November 6

How To Catch Pompano

Fishing for pompano can be very fun fishing if you are new and fishing on or near the Gulf of Mexico. Many fishermen on vacation take some time to catch this great eating fish and it is worth your time to do so. I have had my fair share of them while fishing on vacation and it has been great. You can have this kind of enjoyment too and bring home the spoils for a nice lunch or dinner. I personally love a fish sandwich!

how to catch pompano

You will also note that you will catch other things using the same techniques used for fishing pompano. Crevalle Jacks, pinfish, small grouper, snapper, and even a snook or two may be coerced into having a taste. This will give you some extra excitement that you weren’t expecting. When it comes down to it I just want to catch a fish and have a good time and I believe you want the same thing too.

What Is The Best Bait For Pompano?

By far the best bait for pompano is a sand flea. This is simply one of the baits that pompano looks for because they love eating crustaceans. They are widely available and you can even catch them yourself. Some bait shops will sell these, but not as many as you think.

Sand Flea Rake

Go try out a Sand Flea Rake!

You can use many other things to catch pompano on the regular and one of them is even a lure. When I go fishing around Florida I go straight to SHRIMP! The reason for this is a simple fact that everything underwater is going to bite. It is best for new fishermen and children who want to get hooked up. Also, be sure not to overestimate the size of the fish’s mouth. I have gone with the prescribed size 2 or bigger hook, but I caught everything with a size 1 that I was missing and stealing my bait.

How To Catch Pompano With Sand Fleas?

You have to have a bit of knowledge of when the pompano run is for your area. They start depending on the weather just like other migratory fish like the striped bass. They will go north when it is hot and they will go south when it is cold. They want to stay temperate just like anybody else. They also follow the bait that must also stay temperate as well

Gulp! Sand Crab Flea

Go try out a Gulp! Sand Crab Flea!

You can hook a sand flea through its body and up through the back to give it the greatest strength. I suggest that you use circle hooks because most states are mandating this for saltwater fishing anyway. You won’t have to give an aggressive hookset as you do with freshwater fish. You can simply reel it in till you feel the weight and just pull back on the rod and your good and the fish is safe. 

Gulp! Sand Crab Flea - New Penny

You will want to place the bait in the same places you would if you were fishing from the shoreline. You will want to find the hole that is in front of the sandbars that create the waves. These are sometimes called “Breakers”. Predator fish will sit in these holes waiting for forage to wash over the top and attack it. I find it best to cast just past the wave if you can and drag it within the wave. Somewhere in there, you notice you get more action and you may even notice that the bait drops a little bit.

Pompano Rig

The prebuilt rig for pompano is not much different from other rigs for smaller ocean fish. You may wonder why you need to use something like this. The answer is you don’t. However, it is easy to tie on and the line is of good measure to take the attacks from this fish.

Sea Strike Pompano Rig

It is a swivel onto a stronger leader line that has a short circle snell hook with beads and a mini float attached to it. These are placed high and low on the leader because you never know where exactly in the water column they are positioned. The mini-float keeps the presentation up in the strike zone and keeps the line from getting tangled up. You should use a weight that can drag a little so you can position it into the hole properly.

Where Can You Catch Pompano Fish?

You are generally going to catch your haul of pompano inshore or right from the shore. Many new fishermen target this fish because they can drive to the local jetty, pier, or beach to get some easy action while the family is right around the corner… or asleep. Not everybody is privileged to have the time, money, and space to own a boat.

How To Catch Pompano Inshore?

Finding pompano inshore is not unlike most fish. You will find them hugging the coastline looking to ambush bait just like everything else. One thing I don’t hear about is their schooling baitfish and attacking them in mass. They are a crustacean eater so they will be where they are. That is notably on the beach and around structures like piers and even saltwater docks. 

fishing inshore

You will want to use a pompano rig or something close to it and work the area around the surf looking for holes or changes in the sandbar. These differences will make them gather and school up and provide plenty of action for you.

How To Catch Pompano From The Beach?

Like I stated previously, You should use a pompano rig and looking for holes right under the surf where the waves break. Fish will be waiting there. Hopefully, you can cast that far otherwise you will have to get a little wet. You should use sand fleas, shrimp or versions of these made by FishBites, which I am becoming a fan of.

