What's hot: Pompano have invaded Tampa Bay in good numbers and size, making for fun light-tackle action and some exceptional dinners for local anglers. Alternative places to find pompano are passes and channels, but a majority of the fish are under the big bridges inside Tampa Bay.
Tackle: Despite being "light-tackle fun," it is better to go with medium outfits. Some days, you will encounter oversized black drum. Both species will eat a variety of offerings, but pompano jigs are all you need. Combination jigs and teasers are very effective. The jig is the weight. (I like bright yellow or chartreuse.) And the fly "teaser" is the bait. Most of the fish will eat the fly teaser. (I prefer pink or white.)
Techniques: To catch these fish, get the lures under the structure. Let it sink to the bottom then move it where it has a hopping action but remains down by the bottom. When you lift the rod tip and feel a fish, keep the rod tip up and begin the battle. You will lose some tackle to big black drum but should be able to pull the pompano away from the pilings. Pompano must be a minimum of 11 inches, and each angler is allowed to posses six.
Neil Taylor charters kayak fishing trips in the Tampa Bay area and can be reached at strikethreekayakfishing.com and (727) 692-6345.