A bit like a large silver dollar, the African Pompano is a strange looking fish with a bright silver appearance that shimmers like mirrors underwater. They are a thin-bodied fish that with grey dorsal fins and yellow ventral surfaces. It grows up to about 25 inches in length and can weigh up to 30 pounds. We catch them as deep as 250 feet or as shallow as 30 feet on the reef.
April, May, and November are normally the best times to catch African Pompano, but you can snag them all year since water conditions are very stable here. We use conventional setups and gear, using bait works best. They live alongside Amberjack on the reefs and structures and put-up incredible fights. They are attracted to flashy objects and movement, and oftentimes intercept jigs meant for Snapper or jacks.
Pompano travel in schools and are very fast swimmers. They are bottom feeders and feed mostly on crustaceans like crabs, shrimp, or squid. They are quite strong for their size, and typically dive straight down or turn sideways when you hook and reel them in. We find that slow trolling works best when it’s not too deep. When fishing shallow wrecks, live chumming is extremely effective with spinning tackle. Because they travel in groups its always great to have a pitch rod ready for a two shot.
Pompanos are delicious! They are very expensive and featured in restaurants as a highly regarded as a delicacy due to their wonderful flavor, texture, and fat content. They are a bit awkward to prepare, but the meat they provide is thick, white, and very tasty. Apart from their mild, succulent-taste, Pompano is a good source of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. A fillet of pompano provides 40% of regular protein and is a perfect source of amino acids which are essential for development and growth.