NEW: At the Feb. meeting, the Commission approved adding April to the May-July spawning season closure for permit in the Special Permit Zone. The change will go into effect April 1, 2018.
State waters: Hook and line only.
Federal waters: Hook and line and spearing
May possess 1 over 22" included in the per person bag limit
Vessel limit: no more than 2 over 22" per vessel
*The recreational regulations in the chart above apply in Florida state and federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic unless otherwise noted.
Special Permit Zone (SPZ)
(South of Cape Florida and Cape Sable)
The Special Permit Zone includes state and federal waters south of Cape Florida in the Atlantic and south of Cape Sable in the Gulf.
The Pompano Endorsement Zone (PEZ) pictured on the map above is a zone created that allows commercial fishermen who hold a pompano endorsement (PE) to use gill nets legally for pompano in federal waters off Florida.
State Waters Harvest Seasons
Habitat and Fishing Tips:
Florida pompano: 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. Florida pompano feed on mollusks and crustaceans, especially sand fleas. Local movements are influenced by the tide, and seasonal movements are influenced by temperature.
Permit: These coastal fish inhabit tropical grass and sand flats, near reefs and wrecks. Permit have a specialized plate at the back of their mouth that helps them crush hard-shelled animals such as clams and crabs. Anglers cast live crabs to schools of permit hoping to catch one of these line-stripping fish, which also take shrimp, clams and occasionally small fish. Permit are most common in south Florida. This member of the jack family can reach 40 inches and 50 pounds, but most are about 25-pounds.
Florida Pompano: 8 lb 4 oz, caught near Port St. Joe
Permit: 56 lb 2 oz, caught near Ft. Lauderdale
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