Ralph and I recently had the good fortune to be “schooled” by Mark Deschenes of VIP Adventures on jetty sheepshead fishing. Mark has a series of managed lakes that he manages for trophy bass in Summerville, SC. Needless to say he is a great fisherman. He was telling us about how he has been using our new Trout Eye Finesse jigs to catch sheepshead at the jetties. This was a completely new application for our jigs as far as we knew. We have caught a few sheepies on our jigs and Z-Man plastics in the dead of winter but this was something new. He offered to show us how so we eagerly agreed.
The traditional setup is to use a short Carolina rig which is basically an egg sinker, swivel, approximately 8″ of mono, and a small hook to which is attached a fiddler crab. If you have ever fished for these “convicts” you know that you must set the hook before they bite! Really, that means that they will suck in the bait very softly and crush it. If you feel a small vibration you are 99.9% of the time too late. It’s a learning curve for sure. The Carolina rig makes it a little difficult to sense the bite since the hook is free below the weight.
We arrived at the jetties a little early and the tide was still rolling pretty good. It was the end of the outgoing tide and we used the traditional setup at first. It wasn’t more than a couple minutes before Mark slung a 3 pounder in the boat.
Once the tide slowed we broke out the Finesse jigs and hooked a couple fiddlers on them. The weight being in contact with the bait definitely helps sense the bite, and Ralph and I started hooking up too using them. What a blast we had! We caught 25+ all good size and our family and friends all ate well that day!
The highlight of the trip was a 10 pounder that Mark caught using the Trout Eye Finesse jig. If you look at our Instagram page (@eyestrikefishing) you can see a short video of the hookset and fight. It’s pretty funny!
Mark prefers the Pearl eye because he feels that it looks like a chinaback fiddler crab. He also feels like the 1/0 hook is the perfect length for the sheephead’s mouth. We used 1/4 oz jigs for this trip because it helped get the bait to the bottom as quickly as possible. In general, we would let the jig hit bottom and get ready instantly because the jig got hit almost as soon as it hit bottom. The action was quick and fun!
Try it! Trout Eye Finesse jigs can be purchase directly from us in bulk at trouteye.com or at certain tackle shops in 3-Packs. Haddrell’s Point will have them as soon as next week.
By the way, Mark runs charters for jetty sheepshead, so if you are interested in giving it a try and learning what its all about, look him up at VIP Adventures.
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