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It's that time of the year when the Florida Pompano start showing up in large numbers on our beaches. They are one of my favorite species to fish.

The Pompano is a feisty fish that puts up a good fight on light tackle. It has a short snout with a small and oblique mouth and tiny teeth. The first dorsal is composed of six short spiny rays. The second dorsal fin is almost an inverted mirror image in size and shape to the anal fin. The caudal fin is notched with long pointed lobes. Color is gray – green on the back and slivery on the sides. There are usually 3 – 5 vertical dark green spots along the front and top of the lateral line. The tips of the dorsal, anal and caudal fins are black.

The Pompano is fine eating and a hard fighting fish. Some people consider it to be the most exciting light tackle gamefish. It enters very shallow water and can be taken from beaches, piers, jetties, bridges and boats.
Most Pompano average about 1 - 2 pounds. The NC state record is 8 pounds even set in 2001 off of Carolina beach.

Pompano can be found through out the coastal areas of NC.
They prefer water temperatures in the 77 - 85 ° F range. The best time of the year is between September and the middle of October.
Tackle and Techniques Most of these fish are caught in shallow water close inshore. They can be caught by surfcasting, flyfishing or spincasting from shore or from a boat.

Fishing Equipment:
Spinning gear should include a 7' medium action rod and reel with 6# -12 # test line.


Surfcasting gear should include an 8' to14' surf rod and reel capable of heaving 6 to 8 ounce sinkers with 20# to 30# line.

Baits
Natural baits including small crabs, sand fleas and shrimp work well. Artifcial lures which produce are jigs with yellow and yellow combination nylon hair, bucktails and plastic tailed jigs.

Surfcasting with sand fleas is my favorite way to fish Pompano.

These are very tasty fish and command a high price at the market, if and when you happen to see them there. So the best way to enjoy them is to catch your own!

Tight Lines and Good Luck!
 

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Looks like we might have to hold off another week or so for the suds to clear up before we can get any. These hurricanes have that north east wind locked in but maybe it will change shortly. I just hope Ophelia makes up her mind to follow the other two out accross the open Atlantic. The US has seen too many hurricanes in the last couple of years. People are going to start moving inland if this keeps up. AL
 
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