Very few fish get the Sarasota locals as excited as do pompano when they start to “run”. While they fight as hard as a fish three times its size, the incredibly delicious flesh is the attraction. Pompano are fantastic eating! These smaller cousins to the permit are caught in the passes, over the grass flats, and off of the beaches. Small jigs, live shrimp, and sand fleas are the top baits. Often times the fish can be seen “skipping” on the surface as a boat drives over them, giving away their location. They bunch up, once a pompano is hooked, that area should be worked thoroughly.
Pompano are a favorite target of anglers that surf fish the Siesta Key beaches. Mole crabs (better known locally as “sand fleas”) are the best bait and can be caught right in the surf and used immediately or bought frozen at local bait shops. Fresh shrimp are the second choice, followed by small jigs.