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Peacock Bass

Peacock Bass

The Peacock Cichlid, Cichla Ocellaris

Bass-like shape and large mouth with underslung jaw. Very colorful—green to black dorsal surface with yellow or cream-colored sides, marked by vertical black bars, and one huge black spot with a white margin—the “peacock eye”—on the upper lobe of the caudal fin. Large males also have a red stripe on side and a pronounced hump forward of the dorsal fin. A similar and larger species, the speckled peacock, Cichla temensis, was introduced along with this one, but did not adapt and is now rarely seen.


OTHER NAMES

Butterfly Bass, Butterfly Cichlid, Butterfly Peacock

SIZE

Averages 1-2 pounds; lunkers run 3-5 pounds; maximum is perhaps 8 or 9 pounds.World record 12 pounds, 9 ounces; Florida record 9.08 pounds.


FOOD VALUE

Very good.

GAME QUALITIES

Hard striker and strong, acrobatic fighter. Most anglers consider it tougher than a largemouth of equal size. As an added bonus for sleep-in anglers, peacocks do not like to bite early in the morning—or at night.




TACKLE AND BAITS

Rather light spinning and baitcasting tackle with lines testing up to 12 or 15 pounds. Live shiners are almost a can’t-miss bait, but many anglers prefer to cast with lures. Among the best offerings are topwater plugs, crankbaits and spoons, worked steadily and fairly fast. Skip plastic worms; peacock bass don’t like them at all. For flies, try large streamers—marabou seems particularly appealing—and strip them quickly.


FISHING SYSTEMS

Casting; Still Fishing; Trolling.

RANGE

A warm-water species restricted to deep canals and their adjacent lakes in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area (Dade and Broward Counties). Those waters have depths where the temperature never falls below the peacock’s tolerance level, even during the occasional freeze.The species may creep northward during protracted warm periods, but outside Dade and Broward it is subject to being killed back during a harsh winter.

HABITAT

Like the largemouth bass that share its waters, peacocks usually stick close to grass or other structure.

PHOTO GALLERY

Peacock

FS forum member Captain Shane Procell with his son holding up a good size peacock bass1

Peacock

Another picture posted by forum member Captain Shane Procell with some more nice size peacock bass!

Peacock

FS member limaymiami with a peacock bass

Peacock bass

Peacock bass caught by FS forum member limaymiami.

Peacock Bass

Another peacock caught by forum member limaymiami.

South Florida Peacock

Forum member PeacockFever lives up to his name, showing off this nice peacock bass.

Luis' Peacock

11 year old Luis, caught this beautiful peacock bass while fishing in his neighborhood lake in Davie, on a blue and purple worm

Peacock Bass

Noam caught this big Peacock Bass in Ft.Lauderdale

Peacock Bass

Richard smiles with his Miami canal peacock bass

Lake Ida Peacock Bass

Forum member 23T and his dad's highlight of the day. A double header peacock hit on live shiners.

peacock

Nice peacock bass caught by forum member aladro while fishing Miami lakes

Urban Angling

FS member UrbanAnglerMiami guided this young angler to a very nice peacock bass.

Pembroke Pines Peacock

Hector Gomez caught this peacock bass on a private lake in Pembroke Pines.

Miami Peacock

Homestead Peacock Bass

Kayla's Peacock

Kayla Wann, age 9, with her 5-pound peacock bass she caught in Homestead, Florida.

Brendan's Peacock

Brendan Rodriguez, 4 years old, with a peacock bass caught on a small lake in Miami, FL.

Mclovin

Florida Sportsman member Mclovin caught this peacock bass while fishing from the shore.

Starving Peacocks

Buck Fuller caught two hungry peacock bass on a single cast!

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