Odds 'n' Sods of Information and Opinion

Appreciating sheephead

Recently went fishing on my buddy’s boat, trying for Lake Erie smallmouth and ended up with four very nice sheepshead, all by accident. One was probably around three lbs. while the others were around five.

These fish really pulled, I mean they really pulled. I was using my 8 wt. G. Loomis Shorestalker and I couldn’t believe the bend these fish were putting in it. One of the hits was so violent that I initially thought it might be a pike.

I went simple for flies, just a cone head, black woolly bugger with some lead wraps for extra sink. Really nasty to cast, but it dragged the bottom in 15’ of water so it did the job. Should call this fly the ‘old bugger’ as it was wrapped with a grizzly hackle, giving it an old man’s beard appearance. The sheephead loved it.

The rod was lined with an Airflo 8 wt. Streamer Max and that turned out to be a perfect combination for these waters. The back end of the sinking section is a thick intermediate so the line takes a steep incline downward. It doesn’t drag the belly across the bottom and the depth is easily controllable. At one point we had drifted out of 15’ depth into around 10’ and because I hadn’t noticed the depth change every cast dredged up algea. I had been counting the line down in 15’ and now I simply stopped the countdown, then it fished fine. I also found that on the retrieve, the line didn’t skate upwards which helped keep the fly in the zone. In addition, the line is only 24’ long which made it really easy to handle when it came to getting it out of the water.

Since I couldn’t seem to keep the big bass on the line these big guys had to do . . .