The nice weather we’ve had this week makes it feel like spring is a lot closer than it really is, but as anglers we might as well take advantage of it and what better way than hitting the beach in search of pompano.

Pompano are primarily caught in the surf off the beach in the Gulf of Mexico. They are one of very few species where it’s actually better to fish for them from shore than out of a boat.

It’s very relaxing and also pretty simple, you don’t need to be an expert fisherman to be able to go out there and catch a few fish for dinner. Even better is the fact that a lot of people rate them as one of the best tasting fish to eat.

One of the most important parts is finding a good spot. When you arrive at the beach you want to look for holes, washouts, or a drop-off if at all possible.

A variety of rods and reels will work, but if you’re buying one to give it a try I would get a nine or ten foot rod with a reel that will hold a good amount of twenty pound mono or fifty pound braid.

Having good bait can also play a large part in your success. I suggest using either sand fleas or shrimp. If you’re using sand fleas live ones will be best, but frozen ones will work. For those who prefer using shrimp I would only use peeled fresh ones because frozen shrimp are soft and come off the hook easily when trying to make long casts.

You’ll want to use a two drop rig with a two to four ounce pyramid weight. The triangle shaped weight will stick in the sand and keep your bait out in the strike zone. As far as hooks go your best bet is a small circle hook like an Owner Mutu Light #2.

If you’re interested in learning more about fishing for pompano off the beach be sure the check out the Hook, Line, & Sinker Seminar Series event this coming Monday February 6.

The seminar will be held at Flounders Chowder House on Pensacola Beach. Flounders will provide a free dinner buffest while supplies last beginning at 6:30 p.m. and the seminar will start at 7 p.m.

There is no charge to attend the seminar and reservations are not taken, but if you want a good seat be there early. For more details call seminar organizer Joe Zwierzchowski at (850) 516-0709 or go to pensacolafishingseminars.com.