Diane Rome Peebles
SHEEPSHEAD - Archosargus probatocephalus
Family Sparidae, PORGIES
Description: basic silvery color, with 5 or 6 distinct
vertical black bars on sides, not always the same
on both sides; prominent teeth, including
incisors, molars, and rounded grinders; no
barbels on lower jaw; strong and sharp spines on
dorsal and anal fins.
Similar fish: black drum, Pogonias cromis;
Atlantic spadefish, Chaetodipterus faber (black
drum have barbels on lower jaw, sheepshead do not;
vertical barring on sides of black drum and spadefish
disappear as fish mature; spadefish have small, brush-like teeth).
Where found: INSHORE around oyster bars, seawalls and in tidal
creeks; moves NEARSHORE in late winter and early spring for
spawning, gathering over rocks, artificial reefs, and around navigation markers.
Size: INSHORE, 1 to 2 pounds; OFFSHORE, common to 8 pounds.
Remarks: feeds on mollusks and crustaceans such as fiddler crabs and barnacles; famed nibblers, prompting the saying
that “anglers must strike just before they bite.”
Florida record: 15 lbs., 2 ozs.
Rodbender Fishing Charters.
© 2004 - 2017 All rights reserved.
Captain Scott K. Green
4133 Via Piedra Circle
Sarasota, FL 34233