The key to presenting pompano candy is in the jig. If you want to put some pompano in the cooler at a nice clip, a powder-coated, pretty colored jig with an illustrated quill is clutch. Commercially, 50% of all pomps landed are on this duo lure setup. The importance of color cannot be over-stated, as pomps primarily feed by sight. That’s why, even with sand fleas for bait, float attractors are used to entice the pompanos’ stream of vision.
Color Selection for Leads and Quills
This concept is incredibly important in color selection for jigging in choosing the right lead and quill. To successfully fish the surf, piers and jetties, an angler must read the water. The color of the water will dictate which color setup will optimize your catch ratio. The clearer, white powdery ocean tells me to use a white/pink combo lead with a pink and white quill. The aqua hazy water requires a chartreuse/white lead with a yellow and/or pink quill. Carry both and throw in some pure white jigs with pink quills and increase the ability to land many species of fish, plus the prize!
Wind Direction and Velocity
Pertaining to the shoreline strategies one must add the wind direction and velocity. Wind direction will determine where you cast. A northerly wind requires a 45 degree cast into the wind. One must maintain proximity to the bottom with 4 – 6″ twitches and a slow retrieve. Upon arrival to the shoreline, break stop a few times and twitch a little harder. It’s very likely that’s when the thud of a grouper may give you an ultimate rush! Ninety percent of the time the pomps hit on the drop, thus when you raise, they’re already hooked. If they miss it, they generally will fight to hit it again. Light winds dictate 3/8, 10 to 15 mph winds require ½ and 20 mph require ¾ ounces.
Jigging in the River
The river is a totally different region due to water color. Whether its tannen or tea-colored water, the experiment becomes more diverse. Clear brown (where you see the bottom) is the pink/white setup. If the visibility is a little suspended, use the chartreuse/white setup. Stressed out water requires the highest visible, most evident color, which is orange! Again, cast into the wind and adjust sizes. On the bridges, shadows and transition are important. Pomps like to run that shady slash shadow border. Understanding the bottom for structure is important as well. For instance, I- 92 relief bridge has pockets of worm rocks, the ultimate feeder for pomps and sheepshead. You will always find the most proficient anglers working certain spots on all bridges up and down the coast. River weight sizes should be ¼, 3/8 and not to exceed ½ ounce.
Action is Key
The true testimonial as to what they really want out of a jig and quill set up is action. Note the photos in this post show really nice silvers hanging from the quills. Split ring setups work but not to the extent that a jig on a 6 – 8″ loop knot with an illustrated teasing quill on a 20 pound test fluorocarbon will! On the down drop, the quill rises — and on the rise, it reconnects. Fish with ultralites with 8 lb. braid and or 10 pound mono. If you’re getting a swale in your line with braid on a windy day, then pull out a spare and fish with mono. Personally, I prefer mono all of the time. I have no patience when the pomps are in a frenzy!
There is much more on pompano jigging than space or time to express my thoughts on the subject. I hope this helps you all. While big winds and surf have knocked us off the beach for a while, it’s a great time to load up and take an inland excursion to score some pompano. Don’t dream the dream, just frigging do the jigging!