A lot of people have been asking me to explain what my deal is with sheephead and #thatdamnfish  This is the backstory…


The story really starts at the end of 2011.  I was debating with myself as to whether or not I’d keep the Top 10 as is.  Jake successfully argued that we should add sheephead to the list.  His thinking was it is a fish that can take a jackpot on any given trip.  Sounded reasonable to me.  Bonito was dropped and sheephead made the list at #8.

The year went on and in May I rode on the Freedom for an island white seabass hunt.  The boat had one bite that may have been a seabass, but the fish wasn’t landed.  Fishing along the kelp line though, I managed to get a barely legal sheephead.  My buddy John was on the trip and I asked him to snap a pic.  I knew I was going to catch crap from him about it, but  WTH.  Mistake.  John was unrelenting calling me “Pinky” for the next 7 months (it was more red than pink, but whatever).  I finally ended up catching a beautiful 13 lb. model on the the very last trip of the year.  Relief.  End of story?  Not quite.

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February of 2013, I went down to San Diego to get a jump on rockfish season.  I’m fishing with John again on the San Diego.  After limiting out on rockfish, we worked shallow on the backside of North Island.  I catch a sheephead…maybe legal size, but very pink.  No way I’m keeping this fish.  No issue, right?  Wrong.  John, “You know what this means?”  What?  “10 months, 5 days.”  Ok…what is 10 months, 5 days?  “That’s how long I get to give you S about that fish.”  Really?

Thankfully, I didn’t have to wait until the end of the year getting 4 of #thatdamnfish at Clemente on the Toronado in August.

And so the story continues…

So the last 2 years now, it seems I have to have an embarrassing sheephead before I can get a satisfactory one.  As we head into the second half of the year, I haven’t even gotten a pinky.  I need to think about opportunities to pick one up.  It’s silly.  No one really cares about them…except for me of course 😉  Occasionally, you see someone bring shrimp on a trip in hopes of catching a sheephead.  I think when that happens, it’s usually a jackpot play…not a desire to catch the species.  You don’t see people high fiving over sheephead.  Anyway, completing the Top 10 is a goal for me and #thatdamnfish is my nemesis fish.

Send your pics and tell me where you are catching them.  Be sure to use the hashtag #thatdamnfish or tag @socalsalty so I see it.  Thanks!



See also: Target Species: California Sheephead


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