El Cheapo Sheepshead Tournament

El Cheapo Sheepshead Tournament


For me it’s hard to believe that the El Cheapo Sheepshead Tournament will be 19 this coming March. Did you realize that the 1stAnnual El Cheapo started with only 34 boats and the tournament/ JOSFC provided only for 3 cash prizes: 1st, 2nd& 3rdway back in 2000.   Today’s tournament will offer not 1 but 2 prize boats from Carolina Skiff with Suzuki outboards and Magic Tilt trailers.  We will have a Carolina Skiff JVX 18 with a 60 HP Suzuki 4 Stroke and trailer along with a JV15, Suzuki tiller drive 4-Stroke motor and trailer. We also have prizes down to 15thplace.  These are wonderful prizes for a low cost entry fee of only $100.00 per boat. This is all because of the terrific growth and love for the tournament. At our peak, the tournament boasted 458 boats.   The tournament is still family friendly as it was since the beginning and the good folks at the JOSFC has kept it that way.

Sheepshead technology has evolved over the many years of the tournament.  Sheepshead or by their scientific name: Archosargus probatocephalus is part of the sparidae family of fishes meaning they are closely related to the porgy according to www.fish4fun.comm/sheepshead.htm.  Now days, if you are keen on winning a new boat, then pre-fishing is in order along with keeping a secret.  It is commonly believed that sheepshead are home bodies.  Once you find them, they will tend stay within that area.  If you catch that 14 pounder prior to the tournament and take it home, well then you may have just eaten your winnings.  It used to be, sheepshead fishermen just got a bunch of fiddler crabs and they were off.  However, to win the boat, pre-fishing and bigger baits are a must. Bigger baits means bigger crabs: blue crabs.  We all know that larger fish prefer bigger baits and sheepshead are no exception. Some of the past winners to the El Cheapo has caught their winning fish on ¼ blue crab.  All of our winners know to have the fish in the weigh-in line at or before 4 pm.  Over the years, the winning fish have come from both inshore and offshore.  There are as many large sheepshead swimming up and down our river and intercostal as there are in the near shore wrecks. These fish move in and out of the estuaries on a regular basis.

However, if you wish to win the ultimate prize then please visit us at www.elcheapojax.comto register on-line or look to your closest bait & tackle shop for El Cheapo posters and fliers.  The XIX El Cheapo is begin held on March 9, 2019. The Captain’s meeting is on March 8, 2019 and day-of-registration will start around 5 pm.  Tournament site is at the Mayport boat ramp: 4870 Ocean St, Mayport, FL 32233.  I am looking forward to seeing everyone out there!

Best wishes for fishing,

Rob Darner
Tournament Director, El Cheapo Sheepshead.