The peacock “bass,” as we refer to them, are actually members of the cichlid family, and among their basic instincts is the habit of holding or carrying their young in their mouths for safety. This means there will be periods when the male or female, father or mother if you will, must release their young in order to feed. Seasoned peacock anglers can readily detect this activity by what I like to refer to as observing nervous water. During dead calm periods, they look for areas of surface disturbance with a very slight shimmer within the disturbance. This shimmer will be the peacock fry feeding on the microscopic animals within the system. Your goal is to place a cast squarely on that patch of nervous water. If you hit that target, more often than not you will be hit back. Miss by just one foot in any direction and your chances of success will diminish by better than fifty percent. This is truly target fishing. The BEST lure I have found for this approach, period, is Luhr Jensen’s “Woodchopper” or “Jack The Ripper”. The Yanna, afloat on the Rio-Negro Vince Segrefredo with a 33.5 inch Rio-Negro Peacock
When target fishing peacocks, remember to keep your distance. Timing and distance are of utmost importance. If you encroach upon their presence and are detected, they will simply disappear and seldom ever return. Long accurate casts are paramount to ensure successful targeting of this nature. The length of time they will allow their young to feed in this manner is an unknown, but from my own observations it isn’t very long. The lateral line of the peacock appears to be very sensitive and efficient, thus enhancing the parents’ ability to detect our presence and protect their young regardless of their location within the water column. It’s interesting to note that the pairs of mature peacock you encounter will often be of the same age, and because the male and female can both reach monster proportions, finding one could mean catching two if done properly. I previously noted the presence of a lateral line. Now let’s evaluate its influence on the predatory habits of the peacock. The lateral line is that sensory gland that runs nearly the entire length of the fish’s body and ultimately connects to the inner ear. Its placement is within the upper third of the fish’s profile. This upward body placement indicates to some degree that its acuteness when sensing motion or noise from above might be greater than if it were located at the center of the fish’s profile. This may explain the seeming contradiction between the peacock’s cautious nature and its desire to take things from the surface. The waters of the Rio Negro are very dark, yet it amazes me how often you will find monster peacock within inches of the surface - even under the highest of skies. The mouth of a monster peacock is a sight to behold. A twenty pound class peacock could easily take a small animal such as a snake or lizard commonly found in its environment. Spinnerbaits such as the M&G Musky Tandem and bucktails such as the Bucka- Boo from Lindy Tackle, generally used to target muskie, would not in any way be too large. Surface baits such as the Poe’s Giant Jackpot, Luhr Jensen’s Woodchopper or Amazon Ripper and others are by no means too big or aggressive for pursuit of Many world records have fallen as a result of anglers joining our group aboard the YANNA , Chuck Veith, Dr. Jeff Rozinka, Bob Mehsikomer and soon the be added, Dave Stewart.