March 31, 2020
If catching a Peacock Bass is on your bucket list, South Florida is the place to be!
Originally from Brazil and the Amazon, Peacock Bass were introduced to the canal system in South Florida in the early 1980s. The invasive species has made this place their home, enjoying the warm waters and snacking on the smaller Cichlids. Now they are found throughout lakes and canals of South Florida. Here are the best places to cast your line in hopes of a Peacock Bass:
Highly popular with boating and swimming recreationalists, anglers also enjoy a day on the waters of Lake Ida. It’s true you can see Interstate 95 from certain parts of the lake, but don’t let that distract you from the fishing. Lake Ida, located in Delray Beach, is connected to a variety of canals and lakes: from C-15 Canal in Boca Raton to the south and Lake Osborne in the city of Lake Worth to the north. Anywhere along these waters are great fishing grounds for peacock bass.
Just south of the airport is a group of lakes that provide some of the best Peacock Bass fishing in the area: Blue Lagoon Lake, Lake Mahar, Lake Joanne, Red-tailed Hawk Lake, and Red-shouldered Hawk Lake. Most people will fish from the banks of these lakes. Blue Lagoon Lake does have a boat ramp that gives access to the lake, as well as the canal that runs from the southwest to the northeast through the lake. Check any patches of weed grass throughout the lake for a school of Peacock Bass. Most Peacock Bass caught in Blue Lagoon can weigh anywhere between one to four pounds.
Throughout Broward and Dade County are familiar cities such Pompano Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, and Miami. Here you will find canals of water flowing from the Everglades to the East Coast. In these canals are a variety of freshwater species, including Peacock Bass. If you can find a canal, chances are you’ll find Bass (Largemouth and Peacock), Crapipe, Catfish, Redear, and Bluegill.
Among the canals in the area, these are some of our top choices: C-103 Canal in Homestead, Tamiami Canal (down the road from Airport Lakes), Black Creek Canal (also known as C-1), and Snapper Creek Canal, which runs over 12 miles from the Everglades to Biscayne Bay. The canals run through neighborhoods, behind retail stores, and near major Florida Interstate Highways. Find a place to park your car, grab your gear, and you’ll be fishing in no time at all.
Most anglers will fish for Peacock Bass from the banks and shores of South Florida. Your tackle should include lipless crankbaits and live shiners. Drift the bait along the topwater and get ready to set the hook. Also, make sure to have a net to help get your catch out of the water. As the weather (and water) warms up, so does the action. Fishing for Peacock Bass can be year-round, but late spring and summer are the seasons with the best results.
Regulations allow fishermen and women to harvest two fish per day, with only one longer than 17 inches. We recommend that anglers practice catch-and-release policy. Just take a quick picture of your catch, then gently release back to the water for another day’s adventure.
Afternoon fishing trips are great for fishing Peacock Bass. Again, that warm weather is key to your success of catching these aggressive fish. And, yes, they are aggressive. They are known to jump and thrash more so than largemouth bass and put up quite the fight. Grab your gear, find the closest body of water, and you’ll be reeling in your Peacock Bass before you know it!
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