Surf Casting Florida
Learn how to catch more fish off of the beach.
What are the best recipes for pompano?
Pompano are one of the tastiest fish in the sea. That is one of the reasons that they are so popular with surf casting aficionados wherever pompano can be found. They are also in the jack family which means that they are excellent fighters too.
Great on a dinner plate and super fun to catch. Yes, pompano are both of those things and to top it off, they are only around for a short period of time every year. They are migratory and move up and down the coasts from Virginia down to Florida; from Florida over to Texas.
The migrations of the pompano are based on water temperatures. They are quite selective about the water temperatures that they will tolerate. They like the water temperatures to be between 65 and 75 degrees, give or take a few degrees on either end of the temperature spectrum.
I am a kayak fishing guide on the Treasure Coast of Florida. I have been fishing the beaches, mangroves, oyster bars and just about everywhere else in Florida for more than 40 years. In the article below, I will teach you how to catch and cook pompano.
Let’s get started.
Watch the video below and learn how to catch pompano.
Okay. Hopefully that video taught you enough to go out and catch yourself some fresh pompano. If you get skunked, then you can expect to pay over $20 a pound for the delicious pompano fillets at your local fish market.
The supplies of this delicious little fish are seasonal and the fish markets can jack up the prices because the demand for those fillets is always high. My parents told me that pompano prices were high even during “The Great Depression”. That tells you something about this little fish.
You will need to make the investment in a surf rod and reel and a rod holder for the beach sand. That will run you about $200. BUT considering that the price per pound of pompano is more than $20 most of the time, your gear can pay for itself during one good day of surf fishing.
The best way to fillet a pompano is with the skin on. The skin adds a lot of flavor to the meat. The meat is firm and has a sweetness to it so you really do not need to add anything to the fillet to make it delicious.
My favorite way to cook a pompano fillet is on the grill with a little bit of butter melted on it. Sometimes I will just rub the fillets with olive oil and grill them.
If you want to give the fillets a citrus take then you just need to squeeze a 1/4 lime wedge over the fillet. This adds just enough citrus flavor without overwhelming the taste of the meat. Remember that this fish needs no overwhelming spices because it tastes so good naked.
Some super fishy tasting fish need to be marinaded for a day or two just to make them edible. Pompano are not one of those fish species. You will ruin the fillets by adding too much spice and flavorings.
Pompano cooks very quickly so you will not need to cook the fillets for more than 10 minutes. You can easily overcook the fillets and ruin them.
Another tasty way to prepare pompano is with salt and pepper and some parsley flakes. You can grill or bake the pompano fillets for a few minutes and add the lime one the fillets are done. The acid of the lime is perfect for fish of any kind.
Pompano are one of the few fish that I keep when I catch them. I will release redfish, speckled trout, flounder and many other great tasting fish that I catch. When I catch a pompano it goes right into the cooler for that night’s dinner. That is how tasty those little silver delicacies are.
You definitely do not want to freeze pompano. They are so much better fresh and not frozen. That is why I only keep one or two of them even if I catch a half dozen keepers. Currently, you are only allowed to keep 6 pompano and they have to be 11 inches long measured to the fork of the tail.
I hope this article helps you catch and cook pompano.
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