Archosargus probatocephalus
Convict Fish

Life History

Description and Diagnostic Characteristics: Five to seven dark bars or stripes over a dull white, gray or yellowish background. They have large protruding teeth with incisors and molars for crushing shellfish or urchins. These teeth help distinguish Sheepshead from juvenile Black Drum. Sheepshead also do not have barbels under their chins.

Size: Common around 7 pounds but can easily be found up to 10 pounds.

Age at Maturity:
Around 30 inches (3-4 years old)

Range: Florida to New York, as far north as Nova Scotia

Habitat: Mainly stays inshore, going into brackish and even fresh waters. Prefers rocky areas or docks, bridge pilings or artificial reefs or other areas with barnacles.

Angling Information

Bait and Tackle : Any kind of crab whether alive or dead, shrimp, oysters, clams, or marine worms. Spinning and baitcasting tackle work well as well as light saltwater boat rods.

Fishing Method: still fishing

Food Value: Excellent

State Regulation

Daily Limit: 15

Minimum size: 10″ FL

Federal Regulation

Click Here

Marine Fishes of Georgia Posters

©2021 Georgia Department of Natural Resouces