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5 - 8 pounds
17" - 24"
A Gafftopsail Pompano is an inshore first known for its diamond-shaped, compressed body. It is mostly silver in color with four to six bars on its sides, ranging from yellowish to brownish shade. Its snout is extendable and pointed, and its caudal fin is slender with a ‘V’ shape. Its body is covered with scales, and its lateral line appears to be slightly arched over its pectoral fins.
The Gafftopsail Pompano is often mistaken as the Palometa (Trachnotus goodei). Its distinguishing factor is its body and fins; its body is rounder, and its fins are lighter.
The Gafftopsail Pompano feeds on small invertebrates like benthic worms and gastropods, crustaceans like shrimp and crabs, and smaller, bony fishes. A Gafftopsail Pompano is usually 9.8 inches in length but can grow up to 24 inches.
A Gafftopsail Pompano is one sought-after fish species because it’s an excellent game fish with fantastic speed and will put up a great fight. Other anglers compare it to a Crevalle Jack’s pull considering their size difference.
You can still fish and catch a Pompano with a light surf spinning or light bait baitcasting tackle. Something that weighs around 6 – 8 pounds is good enough. For fly fishing, you can use flies that sink well. Those Bonefish-type with lead eyes and epoxy heads would do just nicely.
You can also try drift fishing by chartering a boat for offshore fishing the entire day and let it take you to nearby wrecks or reefs. You can use smaller live baits such as small sand crabs, fiddler crabs, or live shrimps. You can also use dead clams and squid cuts. Artificial jigs are also good options, especially quarter or half-ounce jigs with short nylon skirts.
It is essential to know the water temperature before fishing Pompano because they quickly swim off to waters with a better temperature, especially between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. In Florida, they are abundant between April and May and again during November and December.
The Gafftopsail Pompano is mostly found and is abundant in Mexican waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It prefers clear, tropical waters with temperatures between 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
This fish species is both pelagic and demersal but is often found inshore around reefs and sandy bottoms or around rocky offshore islets. They frequent waters with depths up to 100 feet.