Peacock bass fishing is a unique and special thing that we have available to us in Florida. People literally fly from around the country to South Florida to target these awesome gamefish, after all it’s much easier and safer than a trip to the Amazon.
Peacock Bass Fishing Tips
This will either be the shortest or longest section of the blog depending on what you’re trying to do, see below.
Peacock Bass Fishing on Spin Gear
First: Find a body of water – a canal, a pond or drainage ditch in Palm Beach, Broward or any county south of Broward.
Second: Cast your bait (or work your lure).
Third: Take picture of peacock bass you caught.
It’s that easy. These are ferocious predators that will inhale baits.
Peacock Bass Fishing on Fly
This is where things can get a bit more complicated. Unlike throwing a shiner or even any common bass lure, this takes a bit of work.
First of all, I don’t care how heavy the eyes on your fly are or how long you let it sink for, canal fishing on fly is hard. Some of the canals in the South Florida system are very deep, like 20 plus feet deep or more. Not the greatest situation for presenting a fly.
If you find yourself fishing a canal, I recommend working the edges near drop-offs. This tactic puts you in a much better situation for success.
The second thing to consider when targeting peacocks is fly choice. Don’t over think this and try to tie the perfect shiner or bluegill fly, keep it simple, these fish want the most obnoxious, over the top colors. Think electric chicken, baby peacock colors, yellows, chartreuse, pinks, orange, etc.
Thirdly, move it fast. These guys crush flies with what seems like an absolute visceral hatred. They’re basically on steroids, by that I mean that they possess such a boorish character that a fast moving object going by their faces will compel them to mercilessly kill.
Finally, target bedding fish. Remember how I was talking about their aggressiveness? Walk ponds and watch the edges, you can bonk a bedded down fish on the head multiple times until it’s angry enough that it smashes your fly.
So how did we do? I went down to the greater Miami area with my friends Jarek and Nate, two of the fishiest guys I know… we lit it up. They also brought down one of their work frineds, Race, he even caught fish. It was an amazing trip.
When and Where?
As I made clear earlier in the post, literally any body of water will hold fish once you hit southern Palm Beach County. We literally caught fish out of a disgusting scum pond across the street from our hotel. From there we moved to canals just a few miles away and then neighborhood ponds.
All day and into the early evening we were on fish. The heat of the day didn’t matter, the visibility didn’t matter; these guys were chewing.
We even had a triple header (see below)!
Check out some of the nice fish that we caught below.
In all honesty, I was a little bummed at the beginning. I had caught a bunch of peacocks, but no nice ones. A last second stop at the end of our first day changed all that. I sight fished the peacock below right out of his bed, about two seconds later Nate hooked up. This was probably our 7th or 8th double hook up of the trip.
On day two I finally got my bump head! He wasn’t huge, but a male nonetheless.
We also caught largemouth bass and Mayan cichlids. We were hoping for a surprise visit from a snakehead or clownknife, but that will have to wait until next trip.
Here’s some more fish that we caught.
We had an amazing time and cannot wait to go down and do it again, it’s one of the most fun forms of angling in all of Florida. Give it a shot!
If you’re looking for a guide to learn the ropes or just want to have an amazing day, I recommend these two guys:
Until next time, Tight Lines!