Florida Pompano: Trachinotus carolinus


  • 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


Florida pompano are common in inshore and nearshore waters, especially along sandy beaches, along oyster banks, and over grassbeds.  They are often in turbid water and may be found in water as deep as 130 feet.


These fish spawn offshore between March and September.  Florida pampano feed on mollusks and crustaceans, especially sand fleas.  Local movements are influenced by the tide, and seasonal movements are influenced by temperature.

State Record:

8 lb 4 oz, caught near Port St. Joe

Fishing Tips and Facts:

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

Additional Information:

Image Credit: © Diane Rome Peebles

FWC Facts:
Although black bears in western states may have several color phases, all black bears in the eastern United States, including Florida black bears, are black.

Learn More at AskFWC