WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2024   |   SUBSCRIBE    ARCHIVES   
Anglers set a combined 73 new state records and 666 waterbody records during the calendar year.
Fishing in cold conditions across the Walleye Belt led top guide Jason Mitchell to NORSK Lithium’s heated batteries designed around the company’s proprietary Thermal Core Heating Technology™.
Suzuki Marine USA has unveiled its new Stealth Line™ of outboards for 2024, designed to provide boaters and anglers with a bold yet “stealthy” look that sets any boat apart from the crowd.
The recreational harvest of snook in the Panhandle, Big Bend, Tampa Bay, Sarasota Bay, Charlotte Harbor and Southwest management regions will open March 1, and remain open through April 30.
Co-hosted by Duckett Fishing GM Chris Russell and renowned angler and CEO Boyd Duckett, the podcast promises to be an exciting platform for tournament anglers and fans, providing insights into the industry, discussions on hot topics, and exclusive interviews with key figures.
Informa Markets’ South Florida Ventures has acquired the Newport International Boat Show (NIBS) from the Newport Restaurant Group, adding the show to its growing portfolio of boating and yachting events.
Join an adventurous family as they head out into one of America’s National Forests for an angling trip where they connect with nature and an abundance of wildlife
Z-Man experts say miniature versions of the same soft plastics that work for bass are also deadly on panfish--here's how to use them.
Passionate anglers, recreation leaders, fishing club members, classroom teachers, community center staff and civic leaders are encouraged to attend one of eight training workshops provided statewide in March.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking public comments on a draft environmental assessment for a proposal to restore westslope cutthroat trout in Dutchman Creek, a tributary to Prickly Pear Creek in the Elkhorn Mountains near Jefferson City.
The all-new Epic Baits Shakey Head features a cutting-edge, patent-pending design that opens up the throat more than traditional wide-gap hooks, providing more room for error and increasing the chance of a successful hookset.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife will release 85,000 rainbow trout across the state beginning Wednesday, March 13.
NOAA Fisheries is seeking comments on proposed 2024 and 2025 summer flounder and scup and 2024 black sea bass recreational fishery management measures.
Until the introduction of the Whitewater Fishing brand a couple years ago, most fishing outerwear felt boxy and lacked the fabric combinations that provide everything today’s athletic angler demands: supreme fit, articulation, waterproofing, warmth, moisture wicking, breathability, durability, wind and sun protection, and especially, mobility.
Hosted across six locations, the 2024 Miami Boat Show set new benchmarks for marine advancements. From February 14-18, attendees browsed and shopped over 1,000 boats, marine products and the latest innovations.
There’s no depth during the spring crappie migration that Tungsten Crappie King Jigs haven’t caught fish—at least according to the following panfish experts…
The quintet of Fred Arbogast, Mike McKinnis, Skeet Reese, Alfred Williams and Mark Zona were selected in balloting conducted by the Hall of Fame’s 30-member Selection Panel and living Hall of Fame inductees.
Those who would nix your right to fish in an instant are active and organized – recreational anglers need to be equally vigilant.
NOAA Law Enforcement is offering a reward of up to $20,000 for information on the death of an endangered smalltooth sawfish near Key West, Fla.
It's always fun to introduce someone to fishing and the "take a kid fishing" mantra has been stated for years, but the important part is to make the experience enjoyable and catch fish.
March 1 marks the annual opening of catch-and-keep trout fishing in Missouri at the state’s four trout parks: Bennett Spring State Park near Lebanon, Montauk State Park near Licking, Roaring River State Park near Cassville, and Maramec Spring Park near St. James.
The LEXA HD 500’s upsized spool provides the capacity needed for long casts and even longer runs by powerful fish up to 200 pounds, according to Daiwa.
Often referred to as “pulses,” these flows are unleashed in massive waves, spiking estuaries with freshwater, exacerbating red tides and toxic blue-green algae, and producing a cascade of impacts to the environment, fish and wildlife, coastal communities, and a state economy that runs on clean water.
From providing spawning and feeding areas for fish to increasing angler success, CDFW says there are lots of reasons to build habitat in their lakes.
These adult bass are three years old and carry ‘big bass’ Florida Largemouth Bass genes. The majority of these fish were 14-16 inches in length, included both males and females, and weighed 1.5- 2.5 pounds.
After countless prototypes and months of testing, Rapala is introducing the first lure in the new PXR family, the Mavrik™ 110 jerkbait.
The Oversea system consists of a wireless battery-powered hub, a full family of wireless battery- powered sensors and an easy-to-use app. Double AA batteries a year or more, per the company.
The lakes have produced remarkable numbers of giant bass in recent years, and FWC wants to keep them growing ever larger by protective harvest rules.
The Frog Factory comes out of the gate offering existing, proven products in the Boom Boom Frog and the Ribbit with a focus on upcoming innovation and development.
Three men owe thousands in fines and one served jail time after a felony conviction for poaching five oversized sturgeon fish, including one giant white sturgeon, in Oregon's Scappoose Bay in 2022.
Both vintage and antique fishing tackle will be shown from some of the largest and most complete collections at World Golf Village this weekend.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ (ADCNR) Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) Division manages 23 PFLs in 20 counties throughout the state in those areas where easy access doesn’t exist to the numerous larger lakes, rivers and reservoirs.
 

