When do Peacock bass spawn in Florida?

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    When do Peacock bass spawn in Florida?

    The peacock bass spawn is around late February to about the ending of April in Florida.

    Absolutely! Late February to the end of April marks the prime peacock bass spawn in Florida. It’s the perfect time to hit the waters and reel in those trophy catches!

    These freshwater bruisers are ready to spawn annually once they reach about 10-12 months of age. The Florida Butterfly Peacock bass (Cichla ocellaris ) chooses a partner and goes off together to find a home to nest and lay eggs.

    Best Lures to use for spawning peacock bass

    When peacock Bass is spawning, they will hit about anything; I have caught them with a single hook in a pinch. But the lures I like using can sink down and not float up.

    Bucktails are great for this; additionally, The trusty Strike King Lures REYESD12-401 Red Eyed Shad 1/2 oz Hard Lipless Crankbait Lure, 3 1/4' Length. 8' Depth, Two# 6 Treble Hooks, Chrome Blue, per 1 is dynamite, the rattle sound that lure makes drives them to be very angry. Color choice in lures when targeting Peacock Bass Spawning makes no difference based on my experience; they are there protecting their nest.

    Just remember, ask your self is it worth bothering that pair of fish which is 2 pounds? It’s ok to pass them up and let the fish do their thing to ensure more Peacock Bass for the future.

    Bill Lewis Lures Lifelike Vibrations Rat-L-Trap 1/2 OZ Lipless Crankbait Fishing Wobble Sinking Lure for Black Bass, Trout, Walleye, Pike, Salmon, Gizzard SHAD
    • LIFELIKE VIBRATIONS – Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap lure produces sound that is nearly identical to the sound made by distressed bait fish, which leads to attracting predator fish and stimulating an aggressive feeding response
    • FISH-ATTRACTING COLORS – Fish Rat-L-Trap in saltwater or freshwater and choose among a wide range of proven and tested fish-catching colors to suit your needs; There’s a wide range of colors that stick out to predators hunting in any conditions
    • EFFECTIVE LURE – The Rat-L-Trap is a time-tested lure that deserves a spot in every anglers tackle box. Its low-frequency knocking pitch accompanied by its tight wiggling action and shad profile flash are a simple recipe to get you bit
    • SPECS – Measuring around 3″ and weighing 1/2 ounce, the Rat-L-Trap can be fished from fast to slow, shallow to deep and everything in- between. This simple-to-use lipless crankbait is a must have for locating and catching fish
    • EASY TO USE – Deep water? Shallow water? It works great in both. Fish ’em slow in the shallows with a simple cast-and-crank technique or let them sink to the bottom and burn ’em back across deep structure to create tons of bite-enticing deflections

    As the first of its kind, the all-plasticucky Craft® Square Bill Crankbait replaces traditional balsa wood models to give you a durable, highly responsive bait that can handle tough conditions. It floats high and fast, stimulating the feeding

    Where do peacock bass spawn in Florida?

    The peacock bass can be found around these typical structures; this is what the Peacock Bass uses for spawning. They usually like a sandy shallow section of the lake or canal bottoms with a system likes these below.

    The locations are also shared with all the invasive species we have in Florida. You can find our Florida Non-Native Exotic Invasive Fish Species Guide helpful for learning more about exotics in Florida.

    This Peacock bass habitat is what you usually see in South Florida lakes, ponds, and canals. They will nest on items like PVC pipes, tires, shopping carts, concrete blocks, natural stone, and lime rock.


    water pipes
    Peacock Bass Spawning Habitat

    Downed Trees

    submerged trees
    Peacock Bass Spawning Habitat

    Shopping carts

    shopping carts in water
    Peacock Bass Spawning Habitat

    How to identify Male Peacock during spawning

    When Butterfly Peacock bass spawn, it’s straightforward to tell which one is which. The male will develop a hump “Knothead” on the forehead of tissue while he is spawning. I also have noticed that when Butterfly Peacock is spawning, their dorsal fin changes into black vs. colorful.

    male peacock bass during spawning

    Should you target Spawning fish?

    I know first hand that there is nothing like pulling up to your favorite canal or lake and see two drop-dead beautiful colorful peacock bass on a spawning bed. There is no doubt! You get excited to catch them but first, a few things to think about.

    Those fish there lay thousands of eggs when spawning and are working night and day to fend off would-be thieves of their future fingerlings. I think it’s a good thing to inform potential anglers about this; I learned this myself from an old fisherman when I started fishing in South Florida when I was a teenager.

    The way I see it is if you must catch that trophy butterfly peacock bass on a bed, please only catch one, not both fish. Why? The reason is if you catch both, there will be no one home to guard their eggs.

    Sure they will come back to the spawning bed, but by that time, the countless exotic fish species like the spotted tilapia in Miami have possibly cleaned out the house and ate all their future undeveloped Baby Peacock bass.

    Recommend tackle

    I like fishing for Florida peacock bass with a KastKing Speed Demon Pro Bass Fishing Rods, Spin-Crankbait-7ft 3in M Power-Moderate 7ft to 7’3 Spinning rod, which is an incredible value when buying online. The fishing reel size of choice is 3000.

    I normally spool it with the best 8-pound test on the market right now, the KastKing FluoroKote. I recommend using a leader of 12-16 pound test to your mainline with an Albright knot.

    When the structure is heavy such as downed trees in the water or a lot of debris, it’s essential. I think we know how heartbreaking it is to lose a big fish permanently.

    Michael Ocejo ( Editor-in-chief )

    Michael loves fishing for peacock bass. He especially enjoys the great Florida weather and fishing in his backyard. Michael also loves spending time with his friends and family and loves baseball.

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