~~
      Well better you found it now and not this weekend or you would be SOL fore sure being the 4th.  Nothing wrong with a good old lake bath though!  Good Luck.
    • Handsonthepole
      Lots of mayflies now.  Larvae were coming up two weeks ago and now good amounts of sheds on the water.  Fishing has been great for those willing to move around and find active fish.  Use leeches.  2-3ft snell.  Plain hook.  Caught quite a few yesterday.  Good size range.  Kabetogama.
    • delcecchi
      Got to cabin.  Water heater out, I think it is thermocouple.  Looking for someone to fix it, soon as possible.   I'm on west end and could use a suggestion.  I am going to call lakes gas too, see if they have anyone.  
    • ZachD
      Try the Sherburne wildlife refuge plenty of places you can get to were not a lot of people want to go the spot I deer hunt you need hip waders to get to
    • ZachD
    • Borch
      We've done well in late June.   May need to move offshore more.  Cranks or spinners till you find fish then slow down if needed.   I use the public access.  Not usually too busy mid summer. 
    • h8go4s
      Blue_Healer (Shouldn't that be heeler, not healer? http://www.dogster.com/dog-breeds/Blue_Heeler ) "Thanks for the advice. Nobody else would help."   Me: "You're welcome. Did you check the websites I referenced? Did you stop at any boat dealers? "
    • Walleye #1
        With the big winds this week we were not able to venture out as far, so not a whole lot to report from the Main Lake.  When it isn’t blowing too hard, the main lake rock reefs were kicking out nice Leech Lake walleyes in 14-18 feet of water.  Pulling lindy rigs with crawlers or leeches as well as slow death at .5-.8 mph was the best.  Speed is the key when dialing in these fish.  Our Leech Lake fishing guides found a nice mix of eaters and bigger fish.   Still many of the same places as last week were producing in North Bar, Fletchers, Ivans, Submarine, etc, but don’t forget to look for secondary reefs and humps that are nearby or if the fish are not on the edges of those reefs look to the mud basins where the bug hatches are taking place and drive until you graph fish.   On the west end of the lake in Walker Bay and Agency Bays, shoreline breaks that had wind blowing in were the best.  14-20ft of water is where we keyed in on.  Pulling lindy rigs with chubs, leeches, or crawlers all worked to put a nice mix of walleyes and even some nice pike in the boat.  Other areas to key in on would be under water points and bars that run out into the bays and have deep water right next to them the bigger fish like to suspend and then come in and feed during these times.