The slight, almost imperceptible tug on the rod tip signaled the sheepshead had taken the crab in his mouth. Pulling back gently to tighten the connection I waited for the second tap. At this point, history has taught me that it may be too late, the crab crushed and the fish gone, but there it was, another light tap!
Setting the hook quickly the classic tug and war battle was on. Bending the rod double on surging runs and taking drag, the sheepshead did his best to return to the structure below. After several minutes we finally had color, the black and white striped master bait thief was close. But they never give up easy and the fish took line again and headed for the depths.
Back and forth he went until finally the fish was close enough to slide the net under. Weighing around eight pounds, the sheepshead was mostly grown, while weights in the double digits are possible, few are caught over the ten pound mark.
Sheepshead are present year round in the low country but March is a banner month for this fishery. A member of the snapper family, they rank in my list of favorites to catch Difficult to hook due to their feeding habits, a real scrapper when it comes to fighting and last but definitely not least- they are delicious on the plate. A large set of teeth, almost human like, are used to crush barnacles, crabs and other hard shell critters.
The preferred bait for most anglers are fiddler crabs. The most common rig is a fish finder rig, a sliding sinker rigged above a short leader with the hook at the end. Dropping the crab over structure until the sinker hits bottom, then reeling the sinker up a foot or so allows the angler, if he’s lucky, to feel the light tap or tug when the sheepie takes the crab in his mouth. Only seconds pass before the sheepshead crushes the crab, spits the hook and then he’s on his way. Needless to say you need a good supply of fiddlers if you want to seriously sheepshead fish. Fresh clams and live shrimp are also productive baits.
One of the things I like most about March is that sheepshead are the harbingers of the season. They kickstart our local season, keeping us busy until the cobia show in late April and May, but that’s another month and another story. Now it’s time to catch the sheepies!
P.S. A note for our guests and residents of northern origin, these are not the same fish as the freshwater species you know from back home.
With Palmetto Dunes’ famous oceanfront Dunes House restaurant opening later this month, we wanted to get you excited for your chance to eat at this classic beach location on Hilton Head Island. Here are 8 reasons you don’t want to miss a visit to the Dunes House on your Hilton Head vacation:
Have we convinced you that the Dunes House should be your first stop when you arrive on Hilton Head Island? Be sure to check out our resort calendar for upcoming events.
For more information about booking your Hilton Head vacation, visit www.palmettodunes.com or call 866-650-4130.
Palmetto Dunes is first and foremost a family resort. Our resort was developed by a family and, our staff, who is like family, works hard to insure that you feel a part of the Palmetto Dunes family during your stay. We are passionate about Hilton Head Island and our guests’ experience is of utmost importance. We could not be more proud to announce that our guests have rewarded us by crowning us with accolades from Travel + Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler!
This month, Travel + Leisure selected us as a Top 500 World’s Best Hotels. We were the only Hilton Head Island resort included! The publication asks readers to vote on their favorite hotels around the globe and you voted for us! Thanks so much for putting us in such great company.
In the November 2014 issue of Conde Nast Traveler, the magazine named Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort as one of the Top 25 Resorts in the South. In fact, we came in pretty high at No. 13. This award is also voted on by readers, so we greatly appreciate your support and recognition.
Hilton Head Island overall has received some new accolades lately, as well. Fodor’s Travel named Hilton Head Island a Top 15 U.S. Destination on the Rise and Yahoo Travel picked us as one of America’s Buzziest Beach Towns. We also loved that The Travel Channel said we were one of the 22 Best U.S. Islands!
Thank you so much for your continued support. We could not be happier that you love Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort just as much as we do!
What is your favorite thing about Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort?
For more information about booking your Hilton Head vacation and Palmetto Dunes getaway, visit www.palmettodunes.com or call 866-650-4130.
There is so much to do when visiting us this spring! For those of you counting down the days until you arrive to gorgeous Hilton Head Island and Palmetto Dunes, we’ve compiled a spring to-do list for you. See how many you can complete and let us know:
What’s missing from our Palmetto Dunes To-Do List? Is there anything your family cannot leave the resort without doing?
To book your Palmetto Dunes vacation this spring, visit www.palmettodunes.com or call us at 866-650-4130.
We’ve got an exciting new “green” way to get around all three of our Hilton Head golf courses this spring: the golf bike! Our staff just returned from the PGA Golf Show in Orlando in February where they got a firsthand look at the bike, which will be available at Palmetto Dunes in 2015.
The golf bike is a bike specially designed to be used on the golf course with minimal impact to the course (in fact, less impact than a cart). It’s has a “step through” frame to make it easy to get on and off quickly and has places to hold 12 clubs, along with some supplies. The club holder is integrated into the frame so it’s not difficult to balance the bike and the “Turfstand” makes sure your bike stands up wherever it is -- fairway, rough or cart path. The golf bike also features a gel seat and riser handlebar that puts the rider in an upright and natural position for maximum comfort.
When it comes to course etiquette when using this cool new golf bike, just as on carts, stay on the cart paths when possible and enter the fairways at 90 degrees. Don’t ride up onto greens or on the tee boxes.
If you play a round using a golf bike, it averages about an hour and 15 minutes to complete 9 holes, much faster than walking and with the best fitness benefits. Of course, you can enjoy a more relaxed pace of play or ride your bike even faster if you desire.
