Florida Pompano

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Florida Pompano

Trachinotus carolinus

Range/Geographical Distribution: From Massachusetts south to Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico, Central America, and some parts of the West Indies.

Habitat: Beaches, estuaries, shallow bays, piers, and sand flats.

Description: A deep-bodied fish with a silvery body and a dark back.  The caudal fin is deeply forked. Juvenile fish have a yellowish belly, anal fin, and caudal fin; color may persist in adults.

Size: Grows to 25 inches in length and may weigh up to eight pounds.

Food: Mollusks, crustaceans and other invertebrates, small fish; primarily bottom feeders that opportunistically “graze” preferred species.

Breeding: Spawn from March to October.  Eggs float and newly hatched fish feed off of their yolk sac for almost a month.

Predators: Striped bass, bluefish, weakfish, shark, flounder, and birds.

Conservation Status: No legal status.

Interesting Facts: Prized as one of the great food fishes in US waters, the dockside price for Florida pompano is typically among the highest per pound for any fish.

On the Coast: Pompano, especially juveniles, can be seen schooling along Georgia’s coast.

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