View Full Version : Biggest Sheepshead?
On a lobster dive last night, in North Laguna, we found a cave with a sheepshead that was a monster. I can not even explain the size of it. I have seen 50 pound tuna swim right be me, 100 pound black seabass within inches of my face. This sheepshead was bigger. We spent 2 tanks just kneeling in front of the cave opening and watching this thing. It is a freak of nature. It was in 35' in a very rocky area just north of Deadmans. This thing has to be a record size. This is something I dream about, finding a monster fish locally. There was a lobster trap outside the opening, and he dwarfed it.
Can a sheepshead be 100-120 pounds?
11-03-2003, 09:49 PM
Wow, you ought to take some underwater pics of it!!!!
11-03-2003, 10:18 PM
Forgive my doubt, but are you sure it really was a sheepshead Kyle? Was it male? If so, then I guess that would be a little tough to misidentify.
Yes it was a male. Impossible to misidentify. I cant dive until late next week, so maybe Ill take a pic down then. You guys will not believe the size of this thing. Maybe its worth spearing then getting it mounted. (after the season opens back up of course)
If you have seen a lobster trap, then you can compare, the head was taller than a trap is in height. Frikin huge.
11-05-2003, 09:09 PM
Those are one of my favorite fish to eat!!!!! When we going????
Yah, I actually love sheepshead. I have read here where people bag on it as a garbage fish, but there aint nothin on a habachi like it IMHO. I have seen damn big sheepies diving in Laguna and every time it was when I didn:t take a spear with me. I'd love to see a picture of him and I don't doubt you for a minute.
11-06-2003, 07:40 PM
I know it's not the recipe section, but if you take Sheepshead, gut it, pack it with butter and rub the outside with butter and spices, wrap it in foil, and then grill it. Comes out tasting like a lobster/crab combo. Just peel the skin and eat it. Awesome.
11-06-2003, 10:17 PM
Could someone post a pic of what you Cali boys call a sheepshead? I got a feeling it aint the same thing we have in this part of the world.
11-07-2003, 09:09 AM
Hey Stodelle, what kind of spices? I played hooky from work while the seas were nice and have a sheepshead on ice that I'm planning on cooking tonight.
11-07-2003, 03:27 PM
Hey Kjndiver, here is a link to some pictures of Ca. Sheepshead.
http://www.bajadestinations.com/fishid/sheephead/sheephead.htm pretty cool fish. the one Kyle saw sounds like it about twice as big as any in the pictures.
11-07-2003, 07:26 PM
Garlic Salt and black pepper. That's all it really needs. Excellent!
11-07-2003, 08:13 PM
Backside of Catalina I have seen sheephead in the 20 pound range. Ran across a breeding area and the males were buzzing us to stay away. These guys are harmless but running into your face at whatever feet per second at 20 pounds plus...you do the math. All I can say I seem to find the biggest fish when I don't have a gun or they find me and swim in my way as I am grabbing a bug. Between them and the morays I have lost a few good ones.
11-07-2003, 08:52 PM
Yea... those are not what we florida boys think of when you say sheeps head. glad you cleared that up. i have seen those fish in many spearo pics (are they often bright red and black/ dark purple).
11-07-2003, 09:39 PM
They're one of those sex-changing fish. The females are a brownish-golden color but can turn into a male which are the red and black. that's how we're able to tell the sex of them. The aquarium of the Pacific had one that was well over 20-30#'s that was just amazing to see swim. I started salivating there in the Great hall!!!!
I was finally able to speak with the DFG today. The girl on the phone reffered me to section 28.26..................
§28.26. California Sheephead.
(a) Open Season and Area: Open all year, except California sheephead shall not be taken or possessed in waters 20 fathoms or greater in depth in the cowcod closure areas.
(b) Limit: Five.
(c) Minimum size: 12 inches total length.
The key is the 20 fathoms. The one I am targeting is only 30' deep. I will be hunting tonight for this monster, and maybe entering a record sheephead. I will be going Commando style with 2 guns. 1 will be freeshaft for a finishing shot if needed.
Wish me luck. Kyle
11-12-2003, 03:49 PM
I thought the season was closed on them?
Thats what I had thought, but not accourding to the 2003 regulations. We just can't target them deeper than 20 fathoms. As I understand it.
