Home Fishing Tips & Advice How to Catch a Peacock Bass

How to Catch a Peacock Bass

Traveling to a far-off place, bearing the elements, surviving the bug bites, and navigating the waters of the Amazon, all to attempt to find this allusive fish is part of the fun of the hunt. The Peacock Bass, native to the Amazonian waterways, has always been a difficult fish to catch. However, it’s easier now more than ever to catch one, and we’re going to tell you how. 

Where to Find a Peacock Bass

This fish might be more attainable than you once thought. Many anglers are aware of the Peacock Bass as an Amazonian, warrior-like, hard-to-find fish that is only a dream catch for most. While this certainly used to be true, thanks to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, the Peacock Bass is now available in your own backyard. They are still present in the Amazon, but for most, that trip is simply unrealistic and too difficult. Sticking to the canals and waterways of Miami will yield the same results as traveling to the waters of the Amazon.

If you’re fishing in the Amazon, the best place to look for the Peacock Bass would be the shallower regions closer to the coast. The Peacock Bass tends to make its breeding beds in more shallow waters to support an easy birth for its offspring. When it’s not breeding, the best location to find this fish would be in obstructed areas like fallen trees or underwater structures. The Peacock Bass is an ambushing hunter and utilizes these locations as cover to catch smaller fish.

If you’re sticking closer to home and fishing in the canals of Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and Palm Beach, you’re facing a similar experience. The breeding beds of the Peacock Bass in Florida will also be in more shallow waters and are easy to access for anglers, but not for other, larger fish. When they’re not breeding, they’ll be found closer to piers or docks as these act as the underwater structures they seek out in the Amazon. This allows them to continue ambush hunting, even in the canals. 

How to Catch a Peacock Bass

There are many ways to catch these fish, as long as you’re in the right location. In terms of the Amazonian Peacock Bass, your best bet is to find a location where these fish might be and use live bait that they already hunt. You’ll want to employ casting as they’ll be more likely to go for submerged prey over top water bait. Use their hunting instincts to your advantage and lure them out with their favorite local live bait. Going to where they’re found and using their favorite snack is the best way to catch an Amazonian Peacock Bass.

For the Florida variant, there is a number of possible catching tactics that you can use, and it all depends on where you’ve found the fish. The first step is to find where the Peacock Bass are in the canal – this will decide what tactic would be best to use. For fish in more shallow regions, you can use the bobber and cork to try to coax the Peacock Bass up to the surface. They’ll see the live bait dangling from the bobber and go for it. 

Another great tactic that only works in the Florida canals is to sight fish. Many anglers in this area will simply walk along the edge of the canal and see what’s present. This is an effective way to spot Peacock Bass who are lingering closer to the shore. If the Peacock Bass in heading into deeper waters, you might want to use a casting technique that will get you deeper in. Canals can range from mere inches to 10+ feet in depth so be prepared to alter your tactics based on fishing location. Learn more about Peacock Bass fishing at FL Peacock Bass.

Best Bait for Peacock Bass

When attempting to lure out a Peacock Bass, you have to remember that this is an ambushing species that prefers to hide until it’s aware that the prey is easy to catch. You’ll need to offer it something enticing that it will be interested in and can guarantee that it’s similar to their normal food. Peacock Bass are similar enough to the Largemouth Bass that any bait you might use on them would be useful in catching a Peacock Bass.

The best bait to use on a Peacock Bass would be smaller, live fish that are native to the local region. If they’re small and found in the same waterways as the Peacock Bass, chances are they’re a snack to the Bass. If you use them as your bait, you’re more likely to lure the Peacock Bass out of their ambush areas or bring them closer to the surface – depending on the type of fishing you’re doing. 

Peacock Bass aren’t necessarily picky eaters either as they tend to go for anything alive and moving. They are hunter predators and prefer their bait to still be kicking. One of the best bait choices in the Florida canals might be the Golden Shiner. This is a small fish that can be found around Florida waters and is a favorite snack for the Peacock Bass. Catching the Peacock Bass doesn’t have to be difficult, simply find the right bait, make it to their locations, and start casting out.

Best Tackle Setup for Peacock Bass

In Florida waters, you’re not that restricted to what setup would be best for the Peacock Bass. Your average six- or seven-foot rod should do the trick and there’s no need for a lure – the live bait should do the trick. If your focus is more geared towards the Amazonian variant of the Peacock Bass, it’s important to note that you’ll be working in jungle rivers, surrounded by trees and brush. Keep your rod short and avoid snagging it on any trees.

The Peacock Bass is a rather fiery fish and you’ll need to come prepared with a line that can support it. Strong lines that are rate for more than 15 lbs are recommended for this fish. 

You may also be interested in How to Catch a Rainbow Bass

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Growing up on the south shore of Long Island, Chum Charlie has always had a passion for fishing. His favorite fish to catch is a striped bass and his favorite bait to use is bunker. Off the water, he enjoys blogging and sharing his favorite fishing tips & tricks that he has learned over the years.