NAME: Butterfly Peacock Bass, Peacock Bass
The body shape of florida peacock bass is similar to that of a largemouth
bass; Their appearance is highly variable, but generally golden with three
black vertical bars that tend to fade and are possibly absent in older fish;
black spot (false eye)with a yellow-gold halo on the caudal fin.
Introduced by FWC in large coastal canals of southeast Florida in 1984; low
water temperatures and intolerance of saltwater prevent this species from
becoming abundant outside of coastal Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Native
range lies within the Amazon River basin of South America. Peacock
also been successfully introduced to Puerto Rico and Hawaii.
Peacock bass thrive in warm, slow flowing canals, ponds, lakes, deep rock pits,
and lateral canals; frequently found in shady areas around bridges, culverts,
canal intersections, bends, dead ends, and near fallen trees.The peacock
spawns and often feeds in shallow water adjacent shorelines with overhanging
vegetation. Florida Peacock bass cannot tolerate water temperatures below
60F or salinities greater than 18 ppt.
Peacock bass typically spawn from April through September with a peak in May
and June; ( Florida's Peacock bass seem to peak a couple
of months earlier) both adults prepare a flat, hard surface near shore, then
lay between 4,000 and 10,000 eggs. Young are guarded by both parents, sometimes
for several months; males commonly develop a ‘nucchal' hump on foreheads
when reproductively active. Florida's Peacock bass are most aggressive during
the spawn and while guarding their young.
Peacock bass feed almost exclusively on fish; tend to use great speed to capture
prey. Peacock bass typically feed during daylight hours. Butterfly peacock bass has
helped reduce the number of undesirable exotic fishes, especially the spotted
Peacock bass grow rapidly to 12-14 inches during the first 16-18 months, after
which they become much heavier with each inch they add in length. A 17-inch
fish will weigh approximately three pounds while a 19-inch fish will weigh
up to five pounds. The largest butterfly peacock bass caught in Florida
weighed 12.0 pounds and measured 25.5 inches, this fish was not submitted for
a state record. It is not known how long they live, but data suggests
about six years.
Most popular sportfish in southeast Florida coastal canals where it generates
millions of hours of fishing pleasure for thousands of anglers .Florida Peacock
bass are available to both boat and bank anglers using the same basic tackle
as largemouth bass anglers; small shiners are the preferred live bait; rarely
take plastic worms like largemouth bass do, but top-water lures, minnow imitating
crank and jerk baits, and marabou jigs are popular artificial baits; streamers,
epoxy minnows and pencil poppers are favorites of fly fishers; daily bag limit
of two fish, only one of which can be greater than 17 inches. I strongly recommend
not killing them. gps
The state record for the Florida Peacock bass is 9.08 pounds, but fish up to
12 pounds have been caught; current IGFA all-tackle world record is 12.6
pounds (caught in Venezuela); 13 of the 16 current IGFA world records for the
Butterfly Peacock bass have been cought caught from Florida waters.