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Discussion Starter #1
The biggest Pompano I have ever caught was 17.5 inches long. I enter the Gulf Breeze bait and tackle Pompano tournament every year. It runs from March through May. There are some anglers that pull in the biggest fish consistently. For example the top fish this year (6.36 pounds) was caught by the same man who catches over 5lb Pompano every year. I seem to think the secret is simply fishing more to increase your chances at catching more fish and bigger fish. However, that may not be the case......What does the forum think?
 

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Bearded Brotula
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I've caught my biggest ones during the summer. I catch table fare ones during the spring, but then again, I probably fish more during the summer.
 

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4.7lb largest I have caught. I been pompano Fishing roughly for 10 years now. I have great luck at the very beginning of the season and on the end when you see small males follow this large females in pairs of 2-3. I would suggest site casting off a Pier or maybe a ladder somewhere secluded. Good luck .
 

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I think that it's a matter of being lucky enough to have your bait in front of a big fish......and just as important.... is being able to land a big one. Big pompano seem to have a special skill at shaking the hook out on the way in, especially in that last wave. I believe that most of us that pompano fish regularly , hook at least a couple of big girls a season. Now getting lucky enough to get it passed the wave monster and all the way to dry sand is another story. But here are a couple of things that I think can make a difference.
1 - Time spent fishing
2 - Quality bait
3 - Change out your leaders more often. They will find
the weak spot that the little ones don't.
4 - Learning how to play the pompano through that last
wave to the sand .
5 - Fluorocarbon
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Great tips! I have used the same leader multiple times, and I do not use fluorocarbon as leader! So based on your expertise, I can make a few changes and increase my odds!!!!! Thank you PK
 

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I think that it's a matter of being lucky enough to have your bait in front of a big fish......and just as important.... is being able to land a big one. Big pompano seem to have a special skill at shaking the hook out on the way in, especially in that last wave. I believe that most of us that pompano fish regularly , hook at least a couple of big girls a season. Now getting lucky enough to get it passed the wave monster and all the way to dry sand is another story. But here are a couple of things that I think can make a difference.
1 - Time spent fishing
2 - Quality bait
3 - Change out your leaders more often. They will find
the weak spot that the little ones don't.
4 - Learning how to play the pompano through that last
wave to the sand .
5 - Fluorocarbon


:notworthy:

PK knows Pompano stuff that matters !
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I got excited yesterday because I caught 2 smaller pompano, then BAM, my rod almost crashed in the water. I saw how big it was in the cloudy water and thought it huge Pompano, then the fish flashed me a black spot her tail, and I was a little let down!
 

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Great tips! I have used the same leader multiple times, and I do not use fluorocarbon as leader! So based on your expertise, I can make a few changes and increase my odds!!!!! Thank you PK
I use the same leader repeatedly as well ....but I've learned the hard way at not replacing it after a bluefish or ladyfish scuff it up . It's too easy to talk yourself out of changing it. If after you take a bluefish off or untwist a catfish tangle, you notice a roughed up spot but convince yourself that it should be fine...you've just stacked the odds with the big pomp ! Where it would probably catch many more average pompano.
I hooked 4 big tournament grade pompano this spring and I only managed to put 1 of them on the beach . I believe that out of the four, I managed to catch the smallest of the 4. One of the other 3 just came un-pinned somehow a good ways from the beach , the other 2 managed to get off mere feet from the shore in the last wave break....aka "wave monster ". Those big pomps really turn on the heat at the end. This is where it is easy to choke and rush it and lose it. You want to try to slide the fish in an easy fluid motion....but they make this difficult by hugging that last wave like a surfer in the tube. Don't let them tumble ! If you can prevent the tumble and stay line tight....you win.
 

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Another thing that I have seen work but don't do. I have a friend that commercial fishes for pompano and he only uses one drop leaders and sandfleas. No two drops, no shrimp, and no fishbites ! We fished next to one another 6 or 7 times this year and each time both of us caught plenty of pompano...but he caught the biggest. Everyday ! I personally saw him catch several over 4lbs. and one that weighed 5.6 lbs. Now I've seen this, but I can't make myself give up the double drops or fishbites. Oh yeah I forgot this but he doesn't even use a bead above the hook. I thought I would share this with you, even though I don't practice it.
 

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Squid technician
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There's a lot of great info above and I'll echo what was suggested in above post in regards to sight casting. That is pretty much the only way you can pick and choose on Pomps. My top three Pomps were all taken sight casting with jigs. If you bait-n-wait, you are at the whim of whatever bites.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
This is exactly the advice I am looking for! If you google secrets to catching big pompano nothing comes up.....maybe it’s a secret no one wants to share. I own enough 12 foot rods and reels to change it up and experiment with your recommendations! I too don’t want to give up what has worked well for me this year for quantity of pompano but I want to try things different for the bigger pompano. I am hunting the >20 incher! So i’ll Rig a few and see what happens this weekend!
 
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