Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Piers, beaches are prime spots for finding pompano

Matson Huff, 13, of St. Petersburg caught this Florida pompano in early March using a Love’s Lure Float-N-Jig with a root beer slugger tail.

RICK FRAZIER | Special to the Times

Matson Huff, 13, of St. Petersburg caught this Florida pompano in early March using a Love’s Lure Float-N-Jig with a root beer slugger tail.

Want to catch pompano? Before you go, it's best to know the difference between pompano and its look-alike cousin, the permit. Permit have extremely long dorsal and anal fins while pompano have much shorter ones. Also, permit show gold or orange colors in the breast area while pompano have yellow coloration in the throat area.

The Florida pompano is one of the most prized of all the inshore species by anglers without boats because they can be caught from bridges, piers, and beaches.

Fort De Soto Park in southern Pinellas County is a pompano mecca. In fact, one of the most popular of all pompano jigs, Doc's Goofy Jigs, was developed at the park's gulf pier. Not only are the park's two piers pompano spots, the 5-plus miles of beach along Mullet Key offer great action, too. Walk the beach north of the gulf pier at low tide until ibis are found probing the area for sand fleas.

The Pass-A-Grille channel jetty pier is another pompano hangout. If you fish there, learn the "Pompano Shuffle." Anglers take turns casting and walking their offering from one side of the jetty to the other. Realistically, with the way the strong current runs there, that is the only way to fish it successfully.

The North Skyway Fishing Pier is another great spot. The late pompano angler extraordinaire, Gonzalo "Rod" Rodriguez, made his mark catching pompano at the third light pole up from the pay booth.

Two bridges also come to mind, but you have to get there early: the Tierra Verde drawbridge that connects it to St. Petersburg and the Bayway drawbridge from St. Petersburg to St. Pete Beach.

Pompano love crustaceans, so for anglers who prefer to use live bait, shrimp and small crabs are best. Use a small No. 1 or 1/0 hook tied to a short piece of 20-pound fluorocarbon leader. Attach just enough weight to keep the offering on the bottom. Savvy pompano chasers use double swivel weights. Egg sinkers that slide up and down will eventually chafe the leader and could cause it to break during battle.

As far as artificials, use small yellow, pink or white jigs. The most popular pompano jig is Doc's Goofy Jig, preferably, the G3. The G3 jig has a hair teaser attached with a split ring. No need to tip this lure with anything; it's effective on its own.

Rick Frazier runs Lucky Dawg Charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 510-4376 or e-mail

Piers, beaches are prime spots for finding pompano 04/02/09 [Last modified: Thursday, April 2, 2009 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. NFL commissioner, players' union angrily denounce Trump comments on national anthem


    SOMERSET, N.J. — The National Football League and its players' union on Saturday angrily denounced President Donald Trump for suggesting that owners fire players who kneel during the national …

    President Donald Trump walks off the stage after he speaks at campaign rally in support of Sen. Luther Strange, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Huntsville, Ala. [Associated Press]
  2. Matt Peca making case for Lightning spot


    Center Matt Peca said he didn't read too much into the fact he was the only Lightning player to appear in each of the first three exhibition games.

    But Peca, 24, loved it.

    Matt Peca won nine of 10 faceoffs Friday, a skill the Lightning badly needs.
  3. Bucs players respond to Trump comments on anthem protests


    President Donald Trump shared his thoughts Friday night on NFL players protesting during the national anthem, suggesting that NFL owners should "fire" players who kneel during the anthem in protest. His remarks are alreading drawing responses from many NFL players, including some Bucs.

    Bucs players Mike Evans and Jameis Winston stand with coach Dirk Koetter during the national anthem in a game played in San Diego last season.
  4. Rays morning after: Wilson Ramos showing glimpses of what's possible in 2018


    The real payoff for the Rays signing C Wilson Ramos last off-season will come in 2018, when he can play a full season fully recovered from right knee surgery.

    Catcher Wilson Ramos connects for a two-run single in the fifth inning against the Cubs on Sept. 20, 2017.
  5. Buccaneers-Vikings Scouting Report: Watching Kyle Rudolph, Adam Thielen and Everson Griffen


    No matter how much film we study, no matter how much data we parse, we just don't know how an NFL season will unfold.

    Four of tight end Kyle Rudolph's seven catches this season have come on third down, including this 15-yard touchdown in the Vikings' opener against the Saints. [Getty Images]