11-12-2003, 04:37 PM
Not trying to sound like a know it all, (cause I dont know all that much) but the season looked closed on the dfg websight. of course, if the girl at the dfg said it was OK, well hell, ya cant argue with that.
She didn't say yes or no because of liability issues. She just refered me to the section that tells the rules for sheephead.
SEASON IS CLOSED----SEASON IS CLOSED----SEASON IS CLOSED----SEASON IS CLOSED----SEASON IS CLOSED----SEASON IS CLOSED----SEASON IS CLOSED----SEASON IS CLOSED----SEASON IS CLOSED----SEASON IS CLOSED----SEASON IS CLOSED----SEASON IS CLOSED----SEASON IS CLOSED----SEASON IS CLOSED----SEASON IS CLOSED----SEASON IS CLOSED----SEASON IS CLOSED----SEASON IS CLOSED----SEASON IS CLOSED----SEASON IS CLOSED----SEASON IS CLOSED----SEASON IS CLOSED----SEASON IS CLOSED----SEASON IS CLOSED----SEASON IS CLOSED----SEASON IS CLOSED----SEASON IS CLOSED----SEASON IS CLOSED----SEASON IS CLOSED----SEASON IS CLOSED----SEASON IS CLOSED.
11-13-2003, 08:46 AM
Yep, the DFG will close certain species once the yearly limit is reached or exceeded. They closed Sheephead back in October, so Kyle, I hope that monster is still alive and, errr, finning. As of November 21, nearshore Rockfish, Sculpin, and Ling Cod will also be closed. Here's a link I got off another BBS (I hope I can attach it correctly...)
Oh yeah, this is my first post, so just wanted to say "Hi everybody"
Thanks for posting and welcome! Because of all the slack I have received here for hunting the Sheephead, I will not post results, if any, about the monster fish I have seen. Last night in Dana Point Harbor, I had the pleasure of asking a DFG officer about the rules and regulations book that I had in my hand. He told me to "Live by that book and you will be fine"
PM me if you would like to hear details.
Most of us here are hunters. So I don't think what you're seeing is slack. We're just trying to protect a brother/sister. Even the charter boats are posting the No Take of certain species at this time (including sheepshead). The Game Wardens contradict themselves so many times that I don't beleive a word there saying (most of the time). If you want the facts visit CDFG's website for special closures. I go abalone diving several times throughout the season and it's just as bad up there. Last year I ask what the legal measurement was on a cabazon and I got 3 different answers from 3 different Wardens. Scary I know. Anyway, the point I'm making is that we don't want anyone to get in trouble needlessly. Take care.
11-13-2003, 02:03 PM
Man.......that's a really cool looking fish!!!
11-13-2003, 02:51 PM
Last I heard, sheeepshead closed on Oct. 8th. Are they open again?
If you read the DFG Ocean Fishing book for 2003, it states that sheephead are open all year, except during the Cowcod closure which limits the taking of sheephead in waters deeper than 120 feet. In no place does the book state that sheephead season closed in October. Go to Sport Chalet, go to the fishing dept. and pick up a booklet, its free.
11-13-2003, 04:42 PM
I did a little poking around on the DFG website and found the press release about Sheephead being closed for the remainder of the year. I have attached it below. The way I read it, certain species are open all year with the caveat that the total take is less than some pre-determined level for the year (135,524 pounds in the case of Sheephead). If this level is reached early in the year, the species is then closed to sport take. This closure is then lifted at the beginning of the next calendar year. If the limit is not projected to be reached during a calendar year, the species remains open for the entire year.
I would also like to add that I'm honestly not trying to slam anyone. Rather, I'm just passing on the information that I find and hoping that it might keep someone from getting busted.
11-13-2003, 05:27 PM
The book is a general guidelines, unfortuantely, with all the Fishery Management rules in place now, the DFG has to release addendums/supplementals regarding the "now current" proposals. It's sort of like the California Penal Code. The book is printed ahead of time so people have it at the times needed, however, if there are new laws, the law still takes effect without it being in the "official" printed book. You'd be surprised about how many laws end up on the books during a given year. You can go to your local Police Office to see the new releases monthly.
I only mention this because the state does do this on a regular basis through all their departments, DFG included.
