Sheephead fishing trip

ON THE SHEEPHEAD FISHING TRIP, we fish the freshwater drum (a.k.a. Sheephead). Sheephead, as we call them here in Holland, probably have more nicknames than any other fish. Like: bubbler, croaker, gaspergou, gou, gray bass, grinder, grunt, lake drum, silver bass, thunder pumper. Whatever you call them, we call them exciting fishing!  

trolling for sheephead

We use a technique called “trolling” to fish Sheephead. Simply put, trolling means we’re in motion while fishing. We are constantly moving at a speed of 2-3 miles an hour. We are looking for temperature breaks, bait and depths to determine where to fish. Our normal spread will consist of 6-9 rods in the water at a time. Rods will suspend throughout the water column. We will use different baits to start to see what the fish are biting and then adjust the baits until the fish are biting most of the lines. Normally, we are going to be running 2-4 copper or lead core fishing lines, 2 dipsy diver rods and 2 downrigger rods.

fast-paced sheephead fishing

Sheephead fishing can be very fast and furious at times. It is not uncommon to catch 10-15 fish an hour.

The freshwater drum (a.k.a. Sheephead) are sport fish. Sheepshead are a bit oilier than walleye, thus “fishier,” and less preferred table fare. Here’s what Michigan State University says about the topic of Sheephead consumption.

The baits we use for Sheephead fishing are small trolling spoons and some small body baits that we troll behind the boat.

Sheephead Fishing Rod Boss

This charter trip we spend on the picturesque Lake Macatawa.