Pompano Jigs – The Expert’s Guide To Choosing, Rigging, And Fishing
The precision and technique with which a Pompano angler uses their tackle can mean the difference between fish in the box and returning home to talk about how pretty the sunrise was. One such type of tackle that many have questions about is the pompano jig. This comprehensive guide is designed to demystify the world of pompano jigs, covering their diverse shapes, styles, and sizes and providing recommendations for the best choices depending on your fishing conditions.
For those eager to learn more about fishing with a pompano jig, we interview a respected Pompano guide who is an expert in how to effectively fish them, from rigging and tying to the nuanced approaches for different fishing locations. And for the DIYers among us, a special section is dedicated to crafting your very own pompano jig. Whether you’re new to pompano fishing or looking to up your game, this guide promises to help you better understand, fish, and ultimately catch more Pompano on jigs.
Understanding Pompano Jigs
Pompano jigs come in many shapes, sizes, and styles. To help us decipher which styles are best for various conditions and applications, I went to an expert on the subject, Weldon Hall. Weldon operates Sand Flea Outfitters, a popular choice for anglers looking to get more experience surf fishing and/or rent surf fishing gear in Destin, Florida, and surrounding areas. Weldon is an expert surf angler, and he was kind enough to share his knowledge on fishing Pompano jigs in a recent Q&A on the Northwest Florida Fishing Report.
Pompano Jig Heads
There are a bunch of different styles of jig heads out there, but the two main styles of Pompano jig heads are the Banana Jig and the lead head skirted jig. I wanted to know which style Weldon preferred and when. “My personal favorite is the banana-style jig, but my choice depends on what I’m trying to accomplish,” said Weldon. “On heavier wind or severe current days, it’s necessary that I have to fish those skirted type jigs because you can get them in bigger sizes. I like to fish a bullet-style head because I find that it falls a lot more quickly to the bottom. If I need more distance on my cast, I’ll use a style like that, because I can get a heavier style jig.”
Pompano Jig Hooks
With Pompano jig hooks, the biggest concern is picking a size too large, or a hook that can’t withstand other fish that lurk in the same areas as Pompano. “Pompano have a small mouth and it’s on the bottom of their head. So if you use too big of a hook, you’ll have a real hard time hooking up. The biggest size hook I use for Pompano is a 2/0. A premium hook doesn’t really matter because Pompano aren’t that big, but something with a lighter wire hook may cost you an opportunity at a redfish or black drum that may straighten out your hook.”
Pompano Jig Teasers
The Pompano jig teaser is an essential part of a Pompano jig, according to Weldon, but it’s an often overlooked part of some manufacturer’s offerings. “I do not fish a banana-style jig without a teaser. You’ll get a lot more bites in my experience. About 90% of the time when you catch a Pompano on a jig with a teaser, they’re going to hit the teaser versus the actual jig. It puts a lot more motion in your jig and makes it look a lot more lifelike. You have a lot more tracking ability when you have that teaser on there, it gives the fish something to key in on.”
Pompano Jig Weight
Pompano jigs come in a wide range of weights, and there is no perfect weight. “I want one just big enough to get where I want it and get it to sink as fast as I want,” Weldon said when asked about what weight Pompano jig is best. “You want to be as stealthy as possible, especially if we’re sight fishing. You want something that’s not gonna make a big splash. I start out with the smallest I can think I can get away with and then adjust up from there depending on what’s going on.”
Best Color Jig For Pompano
Any time you talk about colors and fishing lures you are potentially opening up a can of worms. In my surf fishing experience, what I’ve noticed is that colors that work tend to vary from trip to trip and what proves effective in clear Northwest Florida surf may not be as effective in more green, turbid coastal Alabama waters. But my experience is limited compared to that of Weldon’s, so what did he think about the coloration of Pompano jigs? “You’ll notice that some days they key in on certain colors. And that’s the only kind of color you’ll get a hit on. So I like to be prepared with some different types of colors. My main go-to colors are orange and white, pink and white, and chartreuse and white for Pompano jigs. One of those three is what I usually start with and kind of work out from there.”
Best Pompano Jigs
As we discussed earlier, there are many Pompano jig choices available to you. Choosing your style should be based on the conditions, so make sure you are prepared for all scenarios. Below you’ll find some of the various types of Pompano jigs available, remember you should try to fish as light as you can get away with.
