California Sheephead Fishing out of Long Beach – The Hermaphrodite Fish

One of the keys of being a better overall fisherman is to experience as many different types of fishing as possible. You gain valuable insight that you can apply to other styles of fishing that you may have never realized otherwise. Growing up, we fished a lot of inshore saltwater for species like the California sheephead that pull hard and give us perspective on the limits of our gear.

On this day Oliver is testing the pulling power of his new Megabass TS Destroyers, which are high end and high power Bass Fishing rods. Knowing the limits of your gear is important when targeting the biggest fish of your life, this is how we gain insight into how far we can push things with our gear. It’s how you build confidence in what your’e using.

Sheephead have been a long time favorite fish of ours due to their tenacious pulling power for their size and great eating attributes. However as we’ve grown to appreciate the larger specimens we have felt it was important to start releasing the bigger models to preserve the fishery as they are prone to being overfished. The smaller 5lb models eat great so there was no need to keep the larger units. Carrying a descending tool (heavy weight with a big hook) to help sink these fish back down to the depths is key as well as carrying a net in the boat instead of a gaff to get them on board to appreciate their unique beauty.

Some interesting facts about this unique fish (wikipedia) –

California sheephead, Semicossyphus pulcher, is a species of wrasse native to the eastern Pacific Ocean. Its range is from Monterey Bay, California, to the Gulf of California, Mexico.[5] This species can live for up to 20 years in favorable conditions and can reach a size of up to 91 cm (3 ft) and a weight of 16 kg (35 lb).[5] They are carnivorous, living in rocky reef and kelp bed habitats, feeding primarily on sea urchins, molluscs, and crustaceans.

All California sheephead are born female and morph into their male form at various stages in their lifecycle, determined by environmental conditions and pressures. Because of this, they are considered to be protogynous hermaphrodites which have planktonic larvae. Their coral and kelp-heavy habitat provides protection from predators, which is important as this species is diurnal, foraging during the day and seeking shelter at night.

The California sheephead is considered vulnerable due to high fishing rates off of the coast of southern California. Since fisheries tend to remove the largest fish, they end up removing the males. This skews the male-to-female ratio and affects the fishes’ lifecycle, which can negatively affect populations.

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This Post Has 26 Comments

  1. Erik M

    Piss in a bucket not in the water you savage.

  2. i. lau

    This trip would have been more entertaining if EJ was bumping some 2 LIVE CREW. I'm just saying. Bumping Taylor Swift in the channel?

  3. Megan Tommasino

    What reel model is that? I’m looking for Something for shallows

  4. Edward Flores

    what size hooks where you using

  5. Herb Hermousra

    Do you mind giving your longitude and latitude? Please! Lol!! Nice catch.

  6. John Doe

    Gender is a spectrum brah, get with the program.

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  8. Family fish killer

    Hi please Subscribe back

  9. Nathan Rieck

    Pretty impressed with the pole. Also it seems some people hate on whitefish, I think they are great eating and are fun to catch. They get big too. I’ve never caught one quite that large but still really fun fish

  10. Stephen Ayala [Garrett JHS]

    Looks like Izors reef ?

  11. Steve Duncan

    Isn’t Rick fish closed in Feb ? I thought you kept a rock fish

  12. ivstova47

    What are those coordinates? For the sheep head and white fish? Thank you

  13. kamesenLBC

    Why aren't these people bonking the fish? Then the one guy is sticking the filet knife into a flopping fish 2 inches from his fingers. I don't know, wouldn't catch me doing that. Not to mention cutting and bleeding it while it's still alive. No class.


    I always take shrimp on the boat out of San Pedro the pursuit and people always gather around me like ima give my shit away . Ha! Go buy yo own


    Show some love come subscribe . Trying to come up in this world

  16. Christopher Fortenberry

    If you would tell viewers that a long part of this video is spent doing everything BUT the videos title says it's about alot of us might have stuck around and not said "see,ya" and went elsewhere.

  17. Pinochet's Helicopter

    Ever try crawfish for big goats? They LOVE them. They're just baby lobsters to them.

  18. Thearith Ung

    What type of hooks and hook size did you use?

  19. Barry Culloty

    Think that destroyer could handle a Shimano 20-ll? I need to wrap some new blue water rods, I have been out of rod building for a while! Gotta get back with the program!

  20. Barry Culloty

    That rod looks like it would be nice for plugging the big stripers we get in the northern Ca delta!

  21. Brad Bush

    nice video man!

  22. Peppita Chips

    Mine was 17 pounds off a the shoreline location Secret u don’t have to be careful with them they are some of the toughest fish

  23. mexicanamerican21

    Lol I love you la Chinese you guys buy oversized shit and sell it on the low to me on OfferUp lol you guys and your barracuda and garbage bay sheep heads

  24. Jose Sandoval

    What size hook did you use for sheephead in this video?

  25. Michael Freitas

    We all know about tackle shops . Let's go fishing show me

  26. Daniel P

    you know you could get fined for keeping that sheephead in the winter months. all bottom fish are banned from december-march

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