The Pompano is a feisty fish that puts up a good fight on light tackle. The Pompano belongs to the same family as the Permit, its body is not as high but it is still oval and compressed.
It has a short snout with a small and oblique mouth and tiny teeth. The first dorsal is composed of six short spiny rays. The second dorsal fin is almost an inverted mirror image in size and shape to the anal fin. The caudal fin is notched with long pointed lobes. Color is gray-green on the back and silvery on the sides. There are usually 3 – 5 vertical dark green spots along the front and top of the lateral line. The tips of the dorsal, anal and caudal fins are black.
The Pompano is fine eating and a hard fighting fish. It is judged by many to be the world’s most exciting light tackle gamefish. It enters very shallow water and can be taken from beaches, piers, jetties, bridges, and boats. Most Pompano average about 2 pounds. The all-tackle record is 8 pounds 1 ounce.
Pompano Fishing Locations And Seasons
Pompano are found in the warm, temperate and tropical waters of the western Atlantic. They prefer water temperatures in the 82 -89° F range. Pompano can be found throughout the coastal areas of Florida.
On the Atlantic coast, they are most prevalent from New Smyrna south to Miami. Hire a pompano fishing guide or Pompano fishing charter to learn about the best areas for Pompano fishing. The best times of the year are between October to December and again April to July.
Pompano can also be caught along the entire West Coast of Florida, especially between St. Petersburg to Ft. Myers.
Pompano can be caught in the Panhandle region off the beaches in late February and in the surf and cuts of Apalachicola Bay.
Pompano Fishing Techniques
Pompano fishing can be done with a few different techniques. Light tackle, Fly Fishing and surfcasting are the most popular. Spinning gear should include a 7′ medium action rod and reel with 6# -12 # test line.
Surfcasting gear should include an 8′ to14′ surf rod and reel capable of heaving 6 to 8-ounce sinkers with 20# to 30# line. Fly Fishing gear should include an 8-1/2′ to 9′ long 7 weight rod with a reel holding 100 or more yards of 20# backing. Natural baits including crabs, clams, sand fleas, and shrimp work well.