The Tampa Bay Times
The transition to summer is almost complete. Pompano have finally arrived where they are to be expected. Pompano are easily the least utilized species in Tampa Bay. One of the best fights of any fish to catch, pompano are tops for food fare. A fillet of pompano is the best eating that comes out of the Gulf of Mexico.
Targeting and catching pompano is very straightforward. Finding the fish: Pompano are going to be in specific areas. They like the passes, bridges and deep sandy areas with current. Depth is a solid theme. Most pompano are caught in areas that are 9 feet deep or greater. The pompano jig and teaser is the best way to catch them. A yellow jig is the weight that gets the combination down to where the fish are. The teaser is a short “fly” that the fish eat. 90% of the fish you catch will be on the teaser. My pompano teasers are pink. The yellow jig, pink teaser is my choice for targeting this species. Jig the lure and teaser at a speed where the lure is always hitting the bottom. Working the lure too fast, you won’t catch the pompano. A two hook system, use a pliers to remove hooks from fish, for safety. Pompano season arriving, will the numbers be like they were the last two summers? The past two summers, pompano trips averaged 30 pompano per trip.
The closing of trout for twelve months, pompano could become a replacement fish. Regulations, you are allowed six pompano, minimum size 11 inches. My personal rule, I won’t keep a pompano under 13 inches. Pompano can be prepared any way you like to eat a fish. Rarely, they will taste fishy. In those situations, cook the fish in hot oil on the stovetop.