|Sheepshead, the banded prisoner|
Friday, May 18, 2012
Asian Eyes' USA - Sheeps Frenzy
I went to school in USA back in the early nineties. It was end March and two weeks after our Speckled Trout run, we itched for another trip to Dauphin Island public fishing pier. This time there were 5 of us (Arthur, Jacky, Yon, Tony and I) on that Wednesday trip. We took the usual route, noticing the smoke from the chimney tilted slightly to the right and even stopping at a blinking yellow light. I was driving and it was the first time I saw a traffic light with yellow light blinking. “Hey, you can go where there was no one in sight” Tony told me. From that day on I learnt about blinking yellow light, blinking red light and what they meant. We picked up some live shrimps, fiddler crabs and a pound of dead shrimp from the bait shop.
We reached the pier but could hardly find a parking space. It was be full of cars and pickups! We unloaded our gears before I parked my car some distance away. As we approached the pier entrance, we saw the big crowd. Nearly 300 peoples and almost everyone had some activities, some pulling up fish upon fish from the sea, some picking up fish for the pier floor. It seems to be like a scene from a movie than in real life. It was spring time and fish spawns in spring. That was why it was such a frenzy scene.
Our normal spot by the pier entrance had been taken. We can barely squeeze in at the end of the jetty. We often heard shrieks of delight when fishes were landed and grunts when lines were cut. I used a light sinker, tied a float a foot above it and hooked a fiddler crab to my Eagle Claw size 3 hook. I hooked it just beneath the 2 eyes and threw it near a pier leg. I was hoping to hook the same fish that everyone was catching, a fish called 'Sheepshead'.
It is a fairly nice eating fish, especially cooked in curry. The body is banded like light zebra stripe and has protruded teeth like a goat, hence the namesake 'Sheepshead'. Its human like teeth are used to crush shells and it can nip off a line in no time. When you look at it face to face, it is downright ugly. Here is a photo: