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How to fish for Pompano

Pompano have fairly small mouths, so baits and hooks should be small. Generally live bait or bits of shrimp are the best bait, although some lures can be successful. Florida Pompano are found in inshore and nearshore waters, along sandy beaches, oyster banks, and over grassbeds, often in turbid water. Best fishing is in summer and fall, since the fish may move offshore in winter. Pompano have a weird habit of "wake skipping." When a boat passes near them they leap out of the water and skitter across the wake on their sides
Natural baits including crabs, clams, sand fleas and shrimp work well. Hooking a sand flea is easy. Run the hook through the V-shaped flap on the flea's belly and rotate it on around so that the barb of the hook just protrudes from the top of the shell. Jig fishing can be a successful second choice to catching pompano. A 3/8 to 5/8 ounce white or beige colored jig head with white, yellow, orange, hot pink, red and yellow or pearl skirts have proven successful.
Most people prefer to fish for pompano in the surf. During high tide, pompano come up close in the trough, where you can take fish on light spinning gear and jigs. Seldom growing over three pounds, pompano are the perfect fish to go after with light tackle. You can even use ultra-light tackle with as light as 4-6 pound test line. But when the tide moves out so do the Pompano, then larger heavier tackle is required to get your jig out to where the Pompano cruise the sand bars at lower tides.
At first glance, traditional heavy action, 10 to 14 foot surf rods seem like overkill for such a small fish, but they are designed to load up and cast the 4 to 6 ounces that it may take to hold baits in one place, just off the bottom, when the surf is up. The big rods also throw the heaviest weight for maximum distance. Another advantage to long rods is that they hold line high over breaking waves close to the shore, which keep your line from being scraped on the bottom. With the big rods you will need big reels that can hold 200 yards of 20 pound test line and can cast about 100 yards.


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