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.

Additional Information

State Record: 8 lb 4 oz, caught near Port St. Joe

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

Image Credit: © Diane Rome Peebles

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