Herding World Record Sheepshead

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Nick with Sheeps April 2024 Herding World Record Sheepshead

The Technique

Regarding hooksets with such light monofilament, Schafer offers some tips. “Don’t wail back on the rod, let the fish lay on it, have him hook himself with the resistance from the run. They may rob a lot of your baits before you dial in the bite and how they are feeding. I had Mike “Ike” Iaconelli on the boat, and he had to solve the puzzle with the hookset and slow down and adjust his Bassmaster hooksets accordingly to set the hook depending on how they are hitting the jig.”

“Don’t wail back on the rod, let the fish lay on it, have him hook himself with the resistance from the run.”

Records in the Books

Sheepshead stats 2024 Herding World Record SheepsheadThe newly added sheepshead species in IGFA’s saltwater line class and tippet categories has dominated the record books with 28 approved records throughout 2022, and submissions are still coming in hot. It is going to be a toss-up between most likely New Jersey or Virginia as to where most of the records will come from for the remainder of 2024. Below are a few of the notable catches since the sheeps became eligible for line class and tippet world records, and off course, the biggest, baddest sheepshead record of all time, Wayne Desselle’s 21-pound, 4-ounce monster that came from the St. John Bayou in New Orleans, Louisiana on April 16, 1982, over 30-years ago.

Desselle’s Sheepshead

All-Tackle World Record 9.63-kilogram (21-pound, 4-ounce)

AllTackleSheepshead IGFA property Herding World Record Sheepshead

On April 16, 1982, Wayne Desselle was fishing the St. John Bayou in New Orleans, Louisiana when he landed this incredible 9.63-kilogram (21-pound, 4-ounce) sheepshead. Wayne was soaking a shrimp for bait and was able to land the fish after a brief battle. Desselle then brought the fish to Jefferson, Louisiana to record an official weight on a certified scale. As well as being the All-Tackle record, Wayne’s Sheepshead is also the Louisiana state record.

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Foster’s Sheepshead

4.88-kilogram (10-pound, 12-ounce) IGFA Men’s 10-kg (20-lb) Line Class World Record

Sheepshead Alex Foster IGFA April 2024 Herding World Record Sheepshead

On July 27, 2022, Mark Alexander Foster was fishing the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia, USA, aboard the GoFishVa captained by Joseph Kennedy, when he caught this 4.88-kilogram (10-pound, 12-ounce) sheepshead to set the IGFA Men’s 10-kg (20-lb) Line Class World Record. Mark was using a fiddler crab when the sheepshead struck and landed the fish after a quick eight-minute fight.

Morton’s Sheepshead

3.88-kilogram (8-pound, 9-ounce) Men’s 8-kg (16-lb) Line Class World Record

Sheepshead Randy Morton Herding World Record Sheepshead Angler Randy Morton has taken full advantage of the newly introduced line class categories for sheepshead, with submitting seven record applications for the species this past year. On July 23, 2022, Randy was fishing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel in Virginia, USA, when he landed this 3.88-kilogram (8-pound, 9-ounce) sheepshead, setting the IGFA Men’s 8-kg (16-lb) Line Class World Record for the species. He weighed the record fish at Long Bay Pointe Marina in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Randy’s tactic of choice for sheepshead is is fishing with fiddler crabs on a jig head.

Hanzlik’s Sheepshead

0.91-kilogram (2-pound) Women’s 1-kg (2 lb) Tippet Class World Record

Emily Sheepshead April 2024 Herding World Record Sheepshead

Sheepshead an also be targeted on IGFA compliant fly fishing tackle (learn what you need to know regarding IGFA rules for fly fishing). In her kayak, Emily Rose Hanzlik stalked the mangroves edges of the local waterways in North Palm Beach, Florida where on March 17, 2022, she sighted this 0.91-kilogram (2-pound) sheepshead. She enticed the fish to eat her fuzzle shrimp fly. The catch earned her the IGFA Women’s 1-kg (2 lb) Tippet Class World Record for the species. After recording the weight on her certified scale, she released the fish safely.

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Klause’s Sheepshead

Multiple sheepshead world records

Over the past two decades 2016 IGFA Bob Herder Light Tackle Award recipient, Maureen Klause, has set more than 20 light tackle world records on some of sport fishing’s most prized saltwater game fish, mostly in her home waters of Ocean City, New Jersey. Recently while fishing with captain Daniel Schafer aboard the @insomniacguide she has racked up an impressive suite of world records for sheepshead. To her and captain Schafer’s credit, they have released all the record sheepshead after being properly documented for world record consideration.

Captain Dan Schafer/Maureen Klause IGFA Sheepshead World Records.

Maureen Klause Sheepshead April 2024 Herding World Record Sheepshead

Now’s the Time

If you’re a sheepshead angler, there has never been a better time to catch an IGFA World Record. With the IGFA opening up line class and tippet records categories for sheepshead in March of 2022, creating dozens of record opportunities on conventional gear, fly tackle, and for junior anglers.

Since the announcement, the IGFA has approved records from throughout the entire range of the species, from the marshes of Louisiana to the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia. Anglers have landed record sheepshead employing a variety of methods, from jigs tipped with crab, to shrimp imitations on fly.

For more information regarding current sheepshead records and vacancies, reach out to Zack Bellapigna, the Angler Recognition Coordinator at the IGFA at [email protected].

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>