Thursday, January 18, 2018
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: It's a hot time to target pompano

In the heat of summer, the shift in targets goes from the shallow-water species to what lives in the deep. Pompano are a great option for the next three months. Great for action, they are the tastiest fish in the Gulf of Mexico. Pompano are a medium- to light-outfit target. I use medium spinning rods and reels with 15-pound braid with a 20-pound fluorocarbon leader. There are various choices in lures, but I rely on a yellow jig with a pink teaser. My teasers have "flash" built into them. Ninety percent of the fish will be caught on the teaser hook. The jig is the weight to get the combination down to the fish; the teaser fly is the flashy attractor that they like to eat. Search for pompano at gulf passes and the major bridges inside Tampa Bay. Fishing the bridges, sink your lure right next to the cement structures. Regardless of location, make sure your lure is in contact with the bottom. With every jigging motion the lure should go back down and hit the bottom. The hook will set on its own with the jigging motion. Set the drag light to allow the fish to take some line. Minimum length requirement: 11 inches to the fork. Daily bag limit: six fish.

Neil Taylor charters kayak fishing trips in the Tampa Bay area and can be reached at strikethreekayakfishing.com and (727) 692-6345.

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