Pompano season has arrived on Alabama's beaches.
Now that the Alabama Gulf Coast has weathered one of the coldest winters in years, the arrival of warm weather also means one of the prized fish species in the coastal waters becomes much more abundant.
One of the best surf fishermen I know, David Thornton, prefers to use several rods to pinpoint different areas of the surf, and he varies his tackle and line sizes as well. For the long casts, he uses a 10-foot rod with a reel spooled with 15-pound test line. He also believes that light tackle and light line, as low as 4-pound-test, can improve your chances of hooking a fish. If you’re not a very experienced angler, it’s probably best to stick with 8-to-10-pound test line to keep from losing fish.
Grab some sand spikes at the tackle shop and stick your rod in the holder and relax. If you don’t like to sit back, you can always cast a bucktail jig made especially for pompano with a heavy head from ½-ounce to ¾-ounce and a short skirt in vibrant colors. Just cast it out and hop it, let it rest and hop it. Forget about any minnow-imitations baits. Pompano feed on crustaceans and the fish-type baits won’t work.
The Alabama creel limit is three fish per day with a minimum length of 12 inches total length. An Alabama saltwater fishing license is also required.
Plan a trip to Alabama’s beautiful Gulf Coast soon and enjoy great fishing in the surf during the warm weather.
Matthew Isbell, aka the Bama Beach Bum, is a pro at catching pompano. Here are his top five tips for how you can reel 'em in on Alabama's beaches.