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Permit, Florida pompano and African pompano
Atlantic unless otherwise noted.
Special Permit Zone (SPZ)
(South of Cape Florida and Cape Sable)
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.
Florida Pompano: 8 lb 4 oz, caught near Port St. Joe
Permit: 56 lb 2 oz, caught near Ft. Lauderdale
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.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission • Farris Bryant Building
620 S. Meridian St. • Tallahassee, FL
32399-1600 • (850) 488-4676