What is the best pompano fishing lure?

surf fishing in Florida

What is the Best Pompano Fishing Lure?

This article will highlight the best pompano fishing lure. Pompano are a very popular inshore saltwater species. Anglers prize them for both their strong fight and their incredible fillets. Pompano can be caught on a variety of baits and lures. However, there is one artificial lure that is the best for pompano fishing.

The best pompano fishing lure is a jig. A jig is basically a weighted hook that usually has some type of dressing. Pompano feed right on the bottom, rooting out shrimp, crabs, and other crustaceans. A jig bounced and along a sandy bottom very realistically mimics this fleeing prey. Jigs can be presented right where pompano, feed. This makes them incredibly effective pompano fishing lures.

best pompano fishing lure

A jig is just a natural lure when it comes to pompano fishing. Pompano are often times found in inlets and passes, especially in deeper water. This generally requires a vertical presentation. A jig that is just heavy enough to reach the bottom can be bounced along as the boat drifts with the current. This is an extremely effective pompano fishing technique.

Jigs can also be cast out and retrieved back in. This technique is most often employed on shallower flats and sandbars. Anglers surf fishing do this as well. The same principle applies as the jig is allowed to hit the bottom and is retrieved back in using a series of sharp twitches. Unless grass is present, the best approach is to let the jig hit the bottom and kick up a little puff of sand between each twitch.

jig fishing for pompano

Capt. Jim Klopfer is a professional saltwater fishing guide in Sarasota, Florida. Pompano are one of his favorite species to catch. In this article, he will share his favorite pompano fishing jigs and techniques.

Anglers can read more about “Inshore Saltwater Fishing” in Capt Jim’s E-book.

Pompano jigs

While the standard lead head jig with a soft plastic trailer will catch pompano, anglers specifically targeting these tasty and hard fighting fish will use specialized lures. Pompano have small mouths and the best jigs are small and compact. They also have smaller hooks and the dressing often ends just behind the bend of the hook. This is a bit different from any other saltwater jigs where the tail provides the action. With pompano jigs, it is all about quick and erratic movements.

jig fishing for pompano

The most effective pompano fishing jigs are usually those with contrasting colors. This usually includes white or silver and bright colors such as pink, yellow, red, or chartreuse. Pompano can be fussy, however usually locating them is the most difficult part. It is definitely suggested to have a selection of different sizes, styles, and colors on board for the days when pompano are more selective.

Anglers fishing shallow water and casting jigs out in search of pompano usually opt for ¼ ounce to 1/2 ounce jigs. Jigs of this size are easily cast out with light to medium light spinning tackle, which is the best choice for most anglers when pompano fishing. The same sized jigs will work fine when drifting passes and inlets as well. The best approach when drifting is to use the lightest jig that will reach the bottom. Successful anglers will constantly adjust the weight of the jig to the ever changing current conditions.

pompano fishing in Florida

Jigs are often quite productive on their own. However, some anglers prefer to tip the jig with a tiny pea-sized piece of shrimp. This is especially effective on days where the bite is tough or when the water is stirred up and dirty. A taste of the real thing will help pompano find the jig and hold onto it a bit longer.

Rigging for pompano

As mentioned above, in most applications the best choice when it comes to rod and reel is a light or medium light spinning outfit. A 7 foot rod with a fast action and a limber tip paired with a 2500 to 3000 series reel is a great all round combination. Most saltwater anglers already own and outfit such as this that they use for spotted sea trout and redfish. The reel can be spooled up with 10 pound monofilament or braided fishing line.

Anglers can shop at Amazon for a Daiwa Black Gold reel and St Croix Triumph 7′ MF rod spinning combo in this link.

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Top Sarasota species

Most anglers use some type of leader between the running line and the jig. While pompano do not have teeth, they are often caught around structure. Also, other species that do have teeth or raspy jaws such as bluefish, Spanish mackerel, jacks, and ladyfish are often caught in the same areas where pompano are found. In clear water, a 2 foot section of 20 pound fluorocarbon leader is a good choice. Anglers can bump it up to 30 pound test in stained water or when other species are plentiful.

Styles of pompano jigs

There are several different jig styles which have proven themselves to be very effective pompano fishing lures. The pompano jig, banana jig, and standard jig and grub combination with a short trailer are the most effective lures for these feisty little game fish.

top 8 Sarasota fish species

Best pompano jigs

There are a couple of pompano jigs that Capt. Jim has found particularly effective. His personal favorite is the Bomber Nylure jig. This bait comes with a shiny lead nose that has a conical shape. It is dressed with a nylon skirt that is available and several bright colors. Green and pink are two productive colors.

pompano jig

Click this link to shop Amazon for Bomber Ny-lure jigs

The Sea Striker pompano jig is another very effective pompano jig. It is more of the conventional style with a round head and a short thick skirt along with a fairly small hook. This jig in the smaller sizes is extremely effective in clear water or when pompano are being especially fussy. Tipping it with a tiny piece of shrimp can often make the difference. This little jig will catch just about every species in any pass or inlet.

pompano jig

Click this link to shop Amazon for Sea Striker jigs

Wahoo pompano jigs are similar to the Sea Striker jigs are are equally effective.

Click this link to shop Amazon for Wahoo pompano jigs

The other type of jig that is proven itself to be extremely productive for Capt. Jim and just about every other experienced pompano fisherman is the banana style jig. There are several manufacturers who offer this lure to anglers. It is an odd shape and at first glance does not seem like it would catch fish. However, it has a very erratic action in the water.

pompano jigs

Click this link to shop Amazon for banana pompano jigs

This type of jig is a tad more difficult for some anglers to learn to use. It requires a sharp twitch of the rod tip and a bit of tots to feel the bite. Many of these lures come with a little fly or teaser as an added attract. Many pompano are caught under the chin on this little teaser. Bright colors such as pink and white and yellow and white are the most productive.

The traditional jig and grub combination will certainly catch pompano as well. In fact, many are caught by accident as anglers drift the grass flats in search of spotted sea trout and other species. However, anglers who are specifically targeting pompano will do better by scaling down their offerings. A 1/8 ounce jig head with a small hook in a small soft plastic grub works best. Grub bodies with a flat tail tend to be more effective.

gulp shrimp

Click this link to shop Amazon for Gulp Shrimp

One excellent option when using the jig and grub combination is to use a small scented grub on the jig head. Capt. Jim’s favorite scented soft plastic bait by far is the Gulp Shrimp. The 2 inch version on a small jig head does not cast a long way but is an extremely effective pompano fishing lure. Anglers can bump up to a 1/4 ounce jig head with the 3 inch shrimp. White with a chartreuse tail is a top producer.

In conclusion, this article on the best pompano fishing lure will help anglers catch more of these very hard fighting an incredibly tasty saltwater game fish species!

Jim Klopfer

Capt Jim Klopfer has been a fishing guide in Sarasota, Florida since 1991. He grew up in Maryland, fishing the Chesapeake Bay waters. Capt Jim has been creating an writing articles about fishing for decades, contributing to many regional and national publications. He also lives part time in the North Carolina mountains where he fishes for trout and other species. Capt Jim Klopfer is a wel rounded angler with 50 years fishing experience, and he loves to share what he has learned with other anglers!

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