Surf Casting Florida
Learn how to catch more fish off of the beach.
Is pompano a good fish to eat?
The answer to this question is YES!!!!!!!!!!! The pompano is probably one of the best tasting fish in the sea. Why do you think that it goes for $20 a pound at the local fish markets? I have never heard anyone say that they do not like to eat pompano. Maybe a vegan or a vegetarian might say that but anyone who likes to eat fish will like pompano.
Some people have referred to them as one of the planet’s most edible fish. They do not have scales so you should cook them with the skin attached. This is not a fish that requires you to hide its fishy taste. You can just bake, grill, broil, pan fry……… with butter, salt and pepper to fully enjoy its flavor.
The meat of a pompano is firm with a mild and somewhat sweet flavor palette.
Of all of the fish that I catch, the pompano is the one that will go right into the cooler most of the time. I rarely keep snook, redfish, speckled trout or even a flounder, but those pompano will come home with me just about every time that I catch one.
I am a kayak fishing guide on the Treasure Coast of Florida. I have been fishing the beaches, mangroves, oyster bars……. all over Florida for more than 40 years. Pompano are a really fun fish to catch and cook.
In the article below, I will teach you everything that I know about catching and cooking this delicious fish.
Watch the video below to learn where to catch more pompano off of the beach.
Pompano can be found along the beaches from as far North as Virginia. They can be caught as far West as Texas and everywhere in between. My state of Florida is the pompano Mecca of the United States. These tasty little visitors come from the northern waters when the cooler Fall weather drives them South.
Pompano like the water temperatures to be from about 65 to 75 degrees (give or take a few degrees on either side). They are most abundant in Florida waters from November through to about April. This all depends upon when the first cold fronts push them South and when the last cold fronts drive them up North.
How do you catch a pompano?
Pompano love to eat sand fleas, shrimp, crabs and small fish. They can usually be caught from prominent sand bars all the way up to the trough at your feet on the beach. This all depends upon the tides and food supplies.
All that you have to do to catch a ton of pompano is get yourself a surf casting rod that is 10 feet to maybe 15 feet long. I wrote another article on this website that covers getting the right surf rod. Go to the pro tips page and you will see in great detail how to catch a pompano.
Go down to your local bait store and get yourself some pompano rigs and some pyramid weights. You will probably need an assortment from 1 to 4 ounces, depending upon the current, waves, wind and other conditions at the beach. You will need 4 or 5 rigs because you will often lose them.
Then get some frozen sand fleas, frozen shrimp, frozen clam strips or ask for Fish Bites. Fish Bites are a man made scented bait that comes in strips. You can just cut a 1/4 inch strip and put it on your hook like you would a sand flea. It works really well but sometimes bait shops don’t sell it because they make more money selling real bait. You can get it at Walmart and Bass Pro Shops.
You can also use lures to catch pompano. They will readily hit banana jigs and pompano jigs. I like to walk the beach tossing lures to quickly figure out where the pompano schools are. Once you find them you can set up there an fish with your baits. Baits will out fish lures most of the time.
Now all that you have to do is find a beach to fish for pompano on.
Most of the pompano that you will catch will be in the 2 or 3 pound range and that is a great size to fit right into a pan. They can grow to 8 pounds but it is very rare to catch one larger than 6 pounds. They are great fighters for their size which makes them double fun to catch. They are delicious and awesome fighters for their size.
Watch the video below to learn more about the best pompano lures.
How to you cook a pompano?
Pompano is one of the few fish that does not need seasoning to taste great. You can literally throw it on the grill and just eat it once it is cooked. This goes for broiling, baking and pan frying it too. The key to keeping its great taste is the skin. The skin adds a perfect flavor to the meat. You don’t eat the skin but you certainly do not want to remove it before cooking.
I like to eat pompano with lemon or lime wedge to give it that citrus flavor. You can also use an orange to sweeten up the citrus flavor of your fillet. Do not fry a pompano. You are wasting it that way. You can fry just about any fish and make it taste good but you do not need to hide the natural flavor of a pompano. That is why they are so expensive to buy at the fish market. This is one fish that you can just cook and eat without fancy spices or marinades.
Pompano are a great fish to catch and eat. They are migratory so you can’t get at them all year but when they do come rolling through town you should go to the beach and get yourself a few.
Pompano are one of my favorite fish to eat and once you try one, I am sure that you will agree with me. They are easy to catch once you find them so there is only about a $200 investment to get all of your fishing gear and start catching pompano.
I hope this article helps you catch more fish.
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