Commissioner Adam H. Putnam

Florida Agriculture: 500 Years in the Making

Florida Seafood Products



Florida pompano (Trachinotus carolinus) is a popular food and sport fish. Sport fishermen like it because it’s challenging and exciting to catch, and chefs like it because it tastes great and lends itself to a variety of preparation methods. Much in demand, pompano commands a high retail price.

Pompano has a deep, flattened, silvery body with grayish blue coloring on the back and a yellow tint underneath. It’s fast growing, weighing an average of two to five pounds as an adult.  

Pompano is found along both of Florida’s coasts, in nearshore waters along sandy beaches and over seagrass beds and oyster bars. It feeds on small mollusks and crustaceans, especially sand fleas, and is most prevalent from October to December and again from April to July.

When shopping for fresh, whole pompano, check for a shiny surface and tightly adhering scales, clean gills that are deep pink or red, and a clean, shiny belly cavity. Fresh steaks, fillets, and loins should have a translucent look with no discoloration, flesh that is firm and not separating, and proper packaging that keeps the meat from being bent into an unnatural position. Fresh pompano should have a mild sea-breeze aroma.

Purchase seafood last and keep it cold on the trip home. Keep raw and cooked seafood separate to prevent bacterial cross-contamination. After handling raw seafood, thoroughly wash knives, cutting boards, sponges, and your hands with hot, soapy water.

Pompano’s extra lean white meat is firm and moist with a small flake and a sweet, mild flavor. A four-ounce serving of raw pompano has 186 calories, 11 grams of fat, 21 grams of protein, and .64 grams of omega-3 fatty acids. Pompano can be baked, broiled, poached, smoked, fried, pan fried, or microwaved. It’s often served grilled with melted butter and salt and pepper.

Cook pompano at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes per inch of thickness of the fillet or steak. Cook until the meat is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. Cook thoroughly, but do not overcook.

More About Pompano

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Contact Us About Seafood Products

Division of Marketing and Development
Bureau of Seafood and Aquaculture Marketing
The Collins Building, Innovation Park
2051 East Dirac Drive
Tallahassee, Florida 32310

Martin May
(850) 617-7280
(850) 617-7281 Fax

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