Here in Charlotte Harbor, we have pompano at this time of year. Typically they are found in our passes as well as along the sandbars. I don’t get a chance to fish for them in the passes, but I do run into them on the bars. These are not huge fish by any standard, averaging 1.5 to 4 pounds, but they are terrific on a fly rod, one of my favorite quarry. Pompano are lightning fast, powerful, and fight hard and long as the devil. You got to love them, especially on a light fly rod. A 6 or 7-weight is perfect.
Pompano are active when the water is active. In my area, the right conditions occur when wind or tide is pushing waves over the sandbar. Pompano are primarily bottom feeders, and turbulence stirs up the bottom making food more available, prompting the pompano to chow down. I usually find them either along the deep forward edge of the bar, or right on the bar itself. Still occasionally I’ve caught them on the inside edge, where the bar meets the grass beds.
So what flies work? Pompano like orange flies. As well as pink flies; chartreuse is a good choice too. Why those colors? My guess is this: bright flies show up well in rough water, and contrast sharply with the bottom. In other words, pompano find them fast. Beyond color, size matters too. Pompano have small mouths. So keep you flies small. Sizes 2# and 4# are about right. I also recommend you use a weighted fly, one that stays near the bottom. Hey, that’s where pompano are focused. By the way, like most fast growing fish, pompano are aggressive, striking hard and usually hooking themselves in the process. Since their mouths are rubber-like, hooks holds very well. All you have to do is hang on!