Pompano (Trachinotus carolinus)


  1. Size: Florida pompano typically range from 1 to 3 pounds, but larger individuals can reach up to 6 pounds or more.
  2. Habitat: Pompano prefer sandy bottoms and are commonly found in the vicinity of beaches and sandbars. They are known for their ability to feed in the surf zone and Anna Maria Island’s beaches and Egmont key are prime territories for schools of pompano. 
  3. Bait: Pompano primarily feed on crustaceans in the sand, preferring sand fleas, small crabs, and shrimp over any other baits. A live sand flea bounced on the bottom or a live shrimp floated under a cork is a sure-fire way to hook any pompano in the area. Artificial jigs called – you guessed it – “pompano jigs” also work great. 
  4. Tackle: Pompano, like their permit cousins are incredibly strong for their size and fight like much larger species. However, because you are likely hooking these fish in featureless sandy areas, you can get away with light gear so enjoy the fight without worrying about structure break-offs.   
  5. Food Value: Pompano are considered one of the tastiest fish out there and are often grilled, baked, or pan-fried in popular seafood dishes, especially in coastal areas where they are abundant.