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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Pompano

Marine Fisheries

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Pompano

Florida Pompano

Trachinotus carolinus

AKA: pompano

Description: A Florida pompano has a deep,laterally compressed body with a short, blunt snout. It has six small spines in front of the dorsal fin and two spines in front of the anal fin. In the water, the pompano appears to have a golden belly and fins with whitish-platinum sides. When removed from the water, the pompano turns dark greenish-blue on top and silverywhite
on the bottom.

Size: Florida pompano are usually smaller than 3 pounds. Citations are given for fish weighing 2 pounds or more.

Sometimes confused with: permit, jack crevalle

Habitat: Florida pompano are abundant in high salinity, nearshore and inshore waters, especially along sandy beaches, oyster banks and grass beds.

Eating habits: Adult pompano feed on small surf clams, amphipods, crabs, shrimp and mussels.

Life cycle: Florida pompano reach sexual maturity at around age 1 and spawn offshore between March and September. Young fish grow rapidly, reaching a length of 8 inches by the end of the first year of life.

Fishing tips: Anglers catch Florida pompano by bottom fishing with natural baits, such as sand fleas, cut bait, fiddler crabs and shrimp. They are most often caught in the surf just behind the breakers. Pompano are often taken just inside the surf zone in shallow water with soft-shelled sand fleas.

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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