How did peacock bass arrive in South Florida?
The FWC (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) introduced this non-invasive trophy fish in Miami, Florida in 1984. Towards the end of the 1980’s some of these beautiful fish made there way through the canal system into Fort Lauderdale. The history of the introduction of these native Amazonian fish, is that they were bred at labs founded by the wildlife commission and imported from Brazil, Guyana, and Peru. The FWC’s Non-Native Fish Research Lab was the place of origin for this amazing encounter. Using three stocks increased genetic variability, and it is only after being tested by both USFWS + Auburn University that these fish could be stocked into our ecosystem safely because they are disease free! Peacock Bass are a lot of fun to catch too – but their real value comes in controlling overabundant exotic Forage species which would otherwise unchecked pillage native habitats or eat up all edible vegetation within reachable distance.”
Catch & Release
We know how much fun catching a peacock bass can be, we’ve been doing it for over 30 years! The reason why they’ve done very well in south Florida is due to the catch & release mentality of anglers here. It’s encouraged to practice catch and release fishing while reeling-in Peacock Bass, especially for those fish that exceed 14 inches in length. The low water temperature intolerance is what prevents this species from becoming prominent – they’re not very happy when it gets too hot or salty!
What is the best bait to use?
Live bait is the best way to catch a freshwater peacock bass in south Florida, according to Bassonline.com! Anglers can use artificial lures, live Shiners, or even flies to attract this elusive fish because they like eating pretty much anything you put in front of it. These beautiful fish will bite when offered anything that looks like food, so make sure they feel comfortable by using whatever type attracts their interest. Whether its freshwater fishing near bridges, in hidden local ponds, or near underwater structure, shoreline fishing for peacock bass is a BLAST!