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Peacock  Bass  Association
 Executive Director: Larry Larsen;   Editor: Lilliam Larsen

Information Central  (c) Larry Larsen

Water Temperature Patterning

Cold water patternsI 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.

AmCutter2In 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.

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