Updated: Jul 8
When Do Peacock Bass spawn in Florida?
What are Florida peacock doing when Spawning?
I consider the best time a year to catch a Trophy is during there annual spawning season. Down here in South Florida the peacock bass spawn can be around late February to about the ending of April. These freshwater bruisers are ready to spawn annually once they reach about 10-12 months of age. The Florida Butterfly Peacock bass (Cichla ocellaris ) chooses a partner and goes off together to find a home to nest and lay eggs. The fish get incredibly aggressive once they have done this at a nesting site. They will destroy anything they see as a major threat to there eggs. They almost always stay on there nest until the new batch of Monster Peacock bass to be is born.
Where are Florida Peacock bass found?
The peacock bass can be found around these typical structures,this is what the Peacock Bass uses for spawning. They normally like a sandy shallow section of the lake or canal bottoms with structure likes these below. The locations are also shared with all the invasive species we have in Florida. You can find our Florida Non-Native Exotic Invasive Fish Species Guide helpful for learning more about exotics in Florida.
This Peacock bass habitat is what you normally see in South Florida lakes, ponds , and canals. They will choose to nest on items like PVC pipes, tires, shopping carts, concrete blocks, or natural stone, lime rock.
Which Florida Peacock is the Male gender?
When Butterfly Peacock bass spawn it's really easy to tell which one is which. The male will develop a hump "Knothead" on the forehead of tissue during he is spawning. I also have noticed that when Butterfly Peacock is spawning their dorsal fin changes into black vs colorful.
Should you really catch Florida Peacock bass when they are Spawning?
I know first hand that there is nothing like pulling up to your favorite canal or lake and see two drop-dead beautiful colorful peacock bass on a spawning bed. There is no doubt! you get excited to catch them but first a few things to think about. Those fish there lay thousands of eggs when spawning and are working night and day to fend off would-be thieves of there future fingerlings. I think it's a good thing to inform potential anglers about this, I learned this my self from an old fisherman when I started fishing in South Florida when I was a teenager. The way I see it is if you must catch that trophy butterfly peacock bass on a bed please only catch one and not both fish. Why? The reason is if you catch both, there will be no one home to guard their eggs. Sure they will come back to the spawning bed but by that time the countless exotic fish species like the spotted tilapia in Miami have possibly cleaned out the house and ate all there future undeveloped Baby Peacock bass.
The Best Peacock Bass Lures
When peacock Bass are spawning they will hit about anything, I have caught them with a single hook in a pinch. But the lures I like using are ones that can sink down and not float up. Bucktails are great for this, additionally, The trusty lipless crankbait is dynamite, the rattle sound that lure makes drives them to be very angry. Color choice in lures when targeting Peacock Bass Spawning makes no difference based on my experience, they are there protecting their nest. Just remember, ask your self is it worth bothering that pair of fish which is 2 pounds? It's OK to pass them up and let the fish do their thing to ensure more Peacock Bass for the future.
what kind of tackle for Florida peacock bass?
I like fishing for Florida peacock bass with a Kastking Speed demon 7ft to 7'3 Spinning rod,which in an incredible value if your when you buy online. The fishing reel size of choice is 3000. I normally spool it with the best 8-pound test on the market right now which is the KastKing FluoroKote. I recommend using a leader of 12-16 pound test to your mainline with an Albright knot. When the structure is heavy such as downed trees in the water or a lot of debris, it's very important. I think we know how heartbreaking it is to lose a big fish always.