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fly fishing for peacock bass 101 a tutorial

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fly fishing for peacock bass 101 a tutorial

Postby chris21 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:53 am

Hey guys hows it going? These past 3 months I have been catching hundreds of peacock bass on the fly rod I decided to make this article to help out fellow peacock fly anglers.

The Rod:
I only have 1 fly rod which I use in saltwater and freshwater so it is a nine weight fly rod, however you don't need a 9wt to catch these beauties, I would recommend between a 5wt and 7wt rod, it is enough, even for the hefty peas.

The Reel:
My 9wt rod is paired with a Sage 1600 series reel, the reel is affordable yet very powerful, it landed me an 18 pound carp last week and can certainly handle a peacock. try to match your reel with the weight of your rod, for example if you have a 6wt rod the reel should be designed for a rod 5-7wt, 6-8wt and any other reel that would have 6wt in it. any kind of reel can catch them, yes even those $40 Dogwood canyon fly reels can catch peas, they are fantastic reels for their price.

The Line: my fly rod has blue saltwater fly line spooled on it simply because it has been used in saltwater and I use it between fresh and saltwater. I have caught tons of peas even using this line, but I do not recommend it and will soon be buying a strictly freshwater fly combo. I would recommend a light green colored fly line designed for bass or trout, these lines are much more flexible than my saltwater line and will allow for greater and more accurate casts along with added stealth!

The Backing: My fly line backing is about 200 yards of 50lb power pro type of line. I recommend buying a spool of about 30lb power pro line to use as your backing, it will be more than enough to handle a large fish in case a carp or freshwater tarpon grabs and takes off with your fly, the very thin diameter of lines such as power pro are perfect to pack under the fly line adding more capacity and confidence should a large fish bite, I have never had a peacock take me down to the backing, but the reel should always be ready!

The Leader: choosing a leader material is a very important decision to make when fishing for peas, it can be the difference in catching 2 or 20 in a day. My rod has a 7 foot 12lb test mono leader which is more than enough, I will sometimes use a slightly longer leader to spook less peacock bass, thank God peas are extremely aggressive and wont hesitate to attack your fly but I have seen my fare share of peacocks getting spooked as well and unfortunately its usually the larger ones :( to prevent this I recommend starting off with an 8 foot 12lb leader, then change the length over time if the fish are spooked more or less, also using a smaller lb test leader will also be extremely beneficial!

The Flies: here is the big one!! If I could pick any one fly to fish for peacock bass with for the rest of my life it will no doubt be a clouser minnow! clousers are my absolute favorite fly to toss at them and they will get crushed 99% of the time. when I see the peacock bass I will cast the fly slightly past them and work it quickly by them, a fast moving clouser looks like a small fleeing minnow and should instantly grab their attention. presentation is key and while most peas will savagely hit a fast moving fly Ive had those days where they will ignore a fast moving fly, but when I slowed it down right in front of their faces then they go after it. My recommendation is to try different presentations until they dial in on a certain speed or movement, when they stop hitting it then switch presentations again until you get them feeding, it is very important!!! Clousers are the absolute best flies to use and I would highly recommend them, but should you be out of them or just don't have any yet, try a glades minnow, a deceiver, a small popper or other minnow imitation to catch them. the color of the fly is usually not too important as they are so aggressive they would hit even the most mismatching colored flies, but I usually prefer a white, green/olive and orange colored flies, reason is because these colors usually imitate a baby bluegill, bass or cichlid the most as they are used to seeing those in our lakes and canals.

Hope this article helps everyone and can't wait to hear the feedback and peacock reports!! Lets make this a sticky in this section!
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There's no such thing as too much bait!!

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Re: fly fishing for peacock bass 101 a tutorial

Postby rshields » Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:17 am

Great Post.... Thanks
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Re: fly fishing for peacock bass 101 a tutorial

Postby swordfish » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:13 am

Very cool, and quite thorough! Thank you, it will surely assist those new to the kind of fishing... Now to add your post, I also tie my own flies and have found white bucktail bottom with top olive bucktail and VERY little flash to be deadly! They also love smaller flies, and I have tied a few that I end up painting with a sharpie, usually stripes, 3 vertical stripes. These mimic baby peacocks and they are DEADLY on not just big peas, but Large mouth bass, they CANNOT stand them!

