Recruitkim

What ever happened to the Sheepshead in Sheepshead's bay?

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I don't fish here and I don't care to.

 

However, what ever happened to the sheepshead in Sheepshead Bay? 

 

I know there are a lot of older folk here who may have been around when they were still abundant. 

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Nature runs in cycles 

 

The planet went through a cooling phase and the range shifted south, along with redfish, croaker, cownose rays, gray triggerfish....

 

Now it's warming up again and the ranges are moving back north, Cownose heve been around for a few years now, I've targeted Sheepshead and gray trigger in the inlets, redfish are starting to show (friend got one off the beach in Springlake NJ last year). We've had some epic runs of croaker all the way up and into Raritan Bay.

 

If you want your mind blown, read The Call of the Surf by Van Campen Heilner. Written in the 1920s, it's about fishing the NJ coast at the turn of the century. He talks about taking his boat down to LBI, camping on the beach (since almost no one lived there) and fishing for sheepshead and Redfish

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Ha...i am 60...i grew up a few blocks from the bay.

Worked on the party boats in the 70's into the early 80's

Fished there till I moved out to long island in 1990 .

 

Never saw ...never caught a sheepshead ...

lol

 

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I caught several Sheepshead on the North Shore of LI during the mid to late 60's and saw many while diving. Butterfish also were prevalent during the same time and made great Bluefish bait

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55 mins ago, Wire For Fire said:

I’ve only seen one in all my years at the wantagh 3rd many years ago . Sucker was over 10lbs . Cool looking critter . Rip old Vic 

A couple were taken in Great South Bay, in 2018 if I recall correctly.  They were also big fish.  I think they were caught around the Robt. Moses.

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I have recent (very recent picture of Sheepshead ) in JB . They are here.. close , but quite  Not on Sheepshead Bay tough ...

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30 mins ago, SC said:

I caught several Sheepshead on the North Shore of LI during the mid to late 60's and saw many while diving. Butterfish also were prevalent during the same time and made great Bluefish bait

Yea butterfish is another one I haven’t seen in geeze prob more then 10 years now . They used to pile in thick at the boat basin at west end ..  bass used follow them in there and feast 

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From what I have read the sheepshead disappeared around the late 1800's.  They were very plentiful in the in the early 19th century and some farmers supplemented their income by fishing for them as they were a  popular food fish.  Some biologists say the disappearance coincided with the disappearance of the oyster reefs and from pollution and overfishing.  Some also say that this was the extreme northern range of the fish and that in combination  with a decreasing population shrank its range.

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I grew up in Brooklyn and even my father that fished those waters in the 40's and 50's had no encounters with the species.

 

Its a history thing I suppose... much like I don't expect to bump into any Massapequans in the back woods.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

9 mins ago, Wire For Fire said:

Yea butterfish is another one I haven’t seen

Yep... every party boat I have been on,  out of Sheepshead Bay used butterfish as bait back 20 years ago.

 

I suppose, modern day the bunker has become the new "I can't believe its not butterfish"  butter

Edited by baldadonis2002

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2 hours ago, genavorn said:

I have recent (very recent picture of Sheepshead ) in JB . They are here.. close , but quite  Not on Sheepshead Bay tough ...

can we see the picture

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I know of 2 caught last year in late September, I believe by one of the SS beach bridges.  It was posted in the fishing magazine, along with pics  Both were over 10 lbs.  I believe one mid-teens.

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