This week the word is pompano, pompano, pompano.
Even with the front and the higher surf the water is pretty clear and clean — unlike a few weeks ago. Up and down the coastline from Volusia to Brevard, the pompano bite has been on fire. Catches of 15 or more a day is not unheard of right now. Unfortunately, the vast majority of them are undersized. The occasional keeper will show up in the mix so you have to persistently fight each hit to strike gold. The bait of choice has been fresh dead shrimp on the lower tide and live sand fleas on the higher tides. Also in the mix are some really nice whiting and Spanish mackerel.
The whiting have come on the same sets of baits for pompano. For the Spanish mackerel, you’re going to want to step up the leader or run a piece of light wire with a 3/0 to 5/0 circle hook with either live pilchard, greenie or small stripes of cut bait. On the artificial side, as the sunrises, top water plugs, jerk baits, and jigs have been a fun way to tackle the surf. Once the sun is high up it is time to break out the silver spoons and work the water.
As most hardcore surf fisherman know, the pompano migration is shadowed by the blacktip migration. First thing before you try to hit the sand to catch you some of these hard fighting, high flying sharks, you must take the free online shark course through myfwc.com. With sharks, you’re dealing with a large fish with lots of power. It can be very dangerous, so if you’re not experienced or don’t have the proper gear to safely land and release them, it’s best not to try them on your own.
As always, tight lines and good luck to everyone out there this week!