Who wants to rent a golf bike on their spring round of golf at Palmetto Dunes?! We’re excited to get these new items in and hope you are too!
See you on the greens!
Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort was recently the centerpiece of a Golfing World video during which on-air reporter Cara Robinson explores Hilton Head Island, checking out much of what the area has to offer, both on and off the golf course.
Cara’s visit includes hands-on seafood preparation instruction from Andy Love, executive chef at the Old Oyster Factory, as well as enjoying a massage at the Westin Resort’s Heavenly Spa.
But the video’s highlight comes in the tall, lanky form of Palmetto Dunes’ always-entertaining Golf Professional Clark Sinclair, who steals the show during his lengthy segment with Ms. Robinson.
Filmed while the duo tackled the beautiful, challenging 13th hole on the Robert Trent Jones Course, Sinclair mentioned the numerous renowned golf course architects represented locally, not only at Palmetto Dunes — which features designs from not only the great Trent Jones, but also George Fazio and living legend Arthur Hills — but around Hilton Head Island as well.
Ms. Robinson asked Sinclair which of the three Palmetto Dunes layouts was most suitable to beginning golfers. Sinclair told her that each of the three Palmetto Dunes layouts was player-friendly IF the golfer selected the proper tee box from which to play.
“The Palmetto Dunes golf courses are all amenable to everyone, depending on which tees you play,” Sinclair said. “Some (golfers) consider the Hills the most challenging of the layouts for beginners, but it is still a short course. The other two courses are good for everyone depending on which tees you select.”
“They are all in good shape as you can see,” Sinclair added. “They are a lot of fun for everyone.”
Near the end of his segment, Clark provides Cara a nice, experienced read on her putt, allowing the show’s host to secure a par on the hole.
“Welcome to Palmetto Dunes,” says the smooth Sinclair.
“I want to play with you more often,” Cara replies with a laugh, “if I get a par on every hole.”
If your family is happily making plans in the winter cold for your warm weather spring break or summer escape to Hilton Head Island, you’re probably wondering what there is to do for each member of the family.
For more information about booking your Spring Break or summer Hilton Head Island getaway, visit www.palmettodunes.com or call us at 866-650-4130.
We herald the arrival of spring here on Hilton Head Island. From our brightly-colored bushy azaleas to warmer days and plentiful sunshine, spring is a wonderful time of year in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.
At Palmetto Dunes, spring also means it’s time for tennis season to get into full swing! From Hilton Head tennis tournaments to happy hours and special tennis clinics, here’s what you tennis fans can look forward to this spring at the resort:
Luck of the Irish Tennis Tournament, March 6-8
This annual tournament, presented by Giuseppi’s Pizza and Pasta, is for men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles.
Team Tennis Challenge, May 15-17
In team tennis format, this tournament will be for men’s and women’s singles, doubles and combo mixed.
Welcome Exhibition and Happy Hour, Mondays 5:30 p.m.
Starting in March, each week we welcome our new guests to the resort with this super fun happy hour. Not only will you get to enjoy head tennis pro Brian Kiggans’ joke of the week, but he and other pros will perform an exhibition on the court while you enjoy cocktails from the stands.
Demo Days, Tuesdays, 4 p.m.
We’re always getting the latest and greatest gear at our Hilton Head tennis pro shop, and every week, once spring arrives, we give you the opportunity to not only take a look, but try the gear for yourself. Come give our racquets and more a try at this weekly demonstration.
More Options for Juniors
Come springtime, we add to our selection of available junior clinics. You’ll find 22 more offerings on the weekly schedule plus a weekly round robin.
Cardio Tennis, Tues, Wed, Thurs 8-9 a.m.
Regular tennis not getting your heart rate up enough? Try cardio tennis on Hilton Head! This heart-pumping workout is available March through October for all skill levels. Burn and learn set to music. We’ll provide the heart monitors.
Grand Slam Clinic, Daily, 8-9:30 a.m.
This special clinic comes back when spring arrives, as well. Designed for intermediate to advanced players, it focuses on the fundamentals of stroke production, footwork and strategy. Count on fast-paced drills and a ball machine workout.
View the complete Hilton Head tennis lessons and clinics schedule to find a program that fits your skill level.
Do you love tennis in the springtime? Tell us why!
Consider our Hilton Head tennis vacation packages that combine accommodations, tennis court time and instruction for your spring visit to Palmetto Dunes. Give us a call at 866-650-4130 to plan your vacation now.
While any beach is romantic, we think there’s something extra special here on the South Carolina coast of Hilton Head Island when it comes to lighting a spark, especially here within our beautiful beach resort. We’ve collected our top 10 places to steal a smooch on your next visit to Palmetto Dunes:
Have you stolen a smooch on the island? Got any secret spots?
To plan a romantic getaway to Hilton Head Island, consider our romance packages that combine accommodations, activities and spa services. Want to customize a vacation just for you and your sweetheart? Give us a call at 866-650-4130 and we’ll get it all set up!
For more information about booking your Hilton Head Island tee time for the Arthur Hills Course to try this hole for yourself, visit www.palmettodunes.com or call us at 866-650-4130.