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BigDaddyHub

Peacock Bass in SoFlo

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Yup it is. We've lived on both sides of the state... it was 'interesting' living 20 mins from the WV border when we lived on the West side. Here on the East side out in the 'country' we feel like we are somewhere in Alabama at times. But it is nice to have a little trout stream 1 mile from my house here. Wifey just got a job up by Albany, NY and I'll be splitting my time between there and here. It will be nice to be back up in the New England area again. I will be using some of FF13 popper for the warm water up in that area, I have already tied up some of her panfish foam things.

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Her basic skills are quickly improving. I've allowed to to develop her own style the last few months, but for the last few weeks she has been learning some really good professional tips from me and some locals better qualified to teach than me. She ought to be showing great improvement by the end of the summer. She tied her first Elk Hair last night and it was damn near perfect. Love PA, man. Browns, smallies, fresh chrome October thru April. Great angling state!

 

Maybe the next time you're in the Miami area and have a few days, pop a few peacocks and post a few pics for those of us stuck in the holler!

 

Salty, have you had the opportunity to bust the big peacocks on your forays to S.A.?

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Her basic skills are quickly improving. I've allowed to to develop her own style the last few months, but for the last few weeks she has been learning some really good professional tips from me and some locals better qualified to teach than me. She ought to be showing great improvement by the end of the summer. She tied her first Elk Hair last night and it was damn near perfect. Love PA, man. Browns, smallies, fresh chrome October thru April. Great angling state!

 

Maybe the next time you're in the Miami area and have a few days, pop a few peacocks and post a few pics for those of us stuck in the holler!

 

Salty, have you had the opportunity to bust the big peacocks on your forays to S.A.?

 

I never get a chance to fish on my biz trips down there, either I'm too busy or I'm not exactly in a spot where I would feel comfortable doing that. Brazil is beautiful, but not the safest place in the world.. nor is bogata or panama, etc.. so I'm usually in and out and keep my head down, though I do love eating and drinking down there... but we just got a biz in argentina and I might make time when I'm there to try some.

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Panama and the central portions of Costa Rica and Honduras are nasty as well. Down for some training with INS and Homeland a few years back. The howlers were freaking unreal! Will never forget that!

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I had not heard that, Rich. I know the speckled peacocks the State stocked years back died because they require warmer average water temps than the butterfly species. Any news from you FLA guys?

 

 

We had a really bad fishkill this year in January because of an extended cold snap. It was pretty severe on both sides of the state but from what I heard the west coast around Tampa and Sarasota got hammered the hardest. The snook can't handle water temps too much below 60 and the temps dipped down into the 40's. There were huge snook belly up because of the cold. It was so bad that they didn't re-open the season in February (The season is closed from December-January and again May-August on Gulf and June-Aug. on East) but are keeping it closed at least through summer when the fish spawn to try and gauge their stocks. I haven't heard anything about a fishkill in Miami with the peacocks. When I lived there, even in some of our coldest winters I don't remember any peacock kills, not counting the failed attempt to introduce speckled peacocks. The canal water must stay warmer even during cold snaps since all the fishkills I ever saw were in the salt.

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Wow... that sounds bad... I am surprised the fish didn't just run deeper if they were in the salt. It's hard to cool the ocean, especially with the gulfstream conveying so much warm water through there all the time on the east coast. I never would have suspected that would happen. I don't remember anything like that happen with the deep freeze we had back in the eighties.

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There was a fishkill in the 80's when we had the really bad freeze when the orange crops froze up. My dad and I went out about a day or 2 after the cold front passed and it was a beautiful day, not too cold and extremely calm and clear. We went over to the run-out channel of Turkey Point Power Plant near Homestead and ther were dead fish all over the place. I remember there were alot of dead snapper, looked like big muttons. Amazingly many of them were laying dead on the bottom rather than floating. The only reason I can see for the fish not running out deeper there was because of the warm water outflow from the power plant, but apparently it wasn't enough to keep the fish warm. That was 20 years ago but I'll never forget it, a horrible sight. Strangely enough, we didn't see any dead snook, I guess they went way up into the rivers to find deeper holes.

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That is weird... I was there then, and I don't remember the stories about fish kills. Guess I just forgot. I remember the summer kills clearly enough. And I've seen the dead fish from those kills. You know though, I think I was fishing tarpon a lot in those days, and maybe they weren't really affected the same way... I don't know. I might have just been oblivious if it didn't affect what we were fishing for. We used to run Card Sound a lot for snapper, grouper, sea trout and tarpon. It was a blast.

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The funny thing about the fishkill was the dead fish seemed to be congregated near the power plant, I don't remeber seeing any dead fish anywhere else. There may not have been a massive fishkill that made news or reports but was only confined to the fish that tried to find warmth in the channel rather than running out deeper. I remember after cruising around the channel and seeing all the dead fish we ran to the grassflats on the north side of the Blackpoint channel and there were no dead fish at all, we even caught several small mangrove snapper and trout.

