Pompanos

Florida Pompano

sketch

Family Carangidae, JACKS and POMPANOS
Trachinotus carolinus


Description: greenish gray on back, shading to silvery sides; fish in dark waters showing gold on throat, pelvic, and anal fins; deep flattened body with small mouth; no scutes; 22 to 27 soft dorsal rays; 20 to 23 soft anal rays; origin of anal fin slightly behind origin of second dorsal.

Similar Fish: permit, T. falcatus, palometa, T. goodei. The permit is deeper bodied; dorsal body profile not strongly angled at insertion of second dorsal fin; pompano rarely grow larger than 6 pounds, permit common to 40 pounds.

Where found: INSHORE and NEARSHORE waters, especially along sandy beaches, along oyster banks, and over grassbeds, often in turbid water; may be found in water as deep as 130 feet. From Port Canaveral, Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach to Melbourne Beach

Size: usually less than 3 pounds.

*Florida Record: 8 lbs, 1 oz.

Remarks: spawns OFFSHORE between March and September; feeds on mollusks and crustaceans, especially sand fleas; local movements are influenced by the tide, and seasonal movements are influenced by temperature.

Permit

sketch

Family Carangidae, JACKS and POMPANOS
Trachinotus falcatus


Description: color gray, dark or iridescent blue above, shading to silvery sides, in dark waters showing golden tints around breast; small permit have teeth on tongue (none on pompano); no scutes; dorsal fin insertion directly above that of the anal fin; 17 to 21 soft anal rays.

Similar Fish: pompano, T. carolinus. The permit is deeper bodied; dorsal body profile forms angle at insertion of second dorsal fin; pompano rarely grow larger than 6 pounds, permit common to 40 pounds.

Where found: OFFSHORE on wrecks and debris, INSHORE on grass flats, sand flats, and in channels; most abundant in south Florida, with smaller specimens from every coastal county. Port Canaveral, Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach to Melbourne Beach and more inland as you head toward South Florida

Size: common to 25 pounds.

*Florida Record: 51 lbs., 8 ozs.

Remarks: feeds mainly on bottom-dwelling crabs, shrimp, small clams, and small fish.