A 6-week feeding trial was conducted to examine the effect of feeding frequency on growth, feed utilization efficiency, body composition and waste output of juvenile golden pompano Trachinotus ovatus reared in net pens. Fish (10.3 ± 0.5 g) were either fed a formulated diet containing 48.4% crude protein and 5.7% crude lipid at 0.5, 1, 2, 3 or 4 meals per day or fed a raw fish feed at two meals per day as a control. The weight gain (WG) increased with increasing feeding frequency from 0.5 to 3 meals per day (P < 0.05), but did not significantly change with the further increase in feeding frequency from 3 to 4 meals per day (P > 0.05). The feed intake (FI) was lower in fish fed at 0.5 or 1 meal per day than in fish fed at 2, 3 or 4 meals per day (P < 0.05). No significant differences were found in the feed conversion ratio (FCR), nitrogen retention efficiency (NRE), condition factor (CF), nitrogen waste output (NWO) and phosphorus waste output (PWO) between fish fed at 1, 2, 3 or 4 meals per day (P > 0.05), whereas no significant difference was found in the phosphorus retention efficiency (PRE) among the feeding treatments (P > 0.05). The body lipid content increased, whereas the contents of moisture and ash decreased, with the increase in feeding frequency (P < 0.05). At the same feeding frequency, fish fed the formulated diet exhibited lower FI, FCR, HSI, body moisture content, NWO and PWO, but higher NRE, PRE, body lipid content and body phosphorus content than those of fish fed the raw fish feed (P < 0.05). These results suggest that the formulated diet can satisfy nutrient requirements of juvenile golden pompano reared in net pens, and the suitable feeding frequency is 3 meals per day.