Fishing For Florida Pompano
Florida Pompano are regarded by many as one of the best eating fish in our state waters. They are highly sought after by land based anglers and are one of the priciest fish you will find in any seafood market. They are often found in the $20/lb range and up and for good reason! These fish are highly migratory and every year in the Fall and Spring, the east coast of Florida is filled with Pompano and fishermen alike. You can watch the video below to learn more about Pompano fishing, but I'm also writing this article, which will go more in depth as to the tactics used!
Where To Catch Pompano In Florida
Let's start with location! One of the biggest factors in pompano success is being in the right place at the right time. Pompano are not very structure oriented fish, but rather cruise the beach and this is what makes them very hard to pinpoint. You may catch your limit 3 days in a row at one beach then go several weeks without a bite. Certain beaches do hold more fish historically than others, but don't think that only certain beaches have good pompano fishing. ALL beaches have pompano at certain times of the year. For location I would say to get dialed in with a group of anglers and keep in contact with them. Have a buddy system and you all work together to find the fish. The beach is wide open and is plenty big for everyone, no need to be super secret when it comes to sharing some local knowledge!
The best pompano fishing occurs between Palm Beach and Volusia counties, and although the counties south of Broward do have a good run, but the majority of fish stay north of Palm Beach county.
When To Target Pompano
Timing is very important when it comes to Pompano! What I have learned like with many other fish is the hours just after sunrise and few hours before it, are most certainly the most consistent for a solid bite. The high incoming tide just before high tide and the first hour fo outgoing also prove to be the most effective.
How To Rig For Pompano
As far as rigging goes, 20-30lb leader is standard for a dropper loop style rig, which can be seen in the video! I like 4ft 20lb bullbuster fluorocarbon leader with two dropper loops. 2/0 sized light wire circle hooks such as the Mustad Demon circle hook are perfect for this type of fishing. I like to push the dropper loop directly into the eye of my hook and synch it back over the hook and pull tight.
You may have noticed that pompano rigs have bright colored floats on them. Well these serve two purposes. #1 they keep your bait suspended and say from crabs and #2 they serve to attract pompano by creating contrast in various water colors. Try to experiment with the colors of your floats and see which ones get the most bites.
Best Bait For Pompano
For bait , the #1 choice for most pompano anglers has to be sand flea and clam flavored fish bites. They can either be fished alone or tipped with clam, shrimp, squid, or sand flea. To anchor your bait I suggest fishing a 4-8oz sputnik style spider weight. The weight is going to be dictated by the rating of your rod and the surf conditions that day!
I hope this article has helped you catch more pompano and be sure to check out the video linked with it as well!