It's That Sunny Time Of Year!
Spring is here and the weather is beginning to heat up in sunny South Florida. We have had next to no rain for the last few months but the cold fronts and constant wind has been relentless. The bite has been hot, then cold, then hot again - constantly changing with the fronts moving through.
This time of year can be tricky fishing in the sense that you are dealing with very dramatic weather changes for what South Florida fish normally deal with - especially the ones in smaller bodies of water. In the canal systems, a cold front will really drop the temperature of the system quickly and you will see the bite take a major hit just a few days into the front. The bite won't recover immediately when the front ends either - you need hot weather to warm the canal systems to the previous point where the water temps were at.
For the peacocks, water over 70° is ideal, 65-70° is fair and under 65° is going to be tough. Once it creep down to 61° or so, watch out, because the peacocks are going to start dying quick. This year we barely escaped a major die off with many of the canals sitting at 62° and several fish floating dead. A few more days of sub 40-50° weather and it would have been a disaster.
Now that we have survived most of the cold front, the water temps are up and the peacocks are spawning. Peacocks typically spawn in the spring and it doesn't happen all at once, more so spread out over the course of two months. This is also not the only time they spawn during the year either.
When they are up guarding beds, there are several ways to get them, such as throwing hair jigs, small hard bodied artificial baits, flies, and live baits. There is nothing more fun this time of year than throwing flies at some mean bedding peas! They are going to defend that bed at all costs and will be more than eager to crush the fly. Try to leave the little one alone and focus on that big male ;).
When it gets cold the peacocks will stop spawning and drop back down deep. The sight casting is non-existent at that point and that's where you have to be a little more strategic. Look for deep water where the water is going to stay a little warmer and that is where you'll find them. Working slow moving twitch baits, jerk baits, or live bait is going to be the best ways to get them when they are lethargic and out of sight from the cold.
Hopefully the last cold front is behind us and plenty of warm weather and low wind days are on the way! Bring it on!
Capt. Scott Rose
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