Sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus)
- Other Names
- Convict Fish
- Vivid black and white bars make the sheepshead or “convict fish” distinctive among fishes of the Texas coast. large sharp spines and a razor-edge gill cover make handling and cleaning difficult. another key feature is the jutting teath, slighly like a human’s.
- Life History
- Spawning occurs in February and March in the Gulf near jetties, rock piles and reefs. The young fish live in shallow, grassy areas where food and shelter are abundant.
- Young live in shallow, grassy areas. Adults live near pilings and rocks where their strong incisor teeth are used to good advantage to graze barnacles and small shellfish.
- How To Catch
- Experienced fishermen use small fiddler and hermit crabs to catch sheepshead. Alertness is essential, for the fish is an adept bait stealer.
- Where To Catch
- Near hard substrate such as jetties, rock piles and reefs.
- How To Eat
- Although sheepshead are difficult to clean, the flesh is excellent.