I think that if they are going to do this, they should not rely simply on people "coming across" the new rule through their website or newspaper. The state of Hawaii releases the fishing regulations on a monthly basis so it makes sure everybody knows what the then-current rules regarding take are.
11-16-2003, 12:04 PM
We're all waiting to hear....
11-16-2003, 01:19 PM
11-17-2003, 03:00 AM
The sheaphead seaon as well as cabezon closed a couple of weeks ago! Be careful. I know this for a fact because I do a lot of boat fishing and it has been closed for about 3-4 weeks.
11-17-2003, 06:58 PM
Take it easy on that old guy!
According to the Cal. Dept. of Fish and Game... "Males have been aged at around 50 years, and can achieve a length of three feet and a weight exceeding 36 pounds." A hundred pounder? It must be like 80 years old! He's probably been living in that cave longer than you've been alive! So you're going to strap on some tanks, drop down there, find the old grandpa (who's a sitting duck) and plug him w/steel? We're all hunters here. You have the right, but really...
What for!? The older sheephead get, the worse tasting their meat is. It gets tough, oily and more crablike (in a bad way). You want 100 pounds of that stuff?
As a trophy? Where is the sport in shooting something that's just sitting there? I guess it would be something to see you trying to dispatch and land the old codger. Eventually in California if populations decline enough, sheephead may become protected somewhat like garibaldi because for the most part they don't flee from even nominally stealthy spearfishers.
11-17-2003, 08:29 PM
If Kyle shot that sheepshead he is not only stupid for breaking the law but he has no love for the sea or its creatures. Hunting is about the challenge not putting a big friendly fish on your wall. He gives all fisherman a bad name.
Love the feedback! I actually don't hunt with tanks. I didnt kill the big daddy.
I killed the little brother. 1/2 the size. Big daddy is still there just relaxing.
11-18-2003, 01:24 PM
Okay, you'll get no arguement from me that the regulations can't be obscure, confusing and contradictory. Now I'm just plain curious. Is Gramps really as big as you estimated in your first post? :eek: Can you post a pic?
None of the pics came out. We only dive at night, and the cave is at least 15 feet deep. We have tried 2 different cameras down there. I do believe he is between 50-60 lbs, low estimate. I also found out that the world record size for speared sheephead is only 36 lbs.
11-18-2003, 11:47 PM
Get some...or I'm gonna.
You have an open invite next week if you want to join me.
11-19-2003, 12:20 AM
Kyle, I really hope you didn't shoot a sheephead the other day. They are CLOSED!!!! They closed on Oct. 8!
Here is a link that shows what is open and what is closed as of today. This does not include the upcoming closure of all groundfish species.
You definitely need to do your homework better. You are risking a big fine and also making the rest of the reg following spearfisherman look bad.
The regs change. You need to check the website for the updates.
I agree with you Chuam. We all need to check the regs on the DFG website. But........What if I only have access to the internet maybe 2 hours a month? What if I dont have internet at home? Well, I go by the rules that are posted in the 2003 DFG Ocean Fishing book.
11-19-2003, 02:24 PM
You have to be responsible when it comes to the law but are the DFG law enforcers? I have seen many a DFG enforcment run amok. Look at the book, do your homework and challenge the process. If you have viable proof of their lack of information force them to do their job...which I think most of the time is nothing.
11-19-2003, 07:56 PM
Hmmmm, funny how my convictions seem to waver at the prospect of a WR fish. If I knew the WR to be 36 lbs. and I came across a 60 pounder (and I had the skills to land it, which presently I don't) I'd probably want to shoot it also, good tasting or not. I'm not above seeking a little glory.
Is this what they call eating crow?
11-20-2003, 07:29 AM
One of the main reasons I escaped the Peoples Democratic Republic of Kalifornicata years ago was the institutionalization of corruption. They have created a web of contradictory and conflicting regulations covering virtually every aspect of human activity in such a way that no one can get out of bed in the morning without being in violation of something, and no one can possibly be aware of what's legal and what's not.
That way if you say something the speech police don't like they can arrest you for violating something totally different - like too many fumes escaping from your gas tank - without being accused of messing with your freedom of speech.
Lovely system, if you're in charge.
11-20-2003, 09:34 PM
My faith has been restored. Kyle seems to be an allright guy. Definatly try to post a pic.
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