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Peacock Bass Fishing in Florida

Updated on June 21, 2012

High Adrenaline Freshwater Fishing

Fishing for peacock bass in Florida is limited to southern extremes of the state. Those that take the time to locate and fish this species will be pleasantly surprised at how hard they strike and fight. These can be aggressive feeders and are fun to catch for any fisherman.

Why Are They Here?

About 20,000 butterfly peacock fingerlings were stocked into major canal systems of southeast Florida between 1984 and 1987 by the FWC. These fish were introduced to increase predation on illegally introduced and abundant exotic forage fishes, especially the African spotted tilapia, as well as to enhance freshwater sportfishing opportunities in the metropolitan Miami-Ft. Lauderdale area. This project has been very successful, and butterfly peacock represents a multi-million dollar sport fishery in South Florida.

Only after many years of research by the FWC was the butterfly peacock fish species introduced into the Florida marine environment. Fisheries scientists are typically opposed to introductions of exotic fishes that have not been thoroughly studied. A species that has been beneficial in one location may be harmful elsewhere. All species introductions need to be scientifically evaluated before any are released into a new area. For this and other reasons, it is illegal for anglers to release live butterfly peacock anywhere other than back into the waters from which they were caught.

Due to the careful planning and the FWC's preliminary evaluations, Florida's butterfly peacock fishery has been cited as a successful program by several environmental groups. The butterfly peacock population flourish in South Florida, and is a justified exception to the FWC's general rule of not allowing introductions of exotic fishes.

Many fishermen echo the sentiment, because they are an exciting, aggressive and hard fighting fish to catch. However, due to their need for warm tropical water, the gamefish species may by limited to the lower part of FL, in the freshwater canals around the Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and the Everglades.


Miami Peacock Bass Fishing video

Peacock Bass in Miami

Fun to Catch!

Anglers who fish for the Peacock Bass in Southern Florida are happy and surprised that they can target and catch this gamefish without having to travel to South America on a fishing excursion. Granted, the 'Peacocks' in Florida are not yet as big as the ones along the Amazon River area, but they are still very exciting to catch.

Video of Peacock Bass in a tank

A 6 lb Peacock Bass caught on a fly

Have you ever caught a Peacock Bass?

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      Dan 8 years ago

      is there a trade a trip forum here ?