Butterfly Peacock Bass
Peacock bass (Cichla ocellaris) is native to the Amazon River Basin and Orinoco River Basin. They have been introduced to some tropical regions of the United States (Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and the US Virgin Islands) as well as to Brazil, Panama and Dominican Republic. Peacock Bass are usually golden in color, with three black vertical stripes. Despite their name, these fish are cichlids (closely related to angelfish or oscar fish), not bass. Their average weight is around 1 - 2 kg (2 - 4.5 lb). Peacocks feed almost exclusively on fish.
|Maximum weight||(lb.)||≈ 9.50|
Recommended fishing methods and tackle
Peacock Bass are arguably the most colorful and hardest fighting fish in the Everglades - Florida. These natives of South America were introduced to the lakes and canals of South Florida several years ago and have flourished in their new environment. In the thick vegetation and floating grass mats of the Everglades, heavy tackle, whether spinning or bait casting, is highly recommended. Swimming medium spoons and jigs is a good way to locate them. These baits will find you smaller fish in open water and near cover, while bigger and slower baits worked close to cover will get you the bigger fish. Watch closely what happens in the area where your lure is, because peacock bass use to chase the lure close to the surface and is easy to be seen. Upon spotting fish, slow down retrieving speed, but never fully stop and be prepared for swift hook-set.
After you locate the places where peacock is hiding, you may try to get them using bait, even if is unsportsmanlike. On Florida's shallow waters, fish eats close to the surface, so short leaders are the logical choice. Being voracious predators and tough fighters, use big baits on solid medium-large hooks.