Peacock Bass Fishing in Miami Florida
What a great bunch of guys they were, all here in Miami from all over the great state of Texas. Friends because of their daughters, that’s right they were all here for a volleyball tournament being held in the Miami convention center. The group of volleyball dads took time out between games to go fishing for the world-famous Peacock bass in Miami.
While the day had many up and downs, starting with their team in the morning beating the #2 seeded team, only to be beaten by a lower-ranked team right before heading out to go fishing. Nevertheless, the group still emotional about the win and loss showed up and was ready to fish.
The second hurdle of the day was the weather as you may be able to tell by the pictures, was quite wet. Once all the boats were loaded, we all headed in different directions not knowing how long we had to fish with the weather approaching all the guides agreed we needed to get on our best stuff right away.
We fish an area close that had been producing some bigger fish, I figured if we didn’t have much time the least I could do is try for a big fish. We fish hard for a while with nothing, I know the fish were there. I kept moving shallow then deep again, trying to trigger a strike. Looking over my shoulder I could see the weather rolling in and the barometer changing, I thought for sure these fish would start eating.
I had to make a decision and quickly, one that all guides are faced with…do I stay or do I go?
Time to Make a Decision
I decided to make a move, the fish were not cooperating and we needed to run from the weather. Once we ran to the next location, it wasn’t a couple of minutes of working the fishing spot and we hooked into a peacock bass, not a big one by no means but a peacock. I noticed from the first bite, that the fish seem to be very lethargic, to say the least. Staying with the pattern, working it slowly I started to get calls from the others guides that the rain was coming down in buckets I know we only had minutes. I turned to my guys and I offer to run from the rain, but they elected not to.
We continued in that area for an hour are so while the rain-drenched everything, despite the rain these guys were picking the peacock off one by one. The rain settled for a moment, so I then decided to make another move leaving that spot with about eight fish, one of which was about around three pounds. I still know these guys were better than that, I just need to put them around the fish and they would be able to catch them.
Getting further away from the ramp and the weather, we came off the plane to one of my favorite locations. It was only a couple of cast into the location and they hooked up on a nice 3-1/2 pound peacock bass, I know right then it was a good move. Still taking into consideration that the bite has been slow, I worked my areas slower than normal. By the end of one pass, we had another dozen or so fish with two peacock bass right at five pounds apiece.
With only a few minutes left, I decided to give my “big fish” spot one more chance on the way back to the dock. The rain was coming again and the trip coming to a close, I said “five more casts.” Everyone was still trying to make the most of these last cast, not knowing if they ever would be fishing for peacock bass again. With two out of the three anglers already finishing up, the last one makes his last cast at the same time I started trolling the boat to the middle of the lake to prepare for the ride back to the ramp.
Good Times to Continue Forward
Who would have guessed, that if I had a dime for every time this has happened I would be a very wealthy man? Yes, the last angler, last cast, last line in the water. I saw his line going sideways, I yelled “reel, reel.” This fish was heading right for us, he caught up with it nicely. Thank goodness for circle hooks!
I ask, is it a good one, is a good one?…he replied, no I don’t think so. Knowing this was the same angler that just earlier caught both of the five-pound peacock bass and had on a 12 to 15-pound snook on, I took his word on it.
Then the tell-tale sign for me, the drag screaming. I then realized he may have underestimated this one, with it being overcast and never getting a look at the fish I was still hesitant to scream trophy peacock bass when there are so many other big species in this water. So I patiently watched and commanded, “reel, reel. “No stop, reel as the fish pleasantly tested his skill and the backbone of the gloomis rod and the drag of the Shimano reel!” Simply put, “these are the times to have great equipment in your hands”.
After a few minutes of wonderful light tackle action with an 8-pound fluorocarbon leader and very good angling, we got the fish to the net. The high fives were flying, everyone know it was a good fish. With everyone else and the other guides waiting I put the fish safely in the live-well and proceed to the dock. The whole ride there, the smile from everyone on the boat could have been seen on Google earth they were so big. We pulled out the fish to sheer amazement from everyone and got together a few of the guys for a group shot pictured above and one of the big fish below that.
The only thing left to do was weigh the fish, with the help of the Florida Fish & Wildlife officer that was at the ramp we used my Boga grip. With everyone staring, we watched the scale max outright at seven pounds. The state record only being nine and three quarters, we came pretty close on a four-hour day of fishing with bad weather. The FWC office was all smiling to see them catch that fish, “he said, I see a lot of anglers and guides fishing here and this is the biggest peacock bass I have seen in a long time that has been weighted and verified.”
I hope you guys enjoyed it as much as we did!
From Staff Writer Capt Todd Kersey ([email protected])
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