Top 5 fish that Florida Peacock Bass love to eat

Updated: Jul 8


Trophy Peacock Bass in South Florida


Top 5 fish that Florida Peacock Bass love to eat



The popular South Florida game fish is reaching trophy class sizes and is thriving in the tropical urban jungle. The Butterfly Peacock Bass ( Cichla ocellaris ) is such a powerful yet beautiful feeding machine. You can depend on a few things while fishing for South Florida peacock bass, a sunburn, and a smile.





What do Florida Peacock Bass eat?


This nonnative Florida species uses its combination of brute force and speed to decimate live pray. The peacock bass is primarily a fish feeder but will eat other forage like grass shrimp, crayfish on rare occasions.



Exotic cichlid buffet which Peacock Bass Love to eat


The peacock bass has many options to eat in Peacock bass fishing locations There is a plethora of nonnative species that the peacock bass loves to eat. The spotted tilapia is the main reason why this fish exists in Florida waters. Back in 1984, this fish was originally stocked to control overpopulation.


This fish is very opportunistic when it comes to living forage if it's small enough it will try to eat it. When fishing for them with lures they seem to like baits under 4" honestly 2-3" is the sweet spot for me personally. I have the most success while fishing for them with minnow type profile baits.



Top 5 fish examples of south Florida exotic species that peacock bass love to eat.


Florida Non-Native Exotic Invasive Fish Species Guide


  1. Spotted Tilapia. (Pelmatolapia mariae)

  2. Mayan Cichilid. (Cichlasoma urophthalmus)

  3. Black Acara. (Cichlasoma bimaculatum)

  4. African Jewlfish. (Hemichromis bimaculatus)

  5. Pike killifish. (Belonesox belizanus)


African Jewlfish

Which are some examples of South Florida native species that peacock bass eat?



  1. Bluegill. (Lepomis macrochirus)

  2. Redear sunfish. (Lepomis microlophus)

  3. American Shad. (Alosa sapidissima)

  4. Eastern mosquito fish. (Gambusia holbrooki)

  5. Spotted sunfish. (Lepomis punctatus)




Bluegill


What do Peacock bass do not like to eat?


Based on my experience of fishing for them for over 20 years is they simply do not like to chase or eat worms. Sure, you could catch one on a worm perhaps if the fish is bedding and is simply picking it up in anger. For the best fishing success stick to fast-moving minnow profile jerk bait or live bait.



What is the best live bait you can buy?


The best store-bought bait for peacock bait without a doubt is the Golden Shiner (Notemigonus crysoleucas) they are sold by the dozen in South Florida. You will need a fishing bucket with a lid and a aerator to keep live bait alive.



Do Peacock Bass eat at night?


Typically the Peacock bass do not feed at night , I can say from experience that the best peacock bass fishing is early morning about 9 am to about 2-3 pm. Peacock bass like it hot and sunny, cloudy and cooler days they do not eat as well.







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