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Permit, Florida pompano and African pompano
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    Florida Regulations:

    *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.

    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.

    State Record:

    Florida Pompano: 8 lb 4 oz, caught near Port St. Joe

    Permit: 56 lb 2 oz, caught near Ft. Lauderdale

    Management Efforts

    In June 2011, the Commission amended the rule for permit, Florida pompano and African pompano in order to
    provide increased protection for these important species. In the past, there were no regulations for these fish in
    federal waters adjacent to Florida. The recreational rule amendments primarily establish recreational regulations in
    federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic.

    These rules create separate management strategies for each species. The combined bag limit for Florida pompano
    and permit were split into separate bag limits and the size limits for each species were changed.

    The new rules also create two separate management areas in Florida for permit: the Special Permit Zone (SPZ) and
    Florida waters outside the SPZ (north of Cape Florida and Cape Sable). The Special Permit Zone (SPZ) lies in south
    Florida, encompassing waters south of Cape Florida on the Atlantic coast and south of Cape Sable on the Gulf coast.
    The regulations for permit in the SPZ are more restrictive to protect spawning aggregations of permit as well as large
    permit that support the trophy fishery in the Keys.

    The Pompano Endorsement Zone (PEZ) picutred 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.

      More Information:

    Image Credit: Diane Rome Peebles

    Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission • Farris Bryant Building
    620 S. Meridian St. • Tallahassee, FL
    32399-1600 • (850) 488-4676
Florida Pompano
African Pompano
Permit inside SPZ (see map
Permit, all other Florida
Minimum Size Limit
11" fork length
24" fork length
22" fork length
Not less than 11" or more
than 22" fork length
Daily Bag Limit
6 per harvester
per day
2 per harvester per
1 per harvester per day
2 per harvester per day
Closed May 1 - July 31
Hook and line,
cast net and
beach or haul
State waters:  Hook
and line only.

Federal waters:  
Hook and line and
State waters:  Hook and line

Federal waters:  Hook and
line and spearing
State waters:  Hook and
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