Peacock Bass fishing with guide

Tucunaré” in Portuguese, “Pavon” in Spanish & “Peacock Bass” in English

Peacock Bass are of the biological genus Cichla, commonly called Cichlids, and not a true Bass. These are some of the hardest fighting fresh water fish in the world.

Sport fishermen and Brazilian government agency have conducted very few scientific studies since its “discovery” in the early 1990’s. There is an amazing lack of knowledge of the Peacock Bass, the different subspecies widely distributed across South America, it’s, spawning habits as well as movement habits from the dry season of the year to the wet season. Due to the remoteness and vastness of the watersheds they live in.

Early in the mornings you seem to see a lot of activity in the shallow edges of small lakes and lagoons as the bigger Peacock Bass are chasing baitfish and juvenile members of their species. As the day goes on and the water in the shallows heats up, the bigger Peacock Bass do tend to move into the deeper water in the middle of the lagoons where the water is a little cooler. Thus, generally you will fish the shallow edges in the mornings and the deeper waters during the heat of the day.

Peacock Bass actually seem to suspend during the night and do not feed. Peacock Bass are predatory fish and love to lie in ambush for an easy meal. Prime places to fish are around cover, not only on the banks of rivers and lakes, but also around islands, submerged trees and flooded timber, as well as sandbar points located away from the shore. Although Peacock Bass will school and push bait fish to the surface, the bigger fish will most often be found lying in the shadows of brush, banks or sand bars in ambush mode.

The places you will look for in pursuit of big Peacock Bass (10 lbs. +) are points with submerged brush on them that drop into 8 – 15 feet of water. Points that drop off into 3 – 8 feet of water will usually hold smaller fish, except in the mornings. The exception to this rule is when the Peacock Bass are spawning around the sand bars located in the backwaters. Remember, the biggest fish will hold the most advantageous ambush sights, i.e.; points, stumps, etc. This is the main reason that heavy fly rods in the 10 weight class are necessary when “playing” with Peacock Bass in the 14 – 25 lbs. class and the use of the 65 – 80 lbs. test braided Kevlar on the bait casting and spinning gear.

Once a big Peacock Bass is hooked, he will head straight for the cover he feels safe in, and will give you more fight per pound than any fresh water fish you have ever hooked before. Peacock Bass have an abnormally large tail for their body size, which generates tremendous power. Do not overlook a solitary stickup, no matter how small, in the middle of a lagoon. Very often a big Peacock Bass will be holed up in its shadow in ambush mode. Cast to it, work you lure past the stickup and be sure you have a good grip on your rod!

What is known about these fish is that they will weigh upwards of 30 lbs., are structure oriented, will eat anything they can get into their mouth, and are extremely aggressive. All this and the seeming ability to make them mad enough to kill a noisy topwater lure that is repetitively run by them even though they are not actively feeding, makes them a prefect target for Sport fishermen.


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