Catching Peacock Bass in the Summertime

Peacock Bass are a tropical import, and although they have adapted well to our Florida environment, they are still tropical fish. Aggressive, hungry, and challenging like all gamefish, they are found naturally in waters ranging from Mexico to Costa Rica and all around the tropical band. Their native range lies within the Amazon River basin of South America, but Peacock Bass are very comfortable in our south Florida waters all summer long. Peacock fishing excels from their spawning time, which begins around April and continues through September, with a peak in May and June.

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Peacock Bass Summertime Locations

Any freshwater warm body of water will hold Peacock Bass south of approximately Pompano Beach. They have even made their way halfway across the Everglades. The entire C-4 canal system is loaded with them (see our Peacock Bass maps). Every pond, lake, deep rock pit, and lateral canal will hold them, and they are frequently found in shady areas around bridges, culverts, canal intersections, bends, dead ends, and near fallen trees. Spawning during the summertime takes place on hard bottom near the shore and at the edges of coral rock drop-offs. We can not stress enough how much Peacock Bass love coral rock and limestone edges. This is where you will not only see them, but get them to strike aggressively all summer long. Peacock Bass love any live bait and will readily bite during the middle of the day, no matter what time of year.

Peacock Bass Summertime Artificial Lures

Fishing for Peacock Bass is pretty simple with artificial lures. They will hit almost any lure harder and with much more aggression than most any species. The only exception is the plastic worm used for Largemouth Bass. Peacock Bass don't like to strike them. All other lures will work on Peacock Bass. We will cover the three most consistent and productive ones for summer, including topwater lures, such as poppers like Rebel's Pop -R, walk the dog stick baits like Heddon's Zara Spook Jr, and prop or propeller lures like Heddon's Tiny Torpedo. All are excellent choices, and you should have all three for the different type of surface commotion they make.

Next would be crankbaits that float, suspend, and sink, including Rapala Original, Husky Jerks, and Countdowns. Sizes for these crankbaits should be #06 or #08. Color does not matter much, but try some bright, white, light, and dark.

Jigs of any type are great for spawn time and summertime sight fishing for Peacock Bass, including. spro buctail jigs, any DOA shad tail or jerk bait. DOA TerrorEyz is killer. Jigs in sizes 3/16th to about 3/8 ths will cover all water depths and conditions. Again, color does not matter, as long as they can see it; bright (red, orange, yellow, etc.), white, light, or dark.

Peacock Bass Summertime Live Bait

Peacocks are not picky - they will eat any live baitfish. Many anglers use golden shiners as they do for largemouth bass. The smaller shiners work much better. They will eat small bluegills and other panfish, which is legal to use as bait in Florida as long as you catch it yourself with a hook and line method. Peacock bass will eat any other small live minnows or baits swimming in the water.

Summary and Important Summertime Tip

When fishing for Peacock Bass in the summertime, working the lure aggressively is a sure fire way to provoke a strike. If a Peacock Bass strikes, swipes, or blows up on your artificial lure, do not stop it. Keep it moving and a second harder strike will result in a hookup. Not only is fishing good in the middle of the summer heat for Peacock Bass, but when the sun is up, sight fishing becomes easier. Just make sure you have a pair of good quality polarized sun glasses and a dark under-brim hat.

The Online Fisherman

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