Information Central (c) Larry Larsen
Water Temperature Patterning
I have always said that water temperature matters, and rain, which affects the
water temperature, also impacts the fishing. Some recent empirical (subjective and objective) evidence confirms my beliefs. Also confirmed is my belief that, in
general, giant fish are much more aggressive after 9 am. Before you email me, I will admit that exception to my "rules" do exist, but I have forged strong
"generalized" patterns based on my 65 trips after peacock.
Friend and long-time avid peacock basser Andy Rockwell put his temperature
meter to use on a trip to the Unini River watershed and found the following: The water temperature (in degrees Centigrade) varied from about 28 in the morning
to around 33 in the afternoon. Pockets in some lagoons varied from 31 to 33 degrees in mid-afternoon. After a hard rain, the water temperature nearer the
surface would often drop to 28 degrees or so.
He noted that most all peacocks would "shut off" when the temperature fell
below 28 degrees. Then the smaller ones would be active (strike lures) first as the temperature quickly approached 30 degrees. The giants would become active
when the temperature reached 31 or 32 degrees. Andy took a 22 and a 24 pounder on that trip.
These findings compare favorably with my contention that a hard, cold rain will
turn off the giants. They can't hear topwater baits do what they do best, make a commotion. What that does, in my
opinion and in several guide's opinions also, is "drive" the giants to sandbars where they can heat up more quickly.
That is where the giants will be first found after a hard, cold rain.
In my third book, Peacock Bass Addiction, I pointed out that, after a rain, the giants will move to lagoon sandbars (and the inside edges of
those sandbars in the mouth of a lagoon near the river) with a moderate to sharp drop-off. They will be positioned near the point where the
visibility to the angler (of the sand) disappears. In other words, they will be just inside the dark water where you lose sight of the sand. I have
taken several giants from these spots after rains. All of that said, I have also taken several right before a storm hits and in light rain, before it
impacted the temperature of the water.
All of this temperature patterning also explains, I believe, why the giants
usually don't strike early in the morning. As we know, they sleep all night long, like we do. The giants wake up groggy and need the sun and
warmer waters to get their metabolism going (kind of like a cup of coffee for my wife). Of my 530 plus teeners
(peacocks over 13 pounds) that I have now caught, I can remember only 2 or 3 taken before 8 am and maybe
another 15 caught before 9 am. Since they are what I focus on, I'm not too interested in expending valuable energy
early in the day on low probability targets. I try to optimize my "Teener Return On Energy Investment" and consider
the water temperatures' impact on the peacock bass to help me determine that. Try it yourself!
Editor's Note: Tips reprinted with permission from PBA's "The World of Peacock Bass" monthly eZine.