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CNCMike

sheephead

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Could somebody tell me what they are? My understanding is that they are a tropical fish and are sometimes found in warm inland waters of Texas and Florida. Yet people say they are catching them in Minnesota. So what the heck is the story here?

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You're talking about two different fish from two different orders.

Archosargus probatocephalus is the fish found around piers in the Gulf of Mexico and Florida.

Aplodinotus grunniens is the fish in Minnesota with the rounded face and lateral line that runs into the tail.

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Weird... Fished Minnesota for 30+ years and have never caught one, nor even heard of them here until joining this forum.

Thanks for the info.

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I don't really remember thia all that well, it was close to 40 years ago. My father fished Lake Winnebago religiously, every weekend, we fished mostly walleye, jumbo perch when th ebite was on, that was about it. I remember the fantastic perch bite being occasionally interupted by what he called Sheepshead, or less often by Whitebass. Both if which he considered trash fish. I remember them being quite aggressive, caught many of them on bare hooks.

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The major rivers and a few big lakes, not many anywhere north of cloquet. They can get up to 40 pounds here and even bigger down south. The big ones are hard to get because there are so many that are only a pound that you're constantly reeling in little ones. They're a pretty good scrap and some say they taste good.

Now somebody said something about white bass... they are not a trash fish... in fact it's one of the funnest fish to catch once you get on a school.

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That's because the sheephead we have in MN is called the freshwater drum and I beleive, the only one of the drum family to inhabit freshwater. Sheephead is just a common nickname, just like the bowfin is commonly called dogfish and the burbot is called eelpout.

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Dont forget about the shiney rock like jewel you can find inside the sheephead...head. I knew people back in highschool that would fish specifically for them to get the rocks. Weird. Otherwise I suppose you could smoke them, I think they are pretty boney otherwise.

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Come down to the lakes here in Southern Minnesota, they are all over the place. They do put up a pretty good fight, but they have a face only a mother could love.

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If there was s a professional sheephead trail I'd be receiving an oversized check! I really don't mind catching them-they deceive me often when I think I have a nice 'eye on the line.

All drum are worthy fighters- I've caught black and red in coastal waters and they pull like crazy! Freshwater drum don't pull as hard but put up a fair fight in their own respect.

I've eaten the coastal varieties and they're delicious with a firm meat, but haven't tried freshwater drum yet. Can anyone confirm that they're good to eat?

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Norway Lake by New London has a tournament for them every year. I don't know when it is this year. They are great fighters though.

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There is at least one good thing about freshwater drum and that is that they are one of the only fish that will eat zebra mussels. When I fished on the snake river (by pine city) I would always release them since the riverway is contected to the St. Croix. So if you are on a body of water that is possibly contected to waters where zebra mussels are or could be, always release them.

Freshwater Biology

Volume 47 Issue 10 Page 1908-1918, October 2002

To cite this article: Daniel D. Magoulick, Lindsey C. Lewis (2002) Predation on exotic zebra mussels by native fishes: effects on predator and prey

2. Zebra mussels were the primary prey eaten by 52.9% of blue catfish, Ictalurus furcatus; 48.2% of freshwater drum, Aplodinotus grunniens;

http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs...journalCode=fwb

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From what I hear, they are good tasting if they are smaller sheeped and also caught when the water is cooler. I have personally never fried one up, but I have heard they are good.

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Norway Lake by New London has a tournament for them every year. I don't know when it is this year. They are great fighters though.

It's usually around the 2nd weekend in June. I will check it out this weekend.

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ricqik knows his fish biology. They are Freshwater Drum, not sheephead or silver bass. They are common to the Lake Winnipeg/Red River watershed so any Minnesota water body that drains into the Red River watershed should have drum in it. They love to steal the shrimp that anglers use to catch channel catfish and they swallow the hook right down to the nether region!

Just like walleye are not pickerel or walleyed pike, Burbot is the proper name for eelpout or mariah...they might be lawyers as some call them lol. White Bass are also wrongly called striped bass. So repeat after me:

Freshwater Drum

Walleye

Burbot

White Bass

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I filleted and ate a few freshwater drum last summer and they were tasty. Just need to get over the stench when you clean them. Their slime has a pretty nasty odor.

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Just need to get over the stench when you clean them. Their slime has a pretty nasty odor.

this coming from the guy that makes out with sturgeon...If you think it was bad, i can only imagine what the rest of us would think

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Tell me about it!

Actually, the LOTW sturgeon smell a lot better than the St. Croix sturgeon. It has to be due to the shad that the St. Croixers eat.

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I was just going to put a link to that on here dtro. That is just a huge sheephead, I had no idea they got that big.

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OMFG, I've seen huge mounted ones but never a live or pic of a live one. That's awsome.

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Helluva a fish dtro - very nice!

Love fishin' the drummies when in Florida, always wondered why they are so maligned by some here in the land of Walleye (hehe).

Is that from a local lake or the river?

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Thanks guys for the info. I rarely, if ever, fish south of Brainerd but get out at least 3 times per week and have never heard of such a thing, let alone caught one. Looks like they would be fun to hook up with though.

Thanks again for all the info.

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