Blankety-blank, it's another sheepshead! Ever hear those words before? If not, you'll hear them a lot this summer along Lake Erie, because they're a mighty common up there, and have been for long years.
These silvery, flat-sided critters might be hard fighters (much better than walleye), and they might spice up many an otherwise wasted trip, but they've got a bad reputation. And for good reason.
It's because they're lousy eating. The flesh of a sheepshead is absolutely the worst you'll ever try: rank, strong smelling, evil to the tastebuds just awful. How do I know? Because an old timer who lives down the road told me so. Did he ever eat one? "No siree, and I don't ever plan to eat one." So, how did he know they're so poor in a skillet? Because another old timer who lives even further down the road told him so. And he never ate one, either.
Sheepshead or silver bass or freshwater drum or whatever have received a lot of bad press when it comes to eating qualities, and every single bit of it is undeserved. They're downright good eating! But most folks won't believe it and they keep swearing and throwing them back. Sheepshead are insect eaters, minnow eaters, and crayfish eaters just like walleye, not trash and garbage eaters as many think, and in other states their table qualities are rated high.