Florida woman ties state record for Florida Pompano

Cathy Sanders with pompano
Brunswick, Ga.

A Florida woman has tied the Georgia Saltwater Game Fish Record for Florida Pompano (Trachinotus carolinus) after her catch was certified by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) this week.

Cathy Sanders of Palm Coast, Fla., landed the 1-pound, 7.68-ounce Florida Pompano while surf fishing on St. Simons Island on Oct. 9. Her catch is tied with the previous record holder, Laura Cheek, who landed a 1-pound, 7-ounce Florida Pompano on Sea Island in 1982. Sanders’ Florida Pompano was 12 inches fork length.

Sanders was volunteering with the Kids Can Fish Foundation’s Running of the Bulls youth tournament when she caught the fish. She was surf fishing with a 12-foot Okuma Rockaway rod and Okuma Rockaway 6000 reel. As bait, she used Fishbites EZ Crab (Electric Chicken) with Sinker Guys glass beads and salted shrimp on 20-pound high visibility monofilament. Her terminal rig was a 2/0 circle hook on a double drop rig with 3-ounce Guy Sputnik sinker.

Sanders is the first recipient of a newly designed state record certificate, which now features an image of the record-setting species, a gold-color embossed state seal, and signatures from the governor, commissioner of DNR, and director of DNR’s Coastal Resources Division, which administers the Georgia Saltwater Game Fish Records Program.

Under the rules of the Georgia Saltwater Game Fish Records Program, Sanders’ catch qualified as a tie because it weighed more than the current record, but did not exceed the record by more than 4 ounces.

Sanders name has been added to the list of current and past record holders maintained at CoastalGaDNR.org/SaltwaterRecords and will be listed in the 2023 Georgia Sport Fishing Regulation Guide.