Pompano Fishing in Tampa Bay


In the summer time here in Tampa the water is high and the heat is unbearable after 10am. One of my favorite things to do this time of year is do some pompano fishing in the Tampa bridges.  No long runs and you can hide from the heat under the bridges. Besides, if successful you end up taking home a few tasty pompano, in my opinion one of the top eating fish that can be found in the bay.

I got my normally blue water fishing friend Jay to go bridge fish for a few hours.  With no tidal flow in the am the bridge bite was very slow. We decided to kill some time and did some flats fishing. There we caught small red fish but it was enough time for the water to start moving out.

Back at the bridges we started to catch some grunts, pinfish and a trout. Not exactly what we were after but the bite was good. We figured it would be only a matter of  time before we found the pompano. I was hope this was so since the temperature was already in the 90’s and climbing.

We found them concentrated in a  4 piling area and land 5 in the course of an hour. At this point the bite died  with every little action. We started the motor to relocate and to get some natural air conditioning going. The next location didn’t take us long to double hook up to some large black drum, yes on the pompano jigs. After a short fight we snap some shots and let them go. The pompano however was not so lucky and came home for dinner.

By noon it was hovering at 95 degrees with zero wind. We packed it in and called it a good day of no stress fishing.

Instrumental in this type of fishing:

Medium light to medium action 6 to 7′ rod. 7’6″ will work but will be less accurate.

15-20 test braided line for sensitivity and strength. I’ve been testing the Kanzen line by Seaguar . Excellent line so far.. strong, cast well, no coating to screw up things.

Leader 30-50lb test… since it’s dirty water a light leader is not necessary.  You can use flourocarbon for strength but it’s not necessary.

A good trolling motor to hover in the tide. I’m using the Rhodan 3D gps trolling motor. This allows me to anchor, take photos, as well re rig or fight fish with no worries.

A good strong pompano jig with a pink teaser. I’m using the Luv Lure version(skyway pier has them) but Silly Willy makes them as well as Doc’s goofy jigs.