Also, to all those fishing lures and live bait for them, I have outfished my friends while they were using live bait on the fly all the time! The presentation is very subtle! I use a TFO 9 wt pro II rod and LOVE it! On the lake I fish, I usually blind cast non stop to transition areas, that is deep water that suddenly becomes shallow! Although these fish cruise up and down and I have spotted their backs out of the water to eat a bream!

Either way, very very cool fish to catch on the fly! Keep it up!



Tight lines!

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Re: fly fishing for peacock bass 101 a tutorial

Postby weetza10 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:45 am

Nice article. I have also found a "whistler" type unweighted fly to be deadly. They love orange/white, and charteuse/white combinations. I believe color to be very important at different times of the year but those are my go to. The only other tip I could give is usually-your not stripping fast enough. :dude:
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Re: fly fishing for peacock bass 101 a tutorial

Postby chris21 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:01 am

Thanks for thefeedback guys, like you said swordfish those little 2 inch olive/white clousers are absolutely deadly, presentation is also key but don't be shy about using different presentations as some will work better than others on certain days.
There's no such thing as too much bait!!

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Re: fly fishing for peacock bass 101 a tutorial

Postby kahmad » Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:51 pm

In my experience the biggest peas seem to ignore the smaller flies. That's why these days I tie an imitation baby peacock fly using olive and yellow buck tail. It's about 5 inches long and it always gets the big ones.

I figured this out as one day I was throwing a smaller pattern and catching half pound peas by the dozen when a monster 7 pounder came up and ate the little peacock I was reeling in at the time. I had thrown my little fly past the area where the big fish was sitting a number of times but he didn't want it. He killed that little peacock though.

It was pretty cool to watch.
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Re: fly fishing for peacock bass 101 a tutorial

Postby krash » Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:23 am

Good post, sticky is a good idea
For those using Spining or Bait-casting gear, tie on a Rapala Husky-Jerk or x-rap in black/gold color and follow same instructions... :cheers:

but there are way to many lazy people who just will not search or put in the time to look and will still post "Please help me catch Peacock", looking for exact gps co-ordinates. :twisted:
SW, Live to Fish, Have Tackle will travel ... >,)))~> ~~~~
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Re: fly fishing for peacock bass 101 a tutorial

Postby chris21 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:36 pm

krash wrote:Good post, sticky is a good idea
For those using Spining or Bait-casting gear, tie on a Rapala Husky-Jerk or x-rap in black/gold color and follow same instructions... :cheers:

but there are way to many lazy people who just will not search or put in the time to look and will still post "Please help me catch Peacock", looking for exact gps co-ordinates. :twisted:

yeah Ill admit I used to be like that but you wont go anywhere like that, Ill spend hours on google earth now trying to scout out locations. I just bought a black gold xrap yesterday after seeing my friend do very well with them, their slashing movement is extremely enticing to a pea when using spinning gear.
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Re: fly fishing for peacock bass 101 a tutorial

Postby El Pescador » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:44 pm

I am aware that folks just don’t give up their favorite fishing spots and that is how it should be for obvious reasons. However, when I am approached by someone who wants to improve their fishing, I always try to give some direction that will help them on their way, and from then on, they need to put in their time and pay their dues. I am hoping for some direction from this forum.
Most of my fishing has been with flies and I have been doing that for a whole bunch of years. I am also a flytying instructor so, if I have any skill to share with those of you on this forum, that would be it.
I will be living in Coconut Creek for three months and have hopes to learn about fishing in the salt as well as flyfishing for Peacocks. Hoping to meet some of you this winter!

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Re: fly fishing for peacock bass 101 a tutorial

Postby flycaster » Sat Jan 10, 2015 9:35 am

As for the large fly/small fly, large pea/small pea debate, here's my two-cents. Large peas are usually in the deeper water and at the deeper parts of the drop-offs. Use a sinking line (or at least let you fly sink for a while if not using a sinking line) with your 4-5" flies to get them. Small flies are catching peas because the flies are usually not fished deep and the smaller peas are nearer the surface...in most cases.

Now, if you really want big peas and the experience of a lifetime, you've got to go off to the Amazon. Amazon pea fishing has gotten to be quite expensive, but nonetheless, I would recommend that you save up your coin to make that trip before it is too late. I'll be down there at the end of January for my 7th trip...
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Re: fly fishing for peacock bass 101 a tutorial

Postby morrison17 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:47 am

Finally a thorough article. Great work writing this one. :reeling:
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