Pompano is an excellent fish that offers great taste. The good thing is that it’s easy to catch if you know when, where, and how to catch it. But how far should you cast when fishing for Pompano?
How far you should cast when surf fishing for Pompano largely depends on the conditions. A good rule of thumb is to bring two rods and cast them at different lengths within 60 yards (54m) into the surf. That way, you can know where Pompano is and place your efforts there.
If you want to catch Pompano, you need to know more about their behavior, why they stay so close to the beach and much more. To learn all of this, read on.
What Determines the Location of Pompano
Pompano fish are easy to catch if you know where to find them. Several important factors will determine their location and tell you where they are.
Pompano fish migrates, following the warmer temperatures. The weather dictates where they will be. They start moving from Massachusetts down to Florida and further south to South America.
Depending on where you are located, you’ll be able to find them at different times of the year. As temperature changes, you’ll want to follow them further south, even within the same state.
If the water temperature gets down to 62℉ (16℃), they will move since they prefer higher temperatures — between 65 and 85℉ (18 to 29℃). Before heading out to the beach, check the water temperatures at different locations — this will help you find the right locations.
Then, look for the tide movement since this is when the Pompano will be the most active. At the same time, you’ll want to check surf conditions — whether water is calm or rough.
Look for that sweet spot in between. There should be some waves to stir up the pompano food, but not too much, so it makes the water muddy and hard to see through.
Due to their feeding habits, Pompano is found very close to the beach, so you won’t have to cast that far. They are generally found within a short casting range from the beach.
Pompano prefers clear water, but it doesn’t have to be completely clear. Just like with the waves, find a nice middle ground between two extremes.
The surf should be mild, just enough to pick up the wildlife that sticks to the bottom of the ocean so that Pompano will start hunting them, and you can start hunting Pompano.
If you can’t find the medium conditions, go for clear water, since it’s better than muddy, dirty water.
If the water gets too stirred up, it will be hard to catch Pompano. Mild waves mean that the Pompano will be closer to the shore, and further within the easy casting range.
If the water starts getting rougher as you are fishing, try to use a bait with a stronger smell. This way, you can attract them even if the water is dingy. But, aim for those conditions that are “just right.”
The best area for casting will be on the beaches where the water is a bit deeper. That’s where Pompano likes to hang out because there’s plenty of food for them there.
If the temperature rises during the summer, finding Pompano within 60 yards of shore will be harder because they also don’t like temperatures that are too high. The best time to find them within those sixty yards is when the temperatures there are just right for them.
If you can’t find these conditions, then you will need a longer rod and put it in deeper holes on the beach.
Even more importantly, perhaps, is to go fish in the areas where there’s a lot of Pompano food. Small clams, sand fleas, and other tiny sea creatures are a good sign that there will be Pompano around.
A good thing about Pompano is that once you find one, you will easily find more since they travel in schools. So, there’s no need to fight for a good spot since there’s plenty of fish for everyone.
How to Catch Pompano Fish
You can start fishing for Pompano on a beach, a pier, or even on a boat. However, in most cases, you can catch Pompano from the beach. As mentioned, assess all of the conditions and ensure that they are good for Pompano before heading out or setting up camp.
For this, you will need a spinning reel with a test line of about 10 pounds (4kg), which will be enough for most conditions. However, if you’re met with dingy waters, perhaps pick a reel that can hold a 20 pound (10kg) test line.
In this case, you would also need a sinker since it will be able to hold your bait properly attached. Otherwise, you may have a harder time catching anything if your line can’t hold the bait.
You should consider a set up for casting bait, especially if the waters are rough. You want to cast far into the water, and in the deeper water, so you need a reel that will make you feel comfortable with pulling Pompano out and won’t make it a difficult job.
Pompanos are really strong, although they may not be that big in most cases. So, this is a good way to ensure that you can pull one out. If targeting calmer waters, there’s no need for this.
Is Fly Fishing Method Will Works For Catching Pompano?
Fly Fishing is also a possibility, although not too many people do this. In most cases, this method will be the most effective if there’s plenty of seagrass around or if the waves come slowly, with several seconds between each one.
The flies can mimic their favorite food, and they will gladly go for it since they have a small mouth, and they will be attracted by the fact that the fly is just big enough for them.
You can catch them with live bait as well. Look for sea animals like mussels, crabs, clams, shrimp, small fish, sand fleas, etc.
Sand fleas are their favorite, so make sure that you use that as a bait most of the time, although you can also try other bait. Switch between them until you find something that works well for you.
Lures are another option, and they commonly resemble shrimp. They will be heavier, though, because Pompano fish are prone to swimming close to the bottom, where the majority of their food is.
You should bring several rods, just so you can test out different lengths. Consider having two hook rigs because this improves your chances of catching more fish, and it can help you figure out what the fish want to eat.
If you’re interested in learning more about Pompano surf fishing, here’s a video that will give you plenty of great details and tips:
Video credit: Hey Skipper
Pompano is not the easiest fish to find, but they are easy to catch once you’ve found them. And spending a day on the beach, surf fishing, and topping it off by eating delicious Pompano is an excellent way to spend time.
A good recommendation is to carry several rods and cast them at different lengths to assess where the Pompano is. This is especially true if you’re not sure of the water temperature.
Their location will be based on this and their food availability, so watch out for the signs that there’s Pompano around.
And remember, they might be on one beach one day, and the next day they could be 10 miles further south. So, don’t stick to one location for too long.