Lure and Fly Guidelines
The Lures - When peacocks are in full feeding mode, anglers could probably toss their shoes into the water and get strikes. Lure selection, however, becomes critical as soon as conditions make the fish a little more selective. To optimize your lure selection, anglers should focus on the following four classes of lures:
Prop Baits - The classic peacock fisherman's tool, these big, gaudy plugs are best known for the spectacular surface explosions they elicit. Anglers should bring at least a half dozen assorted samples, concentrating on the larger sizes (up to 2 oz.). Among the best choices are Highroller's Magnum Riproller. The larger models are harder to work but pay back with greater durability when fighting big fish. Lighter versions of these lures may perform just as well but carry smaller, less durable hooks. They will attract plenty of strikes, but may break your heart when you finally hook up with your trophy.
Jigs - This is the ultimate peacock bass bait. Nothing catches as many peacocks as a properly fished 1/2 oz. peacock jig (strip it-don't jig it). Either tie your own or buy a high quality pre-tied model, such as Sidewinder's Peacock Bass Rattle Jig. For more information on the peacock bass rattle jig and for the recipe to tie your own visit our Peacock Bass Jig Guide. Bring at least a dozen or two (more if you'll be fishing piranha laden waters).
Swimming Plugs - A great all-purpose peacock bass lure. These baits are easy to use and work under almost all conditions. Recommended models include; Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow (3/4 oz., floater), 7 inch Cotton Cordell Red Fin, large Bombers and floating Rapala Magnums. Bring a half dozen.
Walking Stick Baits - Sometimes a slowly sashaying stick bait will trigger violent peacock strikes. Brands include; Zara Spook (3/4 oz.), Super Spook (1 oz.) and Mega-Bait (2 oz.). Bring 3 or 4.
Other Lures - The great majority of the peacock bass on our trips are caught by the 4 types of lures detailed above. Sometimes, however, conditions call for a specialized tool. Carry at least one or two large spoons (Johnson's silver minnow - 1 and 1/8 oz.), a few big Rattletrap lures, and perhaps a small, deep diver. Of course, every angler has their favorite lure, one that they just know is going to change the face of peacock fishing and land them a world record. By all means, bring it, but don't bring too many. Weight limits and space considerations demand that you focus on the most productive items.
If the water is off color or there is a slight chop, a propeller-type topwater lure (like the 6-3/4" Big Game Wood Chopper) will effectively attract the fish's attention. If the water is completely calm (and/or clear), it may be wise to try a more subtle topwater lure like a 4-1/2", 3/4 oz. Heddon 'Zara Spook.'. If the fish refuse to take topwater, switch to a subsurface lure. If the water is clear, lures without a sound chamber (ie. Cotton Cordell's 7", 1oz. 'Red Fin' or Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow) are very productive. If the water is off color, use a lure with a sound chamber (A Peacock Rattle Jig or Bill Lewis 3/4 oz. 'Mag-Trap) . In hot/bright light conditions a deeper running lure (or more deeply fished jig) may be your best choice. Yellow/red or red/white 1/2oz. peacock bass rattle jigs (tied on wide gap/4/0+ extra strong hooks) are also extremely effective even when the fish are not feeding aggressively. Try varying the retrieve until you start getting strikes. Most commercially-tied bucktails are not suited for peacock fishing. Custom-tied jigs are available from Acute Angling's Tackle-box.
Where to Buy - All of the individual items recommended here, as well as complete destination specific packages are available at www.Tackle-box.net or call 866 832-2987 or 866 431-1668 for assistance. Lower priced or higher value alternatives are also available.