One of the more elusive game fish species in the Tampa Bay area is pompano. This tasty member of the jack family is abundant around beaches but difficult to keep track of. Pompano seldom stick to a pattern for more than a day or two. Lately we have seen schools around several inlets, usually along a sandy edge where the tidal flow is strong. The easiest way to find them is to “skip” them — run a boat along the edge of a sand bar and watch for them leaping as they get spooked out of the wake. As the fleeing fish sail through the air, they turn their bodies and land flat, often skipping two or three times before going back underwater. To catch beach pompano, use a jig with no plastic body or hair. It must move up and down quickly in a vertical motion. When it comes to lure selection, pompano are crazy about yellow, so be sure your rod has a 3/4-ounce yellow jig on it for the next time you see them fly out of the water.
Ed Walker charters out of Tarpon Springs. He can be contacted at email@example.com.