 

We used to go down to Card Sound as well and fish the reefs around Carysfort light. Man, that was a beautiful area and very little boat traffic compared to the places closer to Miami like Fowey light. We used to put in at this old dirt ramp off of Card Sound Road that they eventually paved and turned into a full-scale marina.

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The funny thing about the fishkill was the dead fish seemed to be congregated near the power plant, I don't remeber seeing any dead fish anywhere else. There may not have been a massive fishkill that made news or reports but was only confined to the fish that tried to find warmth in the channel rather than running out deeper. I remember after cruising around the channel and seeing all the dead fish we ran to the grassflats on the north side of the Blackpoint channel and there were no dead fish at all, we even caught several small mangrove snapper and trout.

 

We used to go down to Card Sound as well and fish the reefs around Carysfort light. Man, that was a beautiful area and very little boat traffic compared to the places closer to Miami like Fowey light. We used to put in at this old dirt ramp off of Card Sound Road that they eventually paved and turned into a full-scale marina.

 

 

 

 

It's like the Eagles sang, "Call it Paradise, say Goodbye." Still daydreaming about peacocks...maybe next year, once our little can make the trip.

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Hello BigDaddyHub you don't need to go to South or Central America to caught these fish, is a bit expensive and you need passports to traver to these countries, on the contrary here in Puerto Rico there are so many of those fish that are a plague, but a good plague, LOL! you don't need a passport to come here and is good also for Tarpon, Snook and so many others species of fish.Here are some of the Peacock Bass that I captured (ALWAYS CATCH AND RELEASE)

Ps. I use a 4 wt rod for those fish, is much more FUN :yahoo:

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BigDaddyHub,

 

For 13 years, I lived on the main canal system that was the Pilot Study for the introduction of peacocks. I have heard of scattered fish kills in Miami-Dade, but there are many areas that seem to be fine. I don't check in here as much as I'd like due to a busy work schedule, but I've got lots of good info if you have specific questions. I've also got recommendations that go against many of the prevailing sentiments about how to catch them under cold or adverse weather conditions.

 

For a reasonable fee, there's also a young guide who works out of South Dade that could get you into some nice water, Mark Ward (http://flyfishpeacocks.com/). I fished with him a few years ago when I had a client come into town.

 

I’ve posted the following stuff on a few forums at one time or another.

 

While peacocks are not very picky I might make a few generalizations based on hundreds of afternoons wagging a fly rod around for these fish.

 

Best Time - Fishing may slow down during the winter if water temps drop too dramatically -- but you can catch them all year. A neat winter trick is to go “dredging” with a sinking line and a big orange deceiver or mirrolure fly. Some of the biggest peacocks I ever hooked were caught on the bottom just after cold fronts

 

Equipment - This is pretty open. I throw anything from a 5-weight to a 9+. In summer schooling peacocks can be fairly small and the 5 is a nice match. During fall to spring I throw a 9-weight with a Teeny 350 and work the deeper waters. Flies can be anything from a mylar-dressed hook to a large mirrolure fly. Bright is better. I’ve fished with a few South Florida Guides who were surprised at the use of the heavy sinking line. I really need to stress that my biggest peacocks were almost always taken in deeper water. Another neat trick with the sinking line is to use a floating fly. On a pause the fly will suspend or start to float up. However, on the strip the fly will be pulled back down to the line.

 

Methods - Many people sight fish for the big fish along the banks. Stationary/holding fish are often bedding down and may not "eat", but they will aggressively charge anything that comes too close. If you get one of these fish please release it as quickly as possible, since repeated molesting will drive the fish off the bed. In the deeper canals, I had great success drifting down the canals while throwing the sinking line towards the banks and shallows and stripping into deeper water. Fast short strips worked best for me. If you don't see fish it doesn't mean they are not around. Keep your fly in the water as much as possible and cover as much water as you can.

 

Flies – Everyone loves Clouser Deep Minnows. I know they work, but I like to use other stuff. If you can find any, look for the color scheme shown below – killer! If you are just prospecting or blind casting, the smaller flies are generally the best. However, if you have targeted specific fish, the bigger flies might be the ticket. My kit includes lots of orange – it works. Notice the color scheme of bedding peacocks; they get an explosion of reddish-orange around their throats. They are giving a signal to someone. Also, although parents will protect their young, other peacocks will be cannibalistic. My favorite pattern is an imitation of a baby peacock. My second favorite would be a small marabou muddler.

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Yes everything JJD is true, the only thing I can add is, those fish are wild and eats almost everything, but the best fly is the clouser minnow and deer hair patterns.I used a 7 wt rod but most of the time I use a 7' 6" 4wt rod is sufficient to the Cichla ocellaris (peacock bass).Here in PR and Florida live the same species "Cichla ocellaris" unfortunately we don't have the "Cichla temensis" which is the largest species, but we not must import because we have this one, that is very good too and grow up to 12 pound.

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