Though it's basic anatomy closely resembles that of the largemouth bass, the
peacock bass is actually not a member of the bass family. It belongs to a family
of fish known as cichlids. Like largemouths, the peacock prefers to ambush
unsuspecting prey from a stealthy vantage point and demonstrates a gluttonous
appetite. Common characteristic shared by all peacocks is the black circular
“eye spot” - dramatically rimmed in gold - on the base of the caudal fin.
Actively breeding male peacocks bear a prominent hump on their head. This is
used as a battering ram in battles with other males and to protect fry and
Rods -The rod must have the strength to throw large, wind resistant
flies. It should be able to stand up to bone-jarring strikes and have the
backbone to stop a fish freight-training for cover. Rods should be 8-1/2 to 9
feet long and be constructed of high modulous graphite for fast action. While a
9-weight rod is suitable for smaller peacocks, you’re better with a 10- or
11-weight because of the size of the flies necessary to tempt these fish.
Reel- Any quality saltwater reel should suffice, as long as it has a
smooth drag and matches the appropriate line weight for the rod, along with an
additional 200 yards of 20-pound backing. The reels should be clean and
lubricated with a good grease that won’t “bleed” in high temperatures.
Line - A quality weight forward floating line; an intermediate sink
tip for subsurface presentations and (for those rare situations where you find
deepwater oriented fish) possibly a full sinking fly line. Choose a line that
will not go limp in extreme heat. Having these lines on backup reels will allow
you to make quick adjustments depending on the conditions you will encounter.
Leaders - Peacocks are not leader shy, so build your leaders to hold
the fish. You can use big-game saltwater rigs, similar to those used for tarpon.
Basic construction should include a heavy butt section, loop ended for joining
the leader. The leader itself should be tied with Bimini twists. A short, heavy
shock tippet, of 30-40 pound monofilament tied to the fly will provide
protection from the peacock’s abrasive teeth, as well as rocks, bruch and other
heavy cover. In recent years, experienced fly anglers have switched to 30-40
pound fluorocarbon leader. It offers a thinner diameter than monofilament, and
is typically more abrasion resistant and invisible underwater.
Flies - Top water and subsurface flies in various shapes, sizes and
colors. The most successful flies are larger profiled patterns - all tied on 3-0
and 4-0 quality saltwater hooks - such as Dahlberg-style divers, large profiles
baitfish patterns, High-Tie or variations of Lefty's Deceivers. Natural
materials are appropriate, but the new synthetics available seem to hold up
better in the conditions you will be fishing. When fishing subsurface fly
patterns, the materials should contain a reflective material, such as Krystal
Flash or Flashabou, as they give a more life-like appearance to these baitfish
patterns. Attach the fly to the shock tippet with the use of any loop knot, such
as the Homer Rhode bonefish loop knot.
Peacock Bass in Guri Lake can easily reach 14 pounds. Bigger fish up to 24
pounds have been caught in these waters and 20 to 30 fish per day per boat is
average. One of the toughest freshwater species in the world, the peacock's
bone-jarring strikes, aerial acrobatics and line-stripping runs make it the
ultimate quarry for both the fly and plug angler!
****Information on this page provided by Gary N. Laden.