Gerald Grenier, aka “Jigging Jerry” landed an “ultra-light” pier record sheepshead – a 9-pound, 1-ounce fish – at the Mount Pleasant Pier on Jan. 29.
“Even with the cold weather in Charleston, the fishing is good,” said Chris Pounder at the pier.
Grenier was fishing off the end of the pier and close to the surrounding structure at high tide when he caught the big sheepshead. He was using a Carolina rig with an 18-inch fluorocarbon leader, a ½-ounce egg weight, and 8-pound test Sufix Siege on a 7-foot rod.
Dropping the rig until it hit bottom, Grenier said that he brought the rig up approximately a foot and held it there.
“I try to hold the bait in that position until I feel or see a faint strike,” he said.
Grenier caught the sheepshead using a fresh clam threaded onto a No. 4 SSW Owner hook.
“The small hooks work best because they hide well in the shellfish,” stated Grenier.
Although some anglers are using fiddler crabs, they are hard to find in bait shops or in the wild this time of year. Pounder said that the fishermen are primary using clams, mussels and oysters on the pier.
“The best sheepshead fishing is close to high tide, but they can be caught on low tide also,” said Grenier. “The trick is to fish the deepest water and fish in the direction that the current is flowing under the pier from the middle to the end of the pier.”
Grenier and Pounder both agree that an angler can catch several legal sheepshead on any given day until the first of March if they are in the right spot.