Surf Casting Florida
Learn how to catch more fish off of the beach.
What is the best tide to fish for pompano?
You can catch pompano during every part of the tide but there are definitely some parts of the tide that are better than others. Pompano like to cruise the beaches of Florida looking for their favorite food the sand flea. They eat small clams, shrimp, crabs and small fish too but the sand flea is pompano caviar.
Tides, current and wave action will wash those delicious little crabs off of the beach and right into the waiting mouths of the hungry pompano in the surf. I think that pompano taste so good because of their clean diets. They are not the slightest bit fishy tasting probably because they rarely eat fish. Their diets are mostly crabs, clams and shrimp.
I am a kayak fishing guide on the Treasure Coast of Florida. I have been fishing the beaches, mangroves, oyster bars and just about every where else in Florida for over 40 years. In the article below, I will cover everything that I know about the best tides for catching pompano.
Let’s get started.
Watch the video below to learn how to find pompano off of the beach.
Is low tide the best tide for pompano fishing?
The answer to this question is, that it can be the best tide for pompano fishing. Many times the pompano will school near the outer sand bars during the last couple of hours of the outgoing tide. They can often be found on the back side of the outer sand bars during the last parts of the outgoing tide.
If you want to catch those fish, then you will have to get your baits to the ocean side of those outer sand bars. The best ones will have a trough with a little deeper water for the fish to feel secure as the water depths continue to get lower.
Often you will need a good long surf rod to get at these fish. That outer sand bar might be 100 yards from the beach but you might just get your limit of pompano if you can cast that far.
The first couple of hours on incoming tide from the dead low tide can also be a great time to catch a ton of pompano too. Again, you will need to get at the outer sand bars but you will fish this scenario a little bit differently.
In this scenario, you will want to fish the beach side of the outer sand bars. You are looking for a sand bar that has a trough with some deeper water for the fish to feel secure in. You need to get your baits in the drop off on the beach side of the sand bars for the first couple of hours of the incoming tide. That will be your best bet.
The pompano and whiting that were stuck on the outside of the sand bar during the low tide want to get closer to the beach to eat all of the crabs and clams that the incoming tide will uncover for them. The current and wave action will actually dig up the crabs and clams for them. This makes it easier for the pompano to feed upon them.
Don’t forget to target the outside sand bars during the lower parts of the outgoing and incoming tides. You will be happy that you did.
Watch the video below and catch more pompano with lures.
Is high tide the best tide for pompano fishing?
The quick answer to this question is that it usually is the best tide for pompano fishing. It is usually the best tide for a lot of different reasons. The main reason is access. Many people do not that the skill or equipment to catch pompano during low tide when they are very far from the beach. During high tide the pompano might be right at your feet.
I like to fish for pompano at high tide because then I can use lures to quickly figure out where the schools of fish are. In the video above I cover the best lures to catch a pompano with. Banana jigs and pompano jigs are excellent search baits to figure out where the schools of pompano are feeding.
You will want to cast the jigs out as far as you can and slowly bounce them off of the sand back to you. You need to take note of where the hits are coming from. If you are catching fish or getting hits 20 yards off of the beach, then you know what depth the pompano are feeding at. This will help ensure that you don’t cast too far or cast too short when you go and grab your baits.
You can just walk up the beach pitching your jigs until you find the pompano. Once you find them you can go grab your rods rigged with hooks and floats and start using natural baits to catch them. Natural baits will out fish lures 9 out of 10 times.
The key to catching pompano is finding them. You might limit out one day on a certain beach and the next day get skunked on that same beach. The pompano schools might be 10 miles north or south by the following day. You just never know with pompano where they will be. That is what makes them so much fun to target when you are surf fishing.
I think that the biggest mistake that pompano fishermen make is casting too far out from the beach during the higher parts of the tide. Many fishermen think that they need to cast as far out as they can regardless of the tide. Often, they are casting right over the schools of pompano to where there are no fish. They can’t figure out why everyone else is catching them and they are not.
You don’t want to cast right over a feeding school of pompano right into a dead zone with no fish activity. If yo don’t get a bite where you are fishing in about 15 minutes or so, then move up the beach 100 yards and try again.
What is the best tide for pompano fishing? My answer is anytime you are fishing and not working is the best tide for pompano. You can catch fish off of the beach during any tide. You just have to know what you are looking for. You also have to adjust your fishing tactics as the tide changes.
You will probably catch most of your fish during the higher parts of the tide but that outside sand bar can be great during the lower tides. You just have to figure out where all of the feeding pompano are. They are around you just have to find them.
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