BlogNovember 2017

Top Pompano Rigs for Inshore Fishing Success

Top Pompano Rigs for Inshore Fishing Success

By Debbie Hanson

Nov 14, 2017

 Learn about different types of pompano rigs, baits to use if you want to catch Florida pompano while inshore fishing near beaches, piers, bridges, bays. 

If you're planning a fishing trip to Florida this winter, you may want to learn how to set up a few pompano rigs. There are different pompano fishing rigs you can try depending on where you prefer to fish. Meaning, do you like to fish from a boat, beach, bridge, or pier?

The best saltwater fishing rigs for pompano are made to use near beaches and channels because both areas are prime places to fish for Florida pompano. Just remember, this species is different from the African pompano, which is generally found offshore near reefs and wrecks.

Pompano Fishing Rigs & Gear

You can use a medium-size spinning reel spooled with 10 to 12-pound test line when targeting pompano from the beach or while aboard an inshore fishing boat. From there, all you have to do is learn how to set up a few easy pompano rigs, and try to schedule your trip between the months of November and March.

Sliding Sinker Rig or Fish Finder Rig

The sliding sinker rig allows the sinker to rest on the bottom while your pompano bait is suspended above. Surf fishing for pompano using this type of rig is one of the most popular methods. Try 2/0 circle hooks, a pyramid weight, and 12 to 15-pound fluorocarbon leader material. The best type of pompano bait to use on this type of rig is a sand flea.

Popping Cork Fishing Rig

If you are inshore fishing from a boat in 2 to 6 feet of water, try suspending a shrimp beneath a popping cork when targeting pompano on an incoming tide near channels or sandbars. There should be at least two feet of 12 to 15-pound fluorocarbon leader material between the popping cork and your circle hook, but you may need to increase the length of your leader depending on depth and current once you get to your fishing spot.

Bucktail or Curly-Tailed Jigs

If fishing near the shoreline, you can start by using a ¼ ounce bucktail or curly-tailed jig rigged with 15 to 20-pound fluorocarbon leader material. This type of rig can work well when vertical jigging around pier pilings or bridges. If you move to deeper water or the current picks up, just increase the size and weight of the jig to keep it in the strike zone.

Learn New Rigs

Once you have used one or two of these pompano rigs with success, you can learn new rigs to use when targeting other fish species. Most fishing rigs are simple to set up and require just a few steps. Before you know it, you'll be able to quickly rig your own fishing lines with ease.

Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.