Pompano in The Surf


When the water temperatures begin to cool along Florida’s shores, the Pompano southbound migration begins. Pompano are a favorite fish among many surf fishermen for their sporty fight and great flavor, and in the early parts of Florida winters they are caught often along the beaches.

Pompano Surf Fishing Gear

Pompano are in the jack family so they put up one of the best fights of any fish their size, but they only average about 1-2 pounds off of Florida shores. The gear used will depend greatly on the distance needed to cast.

For long casting needs:

  • 8-12’ rod
  • Spinning or Casting Reel (10-20lb class)
  • 10-20 pound test line
  • 1/0 Circle Hooks
  • Enough weight to reach desired location and hold bottom

For short casting needs:

  • 6-7’ rod
  • Spinning or Casting Reel
  • 10-12 pound test line
  • 1/0 circle hooks
  • Just enough weight to hold bottom.

Pompano Surf Fishing Bait

Pompano live almost exclusively off of shell fish. They can be caught from time to time on minnows, but it is rare. They are frequently caught on small tube jigs, and small lures that resemble shrimp or crabs.

Best baits:

  • Sand Fleas
  • Clams
  • Fresh Shrimp

Pompano Surf Fishing Techniques

Pompano hang out just behind the breaking waves along the beaches. They wait for a wave to break and stir up the bottom revealing the food. Cast just beyond the breakers with a double hook dropper rig.

If the beach has 2 sand bars causing 2 breaks cast one rod beyond the first and one beyond the second to find where the fish are holding for the day.

Tips and Tricks

  • Often times, one bait will work better than another. Using 2 hooks put one of one type and one of another to find what the pompano are foraging for.
  • Pompano will most often be caught in the deeper water behind breaking waves Long casts are