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Are fishing fry balls, beds and live bait valid peacock tactics?
Always OK
 57%  [ 4 ]
Never OK
 0%  [ 0 ]
Only when nothing else works (last resort)
 42%  [ 3 ]
I hadn't considered this before
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 7

Peacock Tactics - Fair Game? 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 8:15 am Reply with quote
Joined: 25 Oct 2007
Posts: 39
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Almost everyone has had a "high water" (or "low water") experience at one point or another. Unfortunately, with our wacky weather, it happens more often than we like. When fishing is really tough, what can we consider fair game and what is crossing the line when it comes to boating a few peacock?
1) On one recent high water trip, about the only way we could "buy" a fish was to sight fish for fry balls. This brought on an interesting debate. Some of the guides refused as they maintained that catching a parent peacock protecting her fry virtually assured the demise of that ball of fry (killing hundreds of potential peacock in the process). They said the piranha would swoop in and feast in the absense of the protective parent. Any thoughts on this?
2) What about fishing beds?
3) What about fishing with live bait?
I would appreciate peacock bass afficionados to weigh in.

Andrew Taylor
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Controversial Topic 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 9:48 am Reply with quote
Larry Larsen
Executive Director
Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Posts: 608
Location: Lakeland, FL
Tough question. First of all, if anyone does any fish fry or beds and catches a fish, that fish should be quickly returned. In the first case, fry balls, I have not had a guide (or fishing partner) that refused to fish them ever in 60 some trips. Often there is a second fish (the other parent) with the fry ball to protect it while you are pulling in one. I've only seen a fry ball without the protection of a parent on two ocassions. I feel it is OK to fish for one of the peacocks that are swimming with them, but bring it in quickly and release it quickly. The fish will normally go right back to the fry ball. Fishing a fry ball is not a guaranteed strike. I have seen some weeks where you would cast to 12 or 14 of them and never get a strike. On some days you may find 6 or 7 and on most none. Sometimes they are fairly easy to approach and cast to and at other times, they are very skitterish.

I do not do tactics 2 and 3 for peacock, but it is a personal preferrence. Like most largemouth bass anglers, I do fish a springtime bed ocassionally and have used giant shiners for giant Florida bass. I much prefer artificials for largemouth and all other fish. I have found most operators don't wish to have their guides fishing live bait, but one or two I know do "allow" it.

The piranha are always a problem that peacock deal with from the egg to the fry to the adult. At times, the larger ones are attacted when you are hooked up and fighting them to the boat. The tired peacock when released is also at the mercy of piranha, particularly in deep water or in or near the river. Always take a giant to shallow water to release it ... away from the piranha and dolphin. Many times when you release the fish, it will settle down on the bottom and rest for a minute or two before it swims off in a "recharged" condition. That fish is less suceptible to any piranha attacts then.

Larry Larsen
Executive Director
Peacock Bass Association
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Fishing in tough conditions 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 6:19 pm Reply with quote
Bob Daly
Joined: 09 Apr 2006
Posts: 255
Location: Whiting, Indiana
I have fished live bait on large circle hooks numerous times which often saves a trip when the topwater bite is off.
Also have had low water where numerous grandes are seen on the beds and won't touch an artifical. I have numerous times casted a live bait on top of the bed and caught the peacock.
If/when fishing live bait, make sure to use large circle hooks so the peacocks do not swallow the bait and use stout equipment to get the peacock in as fast as possible allowing for a quick/successful release. Also use a strong wire leader or the piranhas will drive you crazy:cool:
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Peacock Tactics - Fair Game? 
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