Fishing in Pompano Beach

When you are on a quest to fish to the extreme, obviously you want to head for places where the fish like to gather. Pompano Beach, Florida, is a prime gathering spot in North America for many types of fish.


Snook, catfish, bass, tuna, tarpon, shark, flounder, bluegill, crappie, Atlantic croaker, snapper, barracuda, mackerel, dolphinfish, gar, grouper, cobia, bonito, black drum, wahoo, little tunny and, of course, pompano are favorites caught by fishermen every day.

The Gulf Stream Factor

The main reason to fish in Pompano Beach is for the advantage offered by the gulf stream waters. The warm, brackish waters attract an array of fish in numbers seldom seen in other parts of the world. You can easily fish for freshwater catch or a saltwater trophy in the same day.

The gulf stream is a major plus for Florida fisherman. The nature of the gulf stream waters brings a multitude of fish throughout the Florida waters. You can easily fish from a dock, pier, shoreline, beach or boat. Drop a line in any Florida waterway and it's quite likely you will pull up an interesting fish or crustacean.

Drift Fishing

The Pompano locale has a variety of habitats where you can catch your fill of a variety of fish. Knowing how to drift fish gives you access to locales frequented by different types of fish you normally would have to target with a fixed rig. Set up a drift fish rig to troll the bottom or at a variety of depths if you have a float or bobber in your fishing tackle setup.

If you are new to the art of the drift, you might want to start with natural bait on your hook. Natural bait tends to attract nearly every water-dwelling creature, so you seldom go wrong when you go natural. Lures, jigs, artificial flies and other man-made bait often bring fish with good results. Drift fish any time of the year, month or day on lakes, rivers, ponds or streams once you learn how to drift fish.

Drift Fish Basics

Fix live or cut bait to a line suspended beneath a float, bobber or popping cork. If you prefer bottom fish, drift your bait with a weight on your line to keep it down near or at the bottom. Motion determines the difference between drifting to bottom fish and drifting your bait.

Weight your bait to make sure it reaches the bottom if you plan to drift for bottom fish. Drifting your bait under a float, popping cork or bobber suspends your line at various depths. Your bait moves naturally and slowly depending on the motion of the boat.

Fish Off the Shoreline

One of the most important tips for catching fish from the shoreline it to set your rig properly. Use two to three rods spacing your bait from the shore outward when you surf fish with a set rig. The fish you catch are typically less than seven to eight pounds, so no big surf rig should be necessary. Use care when tightening your rig, as you will inevitably catch bigger fish and you do not want the last view of your favorite rod and reel happening as it heads out to sea.

Florida Pompano

Florida Pompano, Atlantic Pompano or Cobblerfish, whatever name you choose to call this fish, they come running to you in schools. With their thin bodies, long dorsal fins and pronounced, forked tail fins, Pompano are smaller members of the Jack family. Usually, any pompano caught weigh up to four pounds and are 18 inches to two feet long. The largest pompano recorded was a bit over eight pounds.

Pompano are scrappy little fish and will give you a fight for your money. They live in the Atlantic and prefer the Gulf waters. You might find them as far north as Massachusetts or clear down to Brazil. Mainly, they prefer the mild water temperatures found in Florida. Many pompano prefer living in shallow water near sandy beaches. They find it easy to catch sand fleas, snails, shrimp and worms that live in that habitat.

Rules of the Catch

Know your bag limits for the fish you catch. For example, if you plan to catch pompano, Florida regulates your catch. Toss back any fish under 11 inches. You may keep one Pompano or Permit caught over the maximum 20-inch length, however, count it toward your bag limit of six pompano per day.

All of your fish should have fins, tails and heads intact until brought ashore. Remember not to catch them by spearing, snatching or gigging. It's not considered sporting or legal to use multiple hooks like a treble hook in conjunction with natural bait with little fish. You can use them on artificial lures.

Maximize Your Chances

To avoid a fish-free day, keep in mind these fish like to feed at or near the bottom of shallow water. As the saying goes, go where the money is. Place your lure and bait near or at the bottom of shallow water or the surf line.

When you need to catch baitfish or smaller fish fast, use the down and dirty method. Set your rig off the pier, jetty or on the surf using a two to three hook bottom rig. Lures laced with sand fleas or a piece of fresh peeled shrimp will bring your yield.

If you have the time, it's a lot of fun casting a jig off the jetties, piers or in the surf. Use your skills to mimic the motion of live bait darting through the water. Jigging for fish is an interactive method for catching fish in a true sportsman's tradition.

Do Florida Tourists Need a License to Fish?

If you plan on visiting Florida, you definitely want to take advantage of the chance to catch a world-class fish. You do need a license to fish as a tourist unless you fish with certain charter boat expeditions. Some exceptions apply so you may want to review this link for the rules, regulations and exemptions. Florida's aquatic terrain is quite diverse. You may fish in freshwater for a largemouth bass and then walk a short distance to cast your rod into saltwater for a flounder.

Because the waters might be fresh, saltwater, or brackish, Florida offers a combination license to cover both freshwater and saltwater catch. If you are age 65 or older, you may not need the license. However, please check the link above to see the exceptions that are too numerous to list. Children who are age 16 or younger fall in the same category. If you help a fisherman in any way, Florida requires you to purchase a license. Carry your license information with you at all times.

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