Thursday, May 19, 2016

Fresh Water Feature Pt.2 - Peacock Bass

Peacock Bass are an invasive species to South Florida's freshwater lakes and canals.  They are normally found in South America, but were introduced to South Florida freshwater ecosystems in 1984 to prey on other non-native invasive species.  Since Peacock Bass cannot tolerate cold temperatures, they are to found anywhere in the country except Miami - Dade county, Broward county, and Palm Beach county.
Peacock bass can grow up to 100 cm in length and are easily recognizable by their brilliant green and orange coloring, they also feature a distinct eye spot on their tales that resembles the eyes on a peacocks feathers.  In adult fishers (primarily males but occasionally females) a distinct rounded hump can be found protruding from the forehead.
Peacock bass are widely renowned freshwater sport fish; so much so that travel agents even arrange fishing trip to Florida and South America for just the chance to catch one of these fish.  They put up an impressive fight and tend to run the line once they've been hooked.  My personal recommendation for peacock bass is a light and flexible tip rod with a solid backbone, and 5/8 lb test line.  They need some stretch in the line so the lighter the better.  During the mating season which occurs shortly before and during th rainy season, Peacocks become very aggressive especially around their nest, so they will devour practically anything put in front of them.  I prefer live bait such as shiners though, or a bottom water green and orange swimming lure.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Fresh Water Feature Pt.1 - Large Mouth Bass

Large Mouth Bass are a native freshwater species of bass that can be found throughout lakes and canals of the United States, primarily in the Southern states though.  The female largemouth can be significantly larger than male, and is easily recognizable during the spring spawning season by their fat belly which is full of unfertilized eggs.  They are primarily a dark greenish brown on top that fades to a whitish belly.  All of their miscellaneous fins are a dark green and they have trademark large beady black eyes.  
Largemouth bass feed primarily on small bait fish, crawfish, and insects; although it is not uncommon for the larger bass to feed on small water birds and even baby alligators.  Prey items can be 50% or larger than the bass itself and still be consumed.  Largemouth bass are highly sought after by anglers for their exciting catch and eagerness to eat, which leads to less time sitting and waiting with a line in the water.  Fly fishing has become the new trend in the world of fishing especially in large freshwater game species like the Largemouth.  Fly fishing for Largemouth can either be done with a top water lure or worm imitations tied with brightly colored natural or synthetic materials.  
My preferred method for bass fishing, especially Largemouth is a midwater swimming lure; reeled in a slow continuous movement, or live bait such as shiners (the larger the bait the larger the catch) on a lightly weighted line with a sinker to draw the bait to the bottom of the water.  With bass you tend to need a lighter class rod with a flexible tip and line ranging from 5 to 8 pound test.  Anything higher can be seen by the fish and is less likely to lead to a successful catch.