Peacock bass and other exotic fish species both introduced and invasive make South Florida a unique sportsman’s paradise. besides some of the best fishing grounds for tarpon, bonefish, snook, permit, sailfish, etc. our local waters also host a smorgasbord of fish from the Amazon as well as other tropical areas.
the big draw here for both locals and travelers is the Peacock Bass. Outside of South Florida one has to travel to South America and fish in the Amazon. Something that was canceled on me two years on row due to COVID. Other exotics include, mayans, oscars, clown knife fish, snakeheads and carp.
Urban Canals and Everglades Back Country
Peacock bass and other exotics are in virtually every canal or lake system in Miami and south dade as well as in the canals in the Everglades. While they don’t get nearly as big as their cousins in the Amazon, they hit hard, aggressive and fight hard, especially on fly rods (5 wt) or top water plug on a bait caster.
Fishing for peacocks in and around Miami and the Everglades both with a guide and on my own, I am hooked on these fish. So much so that I booked a trip to fish for them in the Rio Negro in the Amazon for 2020 that was postponed twice due to COVID. I plan on going to Brazil in 2023 season for peacock bass, location TBD, but my heart is set on the Rio Negro.
The easiest way to fish for them is from any of the canals in Miami and other parts of South Florida. Practically every urban canal will have peacocks, even big ones. Walk along the canal and Fish along the edges, under rocks and other structure. If they are there, they will crush your bait, lure or flies.
Best gear is a 5 wt fly outfit with any assortment of streamers. Baitcasting or spinning gear using topwaters are also sure to get fish.
Peacocks are not shy, so you can strip fast or jig the lure to make it pop and make noise. they are very tough scrappy fighters and are a blast to catch on any gear.