Author: Albert Acosta
Cold Weather Peacocks.
Father Winter paid a visit to South Florida last weekend and gave us a little chill. For us Floridians a drop into the 50's is like a blizzard lol ! I watched the weather reports and saw that the first Florida cold front was coming down and would drop the temperature into the low 50's. I know peacock bass hate the cold weather and a drop in temperature would drive them deep and possibly make them very lethargic. The front moved in over night and I had this feeling I can't describe...but this gut feeling to get up early in the cold and catch live bait and go fish for peacock bass. I figured that the fish would be bunched up in the deep trying to stay warm. The night before I prepared my set up. 30lb Bullbuster fluorocarbon with small 2.0 circle hook onto my Bullbuster Braid with an Alberto Knot line to line and small sinker.
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As I woke up and got ready that morning I was having second thoughts...it was pretty cold... but something told me get your gear put your clothes on and catch bait....then get some Cuban coffee. I did just that. I went to bait spot and started catching bait, I was surprised to find the bait so frisky and eager to eat. I thought they would be frozen... I was wrong. I started to get a real good feeling about the peacock fishing.... they were going to eat today. After catching about 10 baits I headed to the first spot. I looked around to see if any peas were around but did not find one. I knew they were deep hiding from the cold...but the water was not that cold as of yet. I hooked the bait on my sinker set up and tossed the very worried bait into a deep drop off in lake. After about two minutes I could feel the bait frantically swimming for it's life... then boom! Something grabbed the bait and was making a run towards cover, I firmly set hook and was on! After a nice fight I landed the first pea.
After landing that first peacock bass I headed to second location...I was looking for something special something that made me get up early in the cold... something my gut said would be there...waiting for me. At second location it did not take long...first bait in the water and a nice male peacock came up from the deep and chased bait... I could see him inhale the terrified bait and shake his head. I set hook and after another nice fight I landed him.
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After that nice pea I moved to last location...I still had not found what I was looking for. Once I arrived at the last spot, same thing no peas anywhere that I could see. I threw first bait into deep drop off. Not even 20 seconds and I could see my line running...I was on! I set hook but the fish came off after a few seconds. I threw second bait in and this time I saw my bait swimming back to shore... he wanted no part of being out in the deep cold water with the hungry peas. Then all of a sudden like a torpedo I saw a nice peacock chasing the bait...the live bait swam for it's life then another pea showed up to take part in the festivities but this pea was massive! I was in shock of how big she was...they both chased down the bait but the smaller of the two inhaled it. I was on again and after good fight I landed it and frantically set him free.
See what I was looking for was there...a massive beautiful powerful peacock bass and she was hungry. I put the biggest bait on that I had and tossed the bait into the deep ledge where I saw the beast emerge from. I felt my bait swimming like mad trying to escape it's certain doom then I felt the hit.... I knew it was her. I made sure to give her a few seconds to swallow the bait then I set the hook.... then all hell broke loose. She was furious, she was in no way going to let me land her! She made a furious run into open water, I have caught hundreads of peas but I had never felt the power and ferocious hard head thrashing that she was making. I patiently let her do what she wanted and expend all her energy. After a few minutes I started working on her bringing her closer to shore but she wasn't done. She saw the ledge and the deep drop and made a mad dash for the ledge...she was trying to cut me off along the jagged rock ledge... the Bullbuster fluorocarbon held and I was able to withstand her last mad dash for freedom. As I worked her closer to shore I started to grasp the true massive size of this pea...she was a Titan! I got her to shore and quickly swooped in like a hawk grasping its prey with its talons...I had her in my hands! She was a majestic beautiful powerful fish and she had been around for a while. She was a Queen of the Peas for sure. 24 inches of beautiful peacock bass. My gut was right get up put your clothes on, catch bait, something is waiting for you. It turned out to be a Queen. Hope you enjoyed my fishing report.
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