It’s a winter favorite on both Florida Coasts, but the high-strung little fish known as pompano can be profoundly frustrating because they just don’t stay in one place long enough to get a bead on them.
Dedicated pomp chasers driven by visions of firm, delicious filets are on the water or on the beach every day monitoring the movement of local schools, but if you only have a few days each winter, you’re gonna have to find ‘em every time and for that, there’s nothing better than a jig.
Standard leadheads with grub, shad and curl tails will produce, as do bucktails or nylon skirt jigs like the Bomber Saltwater Grade Nylure jig. Always good to keep a variety handy, but one of the most consistent artificials is a keel-weighted bait simply known as the pompano jig and produced by brands such as Doc’s Goofy Jigs and Silly Willy.
Designed to skim along the bottom and kick up puffs of sand like a fleeing crustacean, the pompano jig casts well, even in a strong wind and temps a host of adjacent species such as whiting, sheepshead, black drum, redfish and bluefish.
Some increase the appeal by sweetening the pompano jig with cuts of fresh shrimp, chunks of Berkley Gulp! Shrimp or Fish Bites.
Another option is a small Mylar fly affixed to the eye with a split ring, or on a dropper loop 12-18 inches above the main jig. A little extra flash often attracts the fish’s attention from afar.
Even with such enhancements, there’s no substitute for mobility. Make hundreds of casts, cover lots of water, enjoy an incredible seafood dinner—that’s the basic pompano formula.