There are at least 20 types of pompano and most make for good eating as well as good fishing. All of them are somewhat diamond-shaped with second dorsal and anal fins, a blunt face, tiny teeth, a deep body and a deeply forked tail. They’re mostly found in warm and tropical waters. Pompanos are members of the trachinotus genus.

The Basics Florida Pompano

As its name implies, the Florida pompano is found off the coast of Florida and in the western Atlantic though it can be found as far north as Massachusetts. The average Florida pompano weighs about two pounds but can go up to eight pounds. It’s silvery blue-green above and somewhat golden below.

African Pompano

Despite its name, the African pompano is found all over the world. It likes deep water and reefs and can grow to 40 pounds. Its dorsal area is silvery. The silver shades to white and pale green on the body.

HowPompano Feed and What’s Unique

The Florida pompano is a bottom feeding fish that feeds on clams and other small animals that live at the bottom of the sea. It’s prized for its flesh because it has a mild but buttery flavor. Its deep body allows the fillets to be of uniform thickness, which means they’re easy to cook.

Young African pompanos are unique because they have dorsal and anal fins that flow behind them like long filaments when they swim. Because of this, they’re called threadfish.

How We Get Pompano

The Florida Pompano is rather easy to catch as it responds to light tackle and swims in shallow water that’s found around and under bridges, jetties, piers and anchored boats. It can also be caught from the beach. Though it's a little fish, it puts up a fight before it’s landed. The African pompano stays in somewhat deeper waters and is usually captured through trolling.

If the fisherman wants to surfcast for pompano, a 12 foot rod that can handle sinkers that weigh from three to five ounces is good. For trolling or spinning, a six and a half to eight foot medium spinning rod is preferred. The rod should have a six to 12 pound mono line and a 20 pound mono leader. The hook should be from size 2 to 2/0.

Good bait for pompanos include crabs, sand fleas, small clams and jig lures.