Ask a Florida flats angler what his favorite fish is, and he’ll probably tell you it’s a permit – the darling of Sunshine State fishermen that looks and tastes very similar to pompano, and gives one heck of a fight when hooked.

For the past three years, charter captain Aaron Pierce has been catching these prized fish in the Timbalier/Terrebonne Bay area and on Sunday, he hooked his biggest yet – a meaty  5-pounder he caught while fishing live shrimp under a 4-Horsemen popping cork.

“I was fishing the old submerged rock piles off of East Timbalier for redfish and trout,” Pierce said.  

The rocks are about 3 feet underwater, and he was fishing live shrimp on a No. 1 kahle hook with a 3-foot leader so the shrimp was swimming just above the rocks.

According to Pierce, permit love hard structure – making the Timbalier rocks and the old well pads of Terrebonne Bay perfect habitat for them. 

He said he doesn’t catch many, but he’s starting to see more and more. He’s caught them as small as 1 pound, which is an indication that they might be staying longer in Louisiana waters.

“I think they might be breeding in the same areas as the pompano,” Pierce said.

If that’s the case, Louisiana anglers might have another great fish to target.