Butterfly Peacock Bass Spring Fishing
Fighting a peacock isn’t like trying to land a largemouth bass, it requires a lot of energy and you’ll be quite sore the next day.
Where are they?
A good place to fish Butterfly Peacocks is in lagoon areas just off a major river. Fish canals, lakes and rivers in Florida where there’s a large population of these fish and in South American lagoons and rivers that are it’s native stomping ground.
In Florida they can be spotted in canals, lakes and slow moving rivers during the spring looking after their young. During spawning and after their young have hatched, Butterfly Peacock Bass are very territorial and will aggressively defend it against any incursion.
In Syria, Iran, India and other parts of the world where they’ve been introduced, spring patterns may differ from those of the Americas. Spawning may occur in the early spring if the water temperature is warm enough, between 78°F to 82°F/25°C to 28°C degrees or it may happen later on in the year, especially if the rains are hard in the spring and the water temperature is very cold.
Tackle, Technique, What to expect
Make sure your line, equipment and tackle is capable of handling a 12 lb fighting fish for Florida waters and at least 30 lb test for South American waters. Line strength won’t be enough. Make sure to loosen your drag as the strike is abrupt and aggressive as the Peacock Bass usually charges at the bait very fast and can snap the line if the drag is set to high.
Once the hook is set, tighten up your drag. When fishing in remote locations like the Amazon, make sure you have at least one backup rod and reel, and multiple line strengths. Snapping a line or stripping the gears from a reel is not uncommon when trying to land a lunker peacock.
Live bait is your best bet. Lures are still an excellent way to land a lunker bass, and 8 inch long lures being highly recommended, especially if they have a spinner or spoon attached. The best approach to use is to encroach on their territory, which will elicit a strong strike.
Choosing live bait vs a lure will, of course, depend on personal preference, but it should also depend on terrain. When fishing in the Amazon there’s so much debris under the water that losing a lure is common.
Fish the Lagoons and Lakes
There are many lakes and lagoons in the Brazilian rainforest including the many lakes off the remote Baria river or the Casiquiare areas. The Agua Boa region also offers many great opportunities with over 32 lagoons and land locked lakes. Balance your equipment and tackle and don’t forget to get in shape as a full day of peacock bass fishing is quite a workout.
We recommend using minnows when fishing Florida waters, both fathead and the golden shiner work but make sure you go with the really big ones. If you can’t find any big minnows, use 7 inch lures or go with other well know natural peacock baits like threadfin shad, tilapia, blurgils and mosquitofish.
Although minnow lures work very well, you’re likely to catch all sorts of other fish. In Florida this will usually mean everything from sunfish to largemouth bass. These are one of the most popular baits as they catch pretty much anything.
When fishing in South America we suggest using gizzard shad, frogs and minnows, both fathead and the golden shiners work well. All fish-based lures work best with a large spoon or spinner.