“Pompano Capital of the World”
This headline in the weekly newspaper Vero Beach 32960 caught my eye: “Vero Beach emerging as world pompano capital.” Not Pompano Beach down in Broward County? Nope, water is a bit too warm, say those who fish for pompano. From November to May, many pompano migrate to the stretch of ocean from Sebastian to Round Island, where the water temp averages about 70. Vero Beach is in the middle. You find easy access to the ocean at many locations, including South Beach Park, which is directly east of the 17th Street Bridge and, incidentally, only a few blocks from my condo. This time of year, north and south of the swimming area, I can see many anglers casting their lines into the surf. When caught, most pompano are up to 17 inches in length and weigh up to three pounds. The official world record is 8.4 pounds. The pompano is, of course, delicious. The usual bait is sand fleas or coquinas, dug up from the sand. A 14-foot rod is used to cast the bait 100 feet or so. We know that Stuart is the “Sailfish Capital of the World.” That’s why a bronze statue of a sailfish stands in Stuart’s downtown. Hey, if Vero Beach really is the “Pompano Capital of the World,” maybe on Sexton Plaza we should erect a bronze status of a pompano. For 88.9 FM, this is Paul Janensch.