Skirted Pompano Jigs
- Sleek baitfish head with clear coat finish
- Colorful nylon and Mylar dressing
- Durable epoxy coated nylon thread
- Extra-sharp, corrosion-resistant hook
Banana Jig For Pompano
- Creates movement on the bottom
- Comes in 1/4oz, 3/8oz, 1/2oz, 3/4oz, and 1oz
- Various Colors
Pompano Jig With Teaser
- Pompano jig with teaser
- Laser sharp hooks
Swivel Jig For Pompano
- Jig Material: Lead
- Jig Color: White
- Jig Size: 1/4oz, 3/8oz, 1/2oz and 1oz
- 2 Jigs Per Pack
Pompano Jig Kit Assortment
- (4) 1/4oz Pompano Goofy Jigs
- (4) 3/8oz Pompano Goofy Jigs
- (4) 1/2oz Pompano Goofy Jigs
- (4) 1oz Pompano Goofy Jigs
- (1) 1/4oz Pompano Jig With Teaser
- (1) 3/8oz Pompano Jig With Teaser
- (1) 1/2oz Pompano Jig With Teaser
- (1) 3/4oz Pompano Jig With Teaser
- (1) Pompano Crusher Jig
- (1) Pompano Crusher Jig
- (1) Sand Football Jigger Flea
- (1) White/Pink Football Jigger Flea
How To Fish A Pompano Jig
Now that you’ve got some jigs picked out, the next step is learning to rig them and subsequently how to fish them. Let’s get up to speed on what you need to know.
How To Rig A Pompano Jig
Pompano can be finicky. I’ve watched these fish inhale my offering as if they’ve never seen food before and also seen them turn up their nose at an expertly rigged live sand flea on a super light fluorocarbon leader. So what’s a guy to do when it comes to rigging a jig to get the bite? Weldon had this to add regarding how he likes to rig. “We’re fishing 8,10 or 12-pound braid attached to fluorocarbon leaders of the same size. Braid allows you to cast a lot further and be a lot more stealthy. I like a uni-to-uni, Alberto, or FG knot for the braid-to-fluorocarbon connection, but use whatever you’re comfortable with.”
How To Tie A Pompano Jig With Teaser And Without
“It’s really important to use a loop knot connecting your fluorocarbon to your jig,” Weldon mentioned on how he likes to attach his jigs. “If you’re using a Goofy jig, tie it on a loop knot with your teaser or put your teaser on a split ring to your jig and tie your main line to that. That split ring (or loop knot) gives it a lot more motion and lets it move around a lot more naturally.”
How To Tip A Pompano Jig
When it comes to tipping a pompano jig, you can use just about anything you’d use on a set rig for Pompano. “Normally I use a sand flea or a piece of Fishbites in the shrimp, crab, or sand flea flavors. All of those work but use your smaller sand fleas and keep in mind when you’re tipping those jigs the fish still has to be able to get in his mouth. So you don’t want to have too big of a bait or too big of a profile on those Fishbites. One thing I do is use a smaller jig and put a little bit bigger sand flea on there and it’ll give you more weight to cast but you still got those smaller profiles. Also, tip your main hook. If you tip your teaser, it’s pretty hard to get a good hook set on those fish.”
How To Jig For Pompano While Surf, Jetty, And Pier Fishing
You’ve selected your jig, you’ve got it rigged, and you’ve got it tipped with a fat sand flea or fresh piece of Fishbites. Now it’s time to make a cast and fish! I wanted to know if techniques changed when targeting Pompano from the surf vs jetty vs pier. I was surprised by the answer. “I’m pretty much doing the same thing [from the surf, pier, or jetty] unless I’m putting it right in front of one sight fishing. If I’m just walking the beach and prospecting, the biggest tip I can say on that is keep your jig as close to the bottom in contact with the bottom as much as possible.
That’s where he’s looking when he’s coming down the beach to eat. That’s a big mistake that I see a lot of people make when fishing Pompano jigs, they’re working them up to the middle or the top of the water column. You want to have it in contact with the bottom and you don’t want it to be real jerky movements. Fluid little puffs is what I call it in my head.
When I cast my jig out, I’m letting it settle at the bottom and then I just kind of want to hop it just a little short hops back to me. In my mind, every time I pull my jig up I want a little puff of sand to come out. And then I want that jig to settle because nine times out of 10 he’s gonna hit it on the fall. That little puff of sand looks like a little crab or sand flea or something scurrying away, kicking in his prey drive. You want to be in contact with the bottom as much as possible. Same deal if you’re fishing on the jetties or the piers.”
Picking A Pompano Jigging Rod
For me, fishing with a Pompano jig is the best way to catch Pompano because it allows me to roam the beach, see new territory, and allows me a better fight on lighter tackle. So when it comes to this tackle, what does Weldon Look for in a Pompano jigging rod? “Eight to nine-foot rods, an 8’6” rod is about perfect. You want something with plenty of whip to it. Steelhead rods and rods that have been marketed as steelhead rods work really well. 2500/3500 size reels are about perfect for doing that.”
Do It Yourself With A Pompano Jig Mold And Supplies
Without a doubt, the added challenge of catching a Pompano on a jig is something to be proud of. With that said, imagine the sense of pride you’ll gain from catching a Pompano on a jig that you made! Making tackle isn’t terribly hard, and making Pompano jigs is no exception. It’s also a great way to use your free time to save money on tackle or build jigs with premium components for the cost of pompano jigs built with regular components. All you need is a Pompano Jig Mold, some jig hooks, and some teaser hooks and you’re on your way!
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