Peacock Bass Fly Fishing
“Peacock Bass Fly Fishing Guide & Charter Service”
Fly Fishing for Peacock Bass: A 101 Guide
Okay, before we go into the good stuff like topwater flies, let’s take a minute to understand the fish! Peacock bass isn’t just a bass but a cichlid. Related to the African cichlids, peacock bass shares the same family tree as these African species of tropical fish that evolved along their ancestors on the Gondwana supercontinent before its collapse.
Although they appear as similar to North Americans, their genes are relatively distinctive. Please take advantage of Fly Fishing for Peacocks; it’s a blast! The reason peacock bass are mirroring one another is because of the similarities they share in their environment; peacocks are also known to be similar but different.
Florida Peacock Bass Fishing
Want to try Fly Fishing while you are in Florida? Try it on your own, or give our Pro guide service a try. We will gladly take you trophy Peacock bass fly fishing to any of our many fishing destinations. Fly Fishing for largemouth bass or Peacock bass in Florida’s freshwater lakes and canals, among other species.
If you bring your fly rod, we have recommendations below. It varies depending on location and whether you are targeting speckled or the largest peacock bass. And lastly, where you are fishing, some of the locations are very confined in space.
If you like to tie your flies like most fly waves of anglers, bring them to try out. Below we cover in more detail what works best and what you may want to try.
There is no room for below-average gear here; good reels, good-quality lines, and fast action rods are necessary. Hooks need to be sharp to penetrate quickly, and without polarized glasses, sight fishing and spotting these colorful fish are damn near impossible.
Why all the Hype?
Peacock Bass fishing has recently become one of the most exciting and challenging sports, especially on the fly. The thrill of catching a Peacock Bass that explodes on your popper or streamer using a lightweight rod and fighting these fish as they jump into the air and continue to rip more line is an unbelievable experience. Yet, this occurs often for fly fishers seeking Peacock Bass in the secluded lakes, canals, and lagoons of Miami.
The Peacock Bass will challenge every fisherman’s skills, equipment, and fly line. From the aggressive monster peacock bass weighing up to 10 pounds, every strike raises the possibility of a new world record. At the end of each aggressive fish of each day, both fishermen and tackle must be repaired and rested for the next exciting day.
Many fishermen plan on a one-time “trip of a lifetime” to the Amazon and later realize they can keep returning each year to Florida 15 times over for the exact cost and have another chance to experience the pristine beauty right here in the USA.
Be sure to let us know you want this option so we can help you plan a great fly fishing adventure.
No one is more experienced than the guides at FlPeacockBass; they are genuinely passionate about South Florida’s many anglers and are an industry-setting company. Many customers only use eight-weight fly rods due to their proximity to the coast, spotting juvenile tarpon in water similar to snooks, tilapia, and Mayans cichlids.
Rods aimed at smaller exotic fish species — the lighter species, like the Maya – the Oscar – guapo — generally fall within the 5 to the 6-weight range. When targeting heavier species such as Clown Knife fish or Snakeheads, the weight of 7 wt will suffice.
Your reel needs to be specific as well; we will cover this below. It doesn’t matter where you live; the battle with the big peacocks is real.
Fly Rods for Long Days
You can undoubtedly catch many peacock bass sight fishing during a visit, mainly when you are booking with us. But be cautious if you blindly spend most of your time searching for peacocks. The bigger fish often hold on to deeper waters out of sight.
Making long casts before hooking up or completing the retrieval will take many hours to complete. Keep in mind you should use a lightweight rod. If using a 9-foot long rod, this will get you tired quicker.
We recommend using a freshwater rod as it has generally vital butt segments and can better control and steer the fly lines and big flies used for peacock bass fishing.
Leaders & Tippet for Tropical Fish
Peacock bass is generally very shy about leaders despite obvious water conditions that can need a longer leader. Generally, six feet of fluoride. 15-20 lb. The peacock bass is very effective in almost any fishery in getting away unless the line is anchored. The sinking line, a leader is 2-4 feet fluorocarbon, 10-20 pounds in weight.
Remember, shallow or rocky conditions may warrant a slight adjustment in the pound test. Always pack a spool of fluorocarbon line to travel with. Keep it well packed, out of the sunlight, since there are some problems with retying and some breaks off in snagging. The location you fish could cause a lot of damage to your fly line, based on the amount of coral rock in South Florida.
Fly Reels for the Peacock
If it wasn’t enough to hook into peacock bass, they have lots of power. A good reel will help you keep it from getting in the way. These require supplying Fly reels with drag systems strong enough to impede incoming freight trains. That’s that first hit; you will wish you upgraded that reel while fighting your first trophy peacock bass. We prefer high-end reels like Hardy.
