Florida Pompano

The Florida pompano (Trachinotus carolinus) is a species of marine fish in the Trachinotus (pompano) genus of the Carangidae family. It has a compressed body and short snout; coloration varies from blue-greenish silver on the dorsal areas and silver to yellow on the body and fins. It can be found along the western coast of the Atlantic Ocean, depending on the season, and is popular for both sport and commercial fishing. Most Florida pompano caught weigh less than 3 lb (1.4 kg) and are less than 17 in (43 cm) long, though the largest individuals weigh 8–9 lb (3.6–4.1 kg) and reach lengths up to 26 in (66 cm).

It has a deeply forked tail and is blue-greenish silver with yellow on the throat, belly, and pelvic and anal fins. The first dorsal fins are low, with about six separate spines. The first spine may be reabsorbed in a larger fish. The second lobes on the dorsal and anal fins have a lower anterior.There are 20-24 anal fin rays. It is a compressed fish with a deep body and a blunt snout.

The adult Florida pompano is typically found in more saline areas and relatively warm waters (70-89°F), so it migrates northward in the summer, and toward the south in the fall. Despite its name, the range of the Florida pompano extends from Massachusetts to Brazil, but it is more common in areas near Florida. During the summer, it can be found near Sebastian, Cape Hatteras, and the Gulf of Mexico. It is more common near oil rigs, Palm Beach, and Hobe Sound during the winter. It can also be found near the Virgin Islands year round.

Its habitat is surf flats, and it tends to stay away from clear water regions, such as the Bahamas. Pompanos are very fast swimmers and live in schools. They are bottom feeders. They have very short teeth and feed on zoobenthos and small clams.

Florida pompano are commercially fished in all states on the East Coast from Virginia to Texas, with Florida producing over 90% of the annual harvest. Harvesting occurs mostly along Florida's western coast, with some harvesting on the eastern coast and in the Banana and Indian Rivers. Between 1994 and 2006, it commanded dockside prices of more than $3 per pound of whole fish weight.

Individually, Florida pompano are caught on light jigs and popping corks. They are very active on the line, testing light tackle beyond what their weight would suggest. They bite near oil rigs in the winter.

Species Information

Scientific Name:Trachinotus Carolinus
Environment:Inshore, Nearshore, Surf
Ideal Temp:70-89ºF (21-31ºC)
Technique:Bottom Fishing, Jigging
Lure Type:Bottom Rig, Jigs
World Record:3.76 kg (8 lb 4 oz) Port St. Joe Bay, Florida, USA
Other Names:pompano, florida pompano

Latest Florida Pompano Fishing Reports and Spots

Destin Cobia and King Fishing heating up! - 3/28/2015 7:37:12 AM

3/28/15 Destin Fishing Report Fishing in Destin Florida is heating up! King Mackerel have started showing up and there are Cobia being caught o (View)

January 2021 Fishing Report - 2/1/2021 10:56:27 AM

Inshore- Fishing inshore this week has been excellent for sheepshead black drum snook pompano jack crevelle & snapper. Shrimp on the bottom will (View)

A-SUMP - 1/28/2021 4:49:09 PM

A-SUMP (21411) is a gas/oil platform built by Cox Operating, L.L.C. and installed on 06/09/2011. A-SUMP is considered a minor platform that stan (View)

Well No. 1 - 1/28/2021 4:16:48 PM

Well No. 1 (2669) is a gas/oil platform built by Cantium, LLC. Well No. 1 is considered a minor platform that stands in 51 feet of water and may (View)

December 2020 - 1/28/2021 4:01:13 AM

November was a cool windy month pushing some migratory fish down the coast such as Spanish Mackerel bluefish and pompano. This can be a fun fis (View)

1-27-21 - 1/27/2021 3:16:04 PM

Good morning everyone. The calmer conditions of the weekend led to some banner Spanish Mackerel fishing both from shore and nearshore. Bluefish (View)

1-20-21 - 1/1/2020 11:41:09 PM

Good morning everyone. The surf has provided Bluefish and some Spanish Mackerel to those throwing artificials particularly at the south jetty i (View)

January Fishing Forecast - 1/19/2021 6:01:07 PM

January Fishing Forecast Hard to believe that another year has arrived! Happy New Year! January should provide anglers with lots of exciting act (View)

1-6-21 - 1/6/2021 8:31:07 AM

Good morning everyone. The cold is definitely here helping some fisheries. In the surf Bluefish have been consistently taking spoons and jigs w (View)

12-23-20 - 12/23/2020 4:01:09 PM

Merry Christmas everyone hopefully you have a great holiday with family and loved ones. Spanish Mackerel have been plentiful near shore taking (View)