A big part of pompano fishing is enjoying sunrises and sunsets on the beaches of the Southeast. (Frank Sargeant)

By Frank Sargeant
Frankmako1@gmail.com

A lot of us who chase pompano don’t really care if we catch them.

Pompano are primarily fish of the beaches from Texas to the Carolinas, and as spring warms the nearshore waters, they swarm along the near-shore sandbar looking for mole crabs, shrimp and anything else they can eat. If you happen to have a bait or lure in front of them when they come rushing past, they’ll eat that too.

But the big attraction of pompano fishing, I suspect, is that it’s an excuse to spend time on some of our most beautiful beaches, to watch sunrises and sunsets and the ever changing moods of the surf and colors of the water.

Be that as it may, pompano start showing up in the surf when the water temperature gets to about 65. It’s about 64 at St. Pete Beach, half way down the Florida peninsula, as this is written, though closer to 60 in the prime pompano habitat from Panama City west to Dauphin Island, Alabama.

On the Atlantic shore, there’s an even more significant temperature break—water is already in the 70’s at aptly-named Pompano Beach, Florida, while at Cocoa Beach, about 170 miles north, it’s 61. At Hilton Head, S.C., it’s currently in the mid-50’s—a long time from pompano weather.

Finding the right temperature is the first part of the equation. While you might catch an occasional stray in water that’s colder than the preferred range, it’s usually not worth going after them until the warm-up arrives.

Serious pompano anglers carry their essentials in a beach cart and make a comfortable nest for themselves to wait for the action. (Frank Sargeant)

How to Get ‘Em
Pompano are almost constantly on the move, which means you can sit in one spot and let them come to you if you choose.

Bait fishermen prefer peeled shrimp tails or fresh-caught mole crabs—the latter can be caught on the beach with a sifting basket. They’re fished on pompano rigs, which include small colored floats to suspend the baits up slightly off bottom while a heavy lead, 3 to 6 ounces, holds things in place. Most anglers use size 2/0 Kahle style hooks, which pretty much set themselves when a pomp grabs the bait and takes off. Most beach anglers use 12’ to 14’ spinning rods to give them the needed casting distance and keep their line up off the surf.

If you can’t stand to sit still, you’re better off fishing a jig like Doc’s Goofy Jig or any sort of small ¼ to ½ ounce bucktail, usually in yellow or pink. A small strip of Fish Bites clam flavored bait seems to increase the bites. An advantage of fishing artificials is you can keep moving, hitting a number of likely spots over several miles of beach, which gives you a better chance of finding a hot feeding area.

Either way, the fish typically run in either the first trough off the beach, on high water, or the second trough, on lower water, particularly where runouts or “rips” run perpendicular to the beach. This moving water carries bait to the fish, so they hang around these flows regularly.

Pompano are not huge, but they fight hard and are delicious on the table. (Frank Sargeant)

Pompano on the Table
Pompano are great eating, and one of the best ways to cook them is the simplest. Gut the fish but leave it whole, score the skin about every inch diagonally and then brush with butter and thyme. Fill the body cavity with crab meat stuffing if you like. Grill under a hot broiler until the skin starts to curl and turn brown and the meat will be done. It lifts away from the skeleton easily—delicious.

 
Water World Wire - 2271 N Upton St., Arlington, VA 22207
Copyright © 2023, OWDN, All Rights Reserved.