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🎣 The Best Fishing Rig for Sheepshead

Despite sheepshead being a very creepy looking fish, they’re actually quite good eating. They average anywhere between two and five pounds and are pretty easily identifiable thanks to the 5-7 black stripes that run vertically down the side of their body. Catching them typically requires a bottom rig like a spreader or sliding sinker though many other options will work just as effectively. For simplicities sake, we’ve decided to show you how to make your own or just give you the best option to buy one pre-tied so you don’t have to go through the hassle.

The Best Pre-Tied Sheepshead Fishing Rig

Booms Carolina Fishing Rig – The Best Carolina Rig

  • Completely pre-rigged and perfect for Sheepshead.
  • Designed specifically for bottom-fishing.
  • The amplifier and barrel swivel are made of brass.
  • Additional beads for extra fish attraction.

Booms makes an excellent carolina fishing rig if you’re not interested in tying your own. It comes fully equipped with a 1/2 oz bullet sinker made of brass, a brass amplifier and a brass barrel swivel plus three plastic beads which prevent your rig from becoming untied and help attract fish with the knocking sound.

It’s also extremely unlikely to become stuck while still maintaining it’s excellent sensitivity. Sheepshead will love it and you’ll save lots of time not having to tie it yourself.

  • Saves a lot of time not having to tie the rig yourself.
  • Very high quality brass construction.
  • Unlikely to get stuck.
  • Price effective for moderate fishermen.

  • You can save money by making it yourself.
  • If you plan on using quite a few rigs you’ll probably be better off ordering the parts separately.

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How to Tie a Fishing Rig for Sheepshead

If you’d rather just make your own fishing rig for sheepshead then you’ll need the right gear. Keep in mind the sum of all of this equipment may cost more than just buying one premade but you will be able to make more as you need them.

Required Equipment

Feel free to use your own extra tackle bits if you already own them, but if you don’t we’ll give you recommendations for which type to buy below.

Circle Hook

Owner Mutu Light Circle Hook

The 2/0 size works best. These hooks boast a hangnail point and are sold by default in packs of 46 each.

Braided Line

SpiderWire Ultracast Braid

Select the ten pound line that we’ll use for your main line. Comes with 2,188 total yards so you should have plenty.

Leader Line

Seaguar Abrazx 100% Fluorocarbon Leader Line

Comes with 200 yards of high quality 100% fluorocarbon line, just make sure to buy the 15-pound size which should be more than enough to handle any sheepshead you might encounter.

Egg Sinker

Bullet Weights Egg Sinker

These bullet weights are sold in a wide variety of sizes and shapes but make sure to buy one that is somewhere between 1/2 and 1/4 oz. Keep in mind that you will only need one but they are sold in larger packs.

Barrel Swivel

Riptail Rolling Barrel Fishing Swivel

Sold in packs of either 5, 10 or 25.


Lindy Beads for Fishing Spinner Rigs

These are just standard red fishing beads, they’re not very hard to find but if you don’t have any spares you can pick some up. We strongly recommend the Lindy brand.

Tying a Carolina Rig for Sheepshead

We will be showing you how to tie a carolina rig, though there are a few other options we’ve found this to be the most simple and effective at catching sheepshead.

  1. String your sinker onto your braided fishing line.
  2. String your red bead behind it.
  3. Tie the end closest to your red bead to your barrel swivel using a palomar knot. At this point, your sinker and bead should be able to freely slide along your main fishing line.
  4. Cut off 36 inches of your fluorocarbon leader line and attach it to the other end of your barrel swivel.
  5. Tie your hook onto the other end of your fluorocarbon leader line.

And just like that, you’re done. This is one of the simplest rigs to tie yourself and can be done easily in just a couple minutes if you have the pre-requisite gear.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the frequently asked questions most people have when they’re fishing for sheepshead.

What is the best bait for sheepshead?

We strongly recommend using either live shrimp, oysters, fiddler crabs or sand fleas. This is what they’re typically accustomed to consuming in their native habitats so it makes for an excellent bait.

Do sheepshead bite at night?

They do! Generally speaking most fishermen seem to have better odds of catching them during the day, but they still bite at night.

Are sheepshead hard to catch?

Some years ago sheepshead were considered consolation catches but nowadays fishermen are recognizing them for the prize they are – they are both hard fighting and very delicious which makes them prime targets.

Where is the best place to find sheepshead?

You’ll find most sheepshead near pre-existing structures like piers or rock formations as they don’t venture far from the safety that these locations provide. Anything that provides sheepshead with protection from predators – even shipwrecks – are excellent places to fish for them.