Skip to main content

A View From Above

Towerboats ideal for spotting species like tasty sheepshead

A View From Above
The sheepshead's tasty filets make its capture a worthwhile challenge. (David A. Brown photo)

An elevated helm perched atop an aluminum tower is generally intended for inshore anglers to spot schools of redfish, tarpon and other roaming gamefish from afar. However, anglers like Capt. Chris Wiggins of St. Petersburg, Fla., know they also serve well the pursuit of that tasty black and white striped, structure-hugging fish – the sheepshead.

A noted nibbler and often a frustrating bait-stealer, the sheepshead are built for pecking barnacles and small mollusks off the pilings of docks and piers. They’re also good at catching all the little crabs and invertebrates that inhabit these structures.

The thing about docks is that they offer sheepshead – and other sport fish -- lots of shadowy hidey holes where they can avoid detection. Wiggins finds his towerboat offers a twofold advantage.

First, he often spots sheepshead from a distance before they dash for cover. Second, he idles up to a particular dock, his higher vantage point allows him to look right down into the water to spot fish milling around the deeper reaches of pilings.

Once he finds a good spot, Wiggins will cast live fiddler crabs beneath the dock. Sheepshead bite quick and let go even quicker, so a timely response is key.

Check out this photo gallery of Capt. Chris Wiggins on sheepshead patrol.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Game & Fish Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Game & Fish stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now