Peacock Bass

By: Caitlyn Gatrell

For some anglers like myself, the thrill of saltwater fishing brings joy to the fishing community, but it doesn’t stop there. For many, freshwater fishing can bring great excitement and achievements as well. In fact, many professional anglers out there make full time careers in the freshwater fishing industry, such as competing in tournaments, especially for bass. It also provides opportunities for tourism and just exciting, hands-on outdoors time for all.

There is quite a variety of freshwater species that are popular to fish for, depending on what region you are in, but a pretty popular species is the peacock bass. South Florida hosts a great selection for finding these fish and many can be found in canals, lakes, ponds, etc. These gosh definitely tend to put up a good fight and can be strong for their size. A great fishing memory of mine consists of fishing this lake local to me, where it was stacked with peacock bass. You could see them swimming along the bank everywhere, as the population was quite abundant here. Using live shiners and cichlids, we would toss them along the bank, near the rocky culvert, and the bait would immediately get eaten up, every single time. With this being my first-time peacock fishing actually, I was quite impressed at the crazy fast bites and immediate catching. We seemed to be ripping them up one after another, and on my second bite, I hooked into a big one, pulling the drag and running off. After getting it in, I can see quite the size difference compared to the one I had just caught 30 seconds before. It’s definitely a cool feeling when others in the group say they have been peacock bass fishing for years and have never seen one that big, so I was pumped! Getting those couple pics are key for the memories and sharing, so, we take a couple photos and get ready for the release. The fish swims off strong fairly quickly and we get ready to throw another bait in. I believe this trip we went through 20-30 baits within a 5-10 minute span, so we can definitely say it was a good fishing trip! As someone who would identify as a saltwater angler, it can be interesting to change things up sometimes and head towards those freshwater spots. If you are more of a saltwater fisherman, I encourage you to get out there and get your hands on a peacock bass!