Kick @ss Peacock Bass
by Kelly Bandlow
I’ve long been an advocate of fly fishing for small mouth bass in a river setting. As a matter of fact, when it gets down to brass tacks, I perfer it to fly fishing for trout. You take a 12 inch smallie and it will give you a battle worthy of any 17-18″ trout. Then there is the almighty large mouth. Nothing gets my blood boiling like seeing a large mouth bass come from behind a grouping of lilly pads and simply explode on a mouse or popper pattern skated across the top of a pond or lake. An attack of this nature is totally animalistic and most brutal. This is the closest I’ve come to seeing “jaws” in person.
But how about fly fishing to a bass that:
Takes you into your backing (several times!) before it’s landed.
Makes your 6 weight rod double over like it’s a noodle of a light 3 weight bamboo stick. Is a brilliant piece of artwork attached to the end of the leader when pulled from the water. These fish are a kaleidescope of neon orange, yellow, black, red and sometimes a teal green. As an added bonus for sleep-in anglers, these bass do not bite early in the morning, or at night.
I’m talking about the Butterfly Peacock Bass. It is so named for the “peacock eye” marking near the base of its tail.
This bass strikes a fly like lightening, is as strong as a linebacker, and puts on twisting acrobatic displays worthy of an olympic gymnast. Most anglers that target this fish consider it the hardest fighting freshwater species there is – on any form of fishing tackle. In my opinion, someone will have to go a long way to disprove this notion. Another great aspect of chasing Peacock Bass with a fly rod is that 90% of the time you are sight casting to them. No special equipment is needed, a simple nine foot 5 or 6 weight works just fine. A short, 10 to 12 pounder leader, capable of presenting a weighted fly will get the job done.
Many people think that the only way you can find a real trophy Peacock Bass is to travel to the jungles of South America. Drifting through the coffee colored waters of the Amazon would be the trip of a lifetime, but for those of us with limited time and resources, a trip to south Florida makes much more sense. The urban jungle of Miami may not be the most beautiful spot in the world, but when you are posing with a six to seven pound Peacock Bass (the world record is 12 lbs.), who would notice?
Does this sound like something you might like to try? Especially when all your fishing buddies have put away their equipment until spring arrives because of freezing tempatures. If so, give Curtis Wright Outfitters a call 877-450-3474 and ask for Kelly, or click on the CWO logo link below. We’ll be happy to talk with you about this, or any other dream trip you might have.