In an effort to save on costs, we have used many different lines in rough terrain in and around Miami coral rock, and I have found none of them perfect. The running line twists under Florida heat, the coating of the line delamination, and casting this line into this jungle of the Florida Everglades is reminiscent of a no-win scenario.
Selection from the best line companies is essential. Rio is one we used, as well as Saga and Orvis. We typically largely use the floating line with poppers and topwater flies. Also, with streamers when fish are spawning. However, the deep water sinking line is the preferred line of choice among streamers among all the guides.
Fly Lines & Fly Patterns for Larger Fish
It’s embarrassing when anglers arrive in Florida with South America Amazon River basin big poppers for the biggest fish in the Amazon basin. Why the fish are the same, the Florida peacock is from South America. When fishing for peacock bass in Florida, you have to downsize.
You can get huge peacocks by fishing lightweight rods with small streamers, 1 to 3 inches in length, with sinking flies. The bait they eat is small in Florida, and so should the lures you use. From floaters, poppers, streamers, etc., think to downsize, and it works excellent for busting more fish, the most fish, and both small and big peacocks. As well as many different exotic species, but most fly anglers will say that poppers are their favorite, but maybe not consistently the most productive.
What size fly rod for peacock bass?
When fly fishing for peacock in Florida, we like to use Fly rods that are usually in the 5 – 7 wt class, 7 ½ to 8 ½ ft long with a medium powerful butt and a tip soft enough to throw access docks with a fly.
Where is the best place to fly fish for peacock bass?
Peacock bass can be caught in both more urban locations throughout South Florida. Almost every Miami canal has some population of peacock bass; it’s an incredible fishery. Some of the original places in Miami were off of Tamiami Trail and now there are many reports of many Miami golf courses being stocked.
People also ask about underwater streamers using darter heads. This is an area that continues to evolve with great success. Therefore, you should make your streamers as there is not one fit occasion and location that is perfect.
What flies do peacock bass like?
We have covered a lot of this but stick with a clouser and it will generate fish and get lots of other fish’s attention. A variety of larger streamers can produce peacock bass, but this isn’t the only fly fishers option. When the fish are picky, species like to see different colors. Does it always have to be bold and bright, no many times white is the dominant bait for exotic species.
How do you catch peacock bass on the fly?
Peacock Bass can be caught on topwater or in sub-surface waters with streamers, therefore it can be a fly fishing’s dream to fish in Florida. Just be sure to bring enough flies or we have alternative sources for you.
How do you catch more bass on the fly?
Bass can use reaction strikes to attack a fly that captures its eye. Minnows and Crayfish are an important source of food for bass and therefore it is highly desirable to have different types of fly patterns such as Wooly Bugger, Meat Whistle or Slump Buster.
What lures to use for peacock bass?
Butterfly Peacocks prefer live bait fish or imitation of a shiner as a lure instead of plastic worms often used by the largemouth bass. The best bait on a butterfly peacock is live shiners, but artificial bait can be effective such as jigs, crankbait, and a fly rod.
What is the best fishing line for peacock bass?
We covered this regarding the topic at hand, so let’s cover the conventional rod and reel for a minute. The braided lines are very good, but do not use 65-50 pounds, these fish are way too sensitive to line size. Downsize to 15 to 20 braids and always use a leader, which can be anywhere from 10lb to 20lb based on the location and watercolor. Steel leader is not necessary to catch peacock bass.
What size leader for peacock bass?
Usually, 6′ lead in fluorocarbon is desired again based on the location and cover you are fishing around. The peacock bass is very effective at getting off, most anglers have more success using floating lines. For the sink line, use 2-3′ fluorocarbon lead weight. Keep in mind that shallow, low-pressure environments might demand longer or smaller leaders.
Where is the best place in Florida to fish for peacock bass?
In recent years, Peacock bass has had a strong presence within Broward County, and in the Florida Everglades. There seems to be a larger food supply and they are growing faster. Miami-Dade County still holds the biggest fish caught, which makes sense as they have been there the longest.
Palm Beach has fast become the reason for anglers not to go to Miami as the fishery has diverse species with clown knife fish, snakeheads, and others. Forever anglers from the west coast of Florida would have to travel east, no longer as Naples Florida now has a full population of peacock bass.
In all places, the amount of fish will vary, and Miami-Dade County is the ideal place to catch big fish, but less fish. Everglades provides the balance in numbers and size for peacock fishing.