years ago this old Cuban guy I fished with a lot would showed me the basics of fishing for pomps and took me and my grandpa pompano fishing off a south Florida beach (not saying or else it might be overfished
) anyways, we would set up our gear and start fishing. after a few years of doing this we developed a rhythm and had very good results, we would average about 10 pompano per angler per hour, some undersized, most of them legal, our average pompano was about 15 inches!!! here are some of the techniques Raul (my old Cuban friend) taught me.
Time of year: after years of experimenting, we found our best results to be from March to May.
Time of day: I would get out of school around 4 and hit up the beach with Raul around 5 pm to fish for a few hours. the evening time usually during an overcast or cloudy day would be the most successful days. in the afternoon the tide would usually be coming in as well.
gear: I was very young when I started this and didnt really care for my brand of gear, but nowadays, no doubt the best in my opinion is a 9 ft surf rod with any medium sized spinning or conventional reel, there are thousands of possibilities and all can catch pompano. a sand flea rake was also an important tool for us to load up on fleas for the day, I would average about 20 fleas per scoop (when their antennae are visible) each being about an inch in length, every now and then I would scoop up a massive one and a half inch sand flea which was amazing. our line used was basic 12-20lb mono. a sand spike was also important to hold our rods.
the rig: Raul would tie his own rigs and he showed me how to do it one time while on his condo balcony. the basic 2 hook dropper loop rig tied with 20lb mono was all we needed. attached to the loops were 1/0 circle hooks with a little red bead for attracting fish. at the bottom Raul would always use a 3oz pyramid sinker and we would launch the rig at different intervals, before the sandbar, on it, and after the sandbar where it was deeper. all 3 places would constantly produce large pomps.
bait: sand fleas were obviously used. me and Raul would never buy them frozen, we always spent about 15 min catching them live on the beach and put them in a little bucket for putting on the hook later. sand fleas were also the only bait we ever used, we never used shrimp or squid, just fleas.
additional comments: aside from pompano we also had our fare of by catches when pompano fishing, the most common being yellowfin mojarras, mojarras were plentiful along with the pomps and would take the bait every now and then. the mojarras were pretty darn big too averaging around 13 inches. mojarras were also thrown into our coolers with the pomps as they are one of the best fishes I have ever eaten.
this last line is dedicated to Raul, who passed away no too long ago, the man who showed me everything he knew about mastering the art of pompano fishing, because of him I am a much better pompano fisherman.