Thursday, October 30, 2014
Most anglers think of surf-fishing when pompano comes to mind. However, these fish often come inshore to the estuaries and lagoons, giving you many options when it comes to your tackle for targeting these top-ranked fish. Here, we will review the different lines and leaders for targeting pompano.
Fishing Lines for Pompano Fishing
The importance of fishing line will depend on the area being fished. On the beach, pompano are closest to shore during windy, turbid days, where the energy of the water washes out their favorite food – crabs. On a moderate day, 12-pound test line will do, while days with stronger surf will require heavier gear up to 20-pound test, because of the large sinkers required to hold the bait stable.
Inshore, they will typically travel through the channels searching for shrimp, crabs, and small fish. While inshore, use lighter gear – around 6-to-10 pound test.
Monofilament Line for Pompano Fishing
Monofilament is good for both inshore and on the beaches. Inshore, a light test line is perfect for small ¼-ounce pompano jigs in the sea-grass and channels. On the beaches, a bit heavier line is required, and it will resist abrasion from the sand better than braided line, and the extra stretch will actually allow the sinker to stay in place better than braided and fluorocarbon lines.
Using Fluorocarbon for Pompano Fishing
Clear, abrasion-resistant, and strong, fluorocarbon is an excellent line for pompano fishing in both surf and inshore conditions. If a full fluorocarbon spool is not possible, go for the fluorocarbon leader for hook attachments.
Braided line for Pompano Fishing
Braided line is excellent for inshore pompano fishing, but arguably not as great for surf fishing on the beaches. Since the diameter is several-fold smaller on a braided line than monofilament or fluorocarbon of the same pound-test, the smaller line allows for farther casts and stronger hook-sets into a pompano’s rubbery mouth. On the beaches however, it doesn’t seem to stand long uses against the abrasive sand and rock.
Flyline and Leader
Pompano generally feed on the bottom, so a sinking line is preferred for targeting this fish on the fly. Use a 10-to-15 pound test fluorocarbon line, since fluorocarbon line sinks better than monofilament. The leader should also be made of fluorocarbon for the same reason, but a bit heavier – a 20-to-25 pound test tippet. Using a shorter leader will also lead to a faster sinking rate, so you can be sure your fly gets to the fish.
Pre-Made Pompano Rigs
In every bait and tackle shop near the beaches you will find the dependable pompano rig – a pre-made leader with two or three small gold hooks attached, with bright red “teasers” that are thought to attract pompano to your bait. To save time, these rigs are a great thing to have in your tackle box for a quick setup.
Final Notes about Pompano Lines and Leaders
Since surf conditions vary daily and the fish may travel between coastal beaches and inshore estuaries, there is no one way to line your reel for catching pompano. Each situation is different, and offers new challenges for catching this awesome fish.
If you want one rod and reel set up to do the whole thing, a medium spinning reel with monofilament line and fluorocarbon leader is recommended for just about any situation.
story courtesy of theonlinefisherman.com
Fall weather has arrived bringing cooler temperatures and less chance of rain. Water temperatures have been dropping with the cooler nights and fishing continues to be productive on the water. The water clarity has been improving now that the rains have slowed down. We are seeing lots of clear water around the area. Fall is a fun time to enjoy the fishing on the Treasure Coast. With winter approaching, the fish are hungry to eat as much as possible.Trout continue to be in two to four feet of water on the grass flats. DOA shrimp works best lately for us. Live shrimp will also get you some fish. Redfish are hanging around the inlet and under the mangroves. Most are slot size and give a good fight. Snook are being caught around the jetties and bridges on live bait, feather jigs and DOA Bait Busters. There have been an abundance of jacks, ladyfish and mackerel around the river. They are feeding on the glass minnows and provide fun for everyone. It's been a fun week on the water.
As water temperatures continue to drop, remember to slow down your lures. Fish will become lethargic and not willing to move as much with the cooler water. Right now is a great time to try a top water lure in the early morning or late evening. During the day, switch to slow sinking lures and DOA shrimp or CAL shad tails. I love this time of year. Have fun and get out fishing soon!
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Rods and Reels for Pompano
Since pompano fishing varies greatly from the beaches to the inshore estuaries, there are many options available for each situation. Although some rods serve pretty much one purpose – such as a 13-foot surf rod – many rods can be quite versatile and used in many areas.
A Spinning Rod and Reel for Pompano Fishing
A spinning rod-and-reel combination is the most versatile option. Given the surf conditions are not too rough, a medium-action rod matched with a medium reel holding 8-to-12 pound test line is appropriate for either live baiting or jigging the beaches from shore. When surf conditions get rough, or the fish are just way out there, a larger fast-action surf rod with heavier line is required.Inshore however, a medium to light reel, holding anywhere from 14-down-to-6 pound test, paired with a fast action rod will give you farther casts, and more sensitivity.
The “Perfect” Spinning Rod and Reel for Pompano:
A 7-foot spinning rod with extra-fast action.A fast action rod will not only allow you to cast farther, but will also allow for a more powerful hook set – an important factor, giving the pompano’s tough, rubbery mouth.
A Spinning reel with a low or medium gear ratio.A lower gear ratio gives you more power for reeling in pompano, a fast and powerful fish.
A medium spinning reel with 6-to-14 lb. monofilament or fluorocarbon line.The size of the line here depends on the day and area fished. In general, a lighter line setup can be used inshore and on calmer beach days, while a heavier setup is required for rough surf.
Using Bait-casting Rods and Reels for Pompano
Many avid surf fishermen prefer to use a large bait-casting rod and reel combination in the surf, as they allow farther casts when the fish are just too far to reach with a standard spinning setup.The Perfect Bait-casting Rod for Pompano Fishing the surf would be:
An 8-to-10-foot casting rod with a fast action.Fast action rods allow you to cast farther by giving that extra whip at the end of the cast. Coupled with a bait-casting reel, several hundred feet of casting distance will be a breeze.
A Conventional Reel with 12-to-14 lb. monofilament of fluorocarbon line.Using as light a line as possible for your reel will give you greater casting distance, and will be less visible to the fish, too.
Fly-rods for Pompano Fishing
Fly-fishing for Pompano is exhilarating. Most commonly done inshore, it can also be done in calmer surf conditions, particular on the Gulf Coast of Florida.
To pick the perfect fly-rod for pompano fishing, consider the following:
- Fly-rods come in different sizes, called “weights.” An 8-or-9 weight fly rod is required to cast the large, sinking flies required for catching pompano.
- A stiff, fast action rod will allow you to cast farther, and have more powerful hook sets. Remember that pompano have tough, rubbery mouths, and need to be hook-set properly.
A General Comment about Pompano Tackle
Depending on your preference, either a medium spinning or bait-casting reel will work for both inshore and surf fishing situations, if the appropriate conditions are met. Pompano don’t seem to be necessarily leader shy, but you should always lean towards the lightest line possible to get farther casts and greater sensitivity.For fly-fishing, use a heavier fly-rod than you would think a 1-to-3 pound fish would need, since you will be needing the heavier rod to cast the sinking line and flies that are necessary for pompano fishing.
"Heavy Head, Stout Hook"
Snook fishing with large soft plastic swimbaits often calls for a deeper presentation in swift currents. Using a heavy jig head is often the best way to present these baits slowly along the bottom. Be sure to pick a jig head that has a quality hook that won't bend under serious pressure! The DDX Lures Rocket Jighead pictured is an excellent choice for a heavy jig head with s quality hook.