Pompano are arriving at the locations where they will be found for the next six months. The most underutilized species in Tampa Bay, pompano are not only among the best to have for dinner, they fight great. Targeting pompano is pretty easy. You have to be in the exact right spot. Passes, bridges and deep sand areas with current are places to try to find pompano. I like depths of 9 feet or more. There are a number of ways to succeed. I have not used a natural bait for pompano in nearly 20 years. The options: sand fleas, fiddler crabs and shrimp. A better way to get them is the “pompano jig and teaser.” The jig, made by a half-dozen companies, is lead and painted. I use yellow. The teaser is the key. A teaser is a fly. I use pink teasers with flash built in. Loop knot the jig and teaser together with a pretty tight loop. Have the hooks facing opposite directions. Cast the jig/teaser and let it sink to the bottom. Hop the lure up and down until it gets eaten. It’s usual to catch a dozen other species on pompano trips. We have caught 40-pound cobia on pompano lures. A pompano has to be at least 11 inches, and you are allowed to keep six. It is usually easy to get larger fish.

Neil Taylor charters kayak fishing trips in the Tampa Bay area and can be reached at and (727) 692-6345.

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