FishBites - Crab

Go try out a FishBites - Crab!

It is wise to use sand spikes to set your rod when you have the bait in the right spot. Normally you will only have to wait 1-3 minutes before you can decide if there is nothing there or they stole your bait. I personally am more of an active fisherman and use one rod and constantly move around. Doing this will allow you to learn the lay of the underwater land and be able to find honey holes.

The Beast Sand Spike Rod Holder

How To Catch Pompano From Shore?

Sometimes the shoreline is not a nice beach where you can take a break and have your lunch and a beer while you stare at your fishing poles. If you find yourself on a jetty or rock beach do not despair. You just need to take some different thought to your fishing. Over in Jupiter, Florida, there is a place called Blowing Rocks that has this exact layout and I caught a ton of fish with no real experience there.

Frogg Toggs Aransas Neoprene Surf & Sand Shoe

First, you want to make sure you are using good grip shoes and remain safe. Secondly, it might seem like the surf starts right at your feet, but that is not true. If you look further out you will see an area where the bottom is visible or a smaller wave occurs randomly. That is where you want to be fishing. Continuously cast there feeling the bottom to see where you fall off the sandbar. That is where you can expect to start feeling some bites and hopefully exactly what you are looking for!

Berkley Collapsible Wheeled Fishing Cart

How To Catch Pompano From A Pier?

Fishing from a pier can be hard if you are a novice and don’t know what you are doing. I should know because I learned there are specific ways to fish a pier and doing it wrong will lead you to have a less than stellar time. Amongst all the tools to use like rod holders, fishing lights and drop nets you have to think like a pompano. What are they eating? Where is the food located? How does the food move?

fishing pier

Thankfully, the presentation is not on the top of the list when it comes to pompano. They really want sand fleas and if you have them you will eventually get lucky. However, where would you find these. They are under the sand, yes, but they also like to feel protected like anything else. Under the pier is a major place for them to hide. You should try fishing straight down or even under the pier to see if you get more action. I would personally try fishing right up against the pilings. Make sure your line doesn’t wrap around them because the barnacles will cut the line.

How To Catch Pompano On A Boat?

Fishing from a boat is vastly different because you don’t have to worry about positioning so much. Wherever you want to go you can get there. However, if you are trying to catch fish in the surf it is different. First thing is to be careful fishing at a beach that people are swimming at. There is a lot of coastal water and there is no reason for you to be fishing at an inhabited beach.

fishing boat

Now you want to position yourself so the boat is going to float sideways along the shoreline and not into it or away from it. Now you can position your bait to go into the holes and drag along it while you drift. This can be a powerful technique because you will remain in the strike zone for a long time and present your bait to more fish.

Drift Sock Sea Anchor

Go try out a Drift Sock Sea Anchor!

You can slow yourself down by dragging your anchor as well. You will need a specific drifting anchor to this if the current is strong or your vessel is small. It is all about speed and movement so be knowledgeable about how long your bait is in one spot so they are able to see it before it flies by.

What Is The Best Time To Catch Pompano?

The best time has more to do with the moon than it does the sundial. What I mean is the tides are the most important thing. If you have a very low tide and the breakers are not deep enough you will not have fish in them. This means less or no fish for you. You will have to do more exploratory fishing than looking for places where the fish will congregate. However, when the tide is low you can find where they will be later. 

underwater sandbard

I still believe the best time to go fishing is whenever YOU can. If you aren’t able to go at slack tide it doesn’t mean you won’t catch any fish. You may just have a harder time or have to change the type of fish you target that day. Saltwater fishing from the shore takes a lot of planning if you want to do that strategy. I for one just go whenever I can go and plan to make the best of it. You will learn a lot by fishing during off times.

Best Tide For Pompano Fishing?

If you are able to work the tide I would fish it at complete high tide just before it goes slack. This will maximize the amount of time you have to present to fish when they are in those holes next to the sandbar. A lot of fish are best during this time and most of it has to do with the fact that they are closer to shore and anglers. If you are from a boat you will have a different strategy and can use your electronics to find similar places further out from the shore to get the same effect.

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