POMPANO FROM THE SURF
Whenever I hit the Cape Canaveral, Florida area, I always find time to break out the surf gear and target the silver ghost of the shore – pompano.
Pomps can be found on both coasts of Florida and up the entire Eastern Seaboard to the northernmost range around New Jersey. Pompano can be targeted in the surfline with relative ease and as they travel in packs of a dozen or more, when you get one hit, chances are the other rods will go down too.
Surf rods and reels for pompano fishing can generally be lighter in makeup, with enough power to still be able to cast weights up to 3 ounces. I generally use an 8 foot medium action rod, such as a TICA or St. Croix matched with a 5000 Shimano Sustain reel. Spool up with 30-pound Power Pro braid. Pompano rigs can generally be of the Hi-Lo variety, made of 30-inch section of 30-pound Seaguar Fluorocarbon Leader, a 50-pound Spro Barrel Swivel, two dropper loops spread 12 inches apart looped with size #1 Mustad Baitholder hooks or 1/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hooks and a 2 to 3-ounce bank or Pyramid sinker on the overhand loop end. Bells and whistles are welcomed for pompano, as fluorescent yellow or chartreuse beads or pill floats fixed above the hook attract fish.
Pomps will cruise the low tide sloughs and bars, as well as hang just outside the outer bar, and though they will chomp all day long, the best bite seems to be around daybreak to around 10 AM, then from around 5 PM on into dusk. The real key is to understand the right water conditions to fish. Tropical shaded, blue-green, semi-stained water is prime coloring, as the fish like to have a little bit of roil to stir up the bottom to feed on natural prey like crabs, clams and worms in the blurry waters. Usually light 5 to 10 knot easterly onshore winds and 1 to 3 foot surf is enough to create a little bit of whitewater as the waves push over the bars on the lower tides. Best baits for pomps are fresh clams, shrimp and above all – mole crabs, aka sand fleas. While pomps are common along the Mid-Atlantic, last year’s late summer was incredible as pomps to 3 pounds were being hooked in the surf regularly by Jersey anglers. Let’s hope that trend continues!
Sustain FI Spinning Reels
The Shimano Sustain FI Spinning Reels are ideal for bass to small billfish. It’s designed to handle a variety of fishing challenges that you can throw at it. They are known for light rotation and refinement.
Mojo Surf Spinning Rods
Scientists. Those guys want to take credit for everything. Well, while they’re sitting around patting themselves on the back about ibuprofen, we’ll keep making the world a better place by developing new rods.
Moss Green Braided Spectra
PowerPro braided Spectra fiber with Enhanced Body Technology (EBT) gives you awesome handling performance on any reel. Unlike the older style braided lines, fishing with PowerPro is as easy as fishing with monofilament.
Bank Sinkers are typically preferred for bottom fishing applications, where its tapered hexagonal shape will help to prevent it from becoming snagged in wrecks, reefs, hard bottom, and other structure.