What tackle do I need?
Frankly, just a package of lures - All of our operations provide quality rods and reels for your use at no charge and our guides are fully-equipped with the appropriate fish handling gear. You are, of course, quite welcome to bring your own rods and reels if you prefer. If you’re a bass fisherman, you already have most of what you need. What should you bring? A good rule of thumb is that if someone who’s never been to the Amazon recommends it for peacock bass, it’s probably too heavy. Because of this fish’s legitimately well-deserved reputation, the knee-jerk reaction is that it must be fought with extra heavy gear. Not a good idea! Anglers will quickly discover that peacock bass fishing means a full day of casting lures, making fast, aggressive retrieves and fighting numerous pugnacious fish, all in tropical conditions. After cast number 100, or retrieve number 200, heavy gear will begin to take its toll on anyone.
Peacock bass gear should be tailored to the size of the lure thrown, not the reputation of the fish pursued. Ranging from ½ to over 2 ounces, the principle lure types demand a broad range of tackle capability. Anglers often ask, "Which
is better for peacocks, spinners or baitcasters?" The answer is both. Each type can perform satisfactorily alone, but a mix is even better. Casting accuracy is important for successfully catching peacock bass in the structure they frequent. If you're comfortable and skillful with both types, you can truly tailor your tackle to your pattern and presentation. Our best recommendations are as follows;
First off, we recommend quality 3 piece pack rods such as those available from G. Loomis, Temple Forks Outfitters or St. Croix. They will fit right into your duffel bag. One piece rods require a long transport tube and are somewhat of a pain in the neck to travel with on international and charter flights. Two rods at a minimum will serve the purpose. Three will fill just about all likely applications. With reels, quality is important. Bring something that will hold up under a week’s worth of abusive use. Stay as small and light as possible and select for fast retrieves.
Most necessary – Jig Rig - A Medium-Light, six to seven foot, fast action spinning rod with a line rating of 6-12 pound test and a lure capacity of 1/8-3/4 ounce. Pair it with a lightweight, fast retrieve (6.4:1 or better) spinning reel (Shimano 2500 size) loaded with 30 pound test braided line (mono just won't work well here). You can cast 1/2 oz. jigs a mile and reel them in all day long. Yes, we're exceeding the rod’s line rating, but hopefully, you're letting your guide set your drag properly.
Most necessary – Chopper Rig – A Medium-Heavy, 6 and 3/4 foot (or shorter), fast action baitcasting rod coupled with a quality casting reel (Shimano Curado 200 or 300 size) with the fastest possible retrieve (7.0:1 or better). This outfit is designed to sling big surface prop baits with ease and accuracy. Use a rod with a line rating of 10 to 30 pounds and a lure capacity of ½ to 2 ounce. Load this rig with 65 pound test braided line and you're ready to probe tight cover, brush and logs with big woodchoppers or riprollers.
Optional addition - A stiff, seven foot (or shorter) medium baitcasting rod with a supple, fast action tip, a line rating of 8-17 pounds and a lure capacity of ¼ to 1 ounce is fine. Mount a lightweight, fast retrieve (7.0:1 or better) casting reel with 50 pound test braided line. This gives you a light but tough rig, perfect for fishing smaller stick baits and swimming plugs.
A wide array of lures are effective on peacock bass (see our pre-trip information section on lures), including several very big surface lures and several fairly small sub-surface jigs and spoons. Having two rods rigged and ready to go enables you to effectively respond to fishing conditions and situations. For those who enjoy enlarging their tackle collections, proper tackle for peacock bass fishing can be obtained on-line through www.Tackle-box.net.