Best South Florida Lakes for Peacock Bass Fishing
Finding the best peacock bass Florida locations is a simple task when you’re working with the right information. These incredible fish are exciting to track, fun to reel in, and a joy to snap pictures of when you get one. They’re actually pretty easy to entice as well, so once you figure out where they are, it doesn’t take a lot to get one in your boat.
Whether you’re traveling from out of state or right up the coast, we’ve got the best peacock bass fishing lakes and canals for you, so continue reading!
Peacock Bass Florida Locations
Here are some of our top peacock bass Florida locations for you to check out.
Miami Airport Lakes, Miami
Dade County is loaded with great places to catch peacock bass, but few are as great as the Miami Airport Lakes. Travel south of the airport, and you’ll find places such as Blue Lagoon Lake, Lake Mahar, Red-tailed Hawk Lake, and more. There’s a great population of peacock bass here ranging from 1-3 pounds, with the biggest ever (10 pounds) coming from this area.
The best butterfly peacock bass fishing occurs between the months of March and May, but you can expect to catch them all year long. Most people fish using live bait along the shore, but there are a few access points into Blue Lagoon Lake and throughout the canals that run southwest to northeast. Look for patches of grass and heavily vegetated areas along the shore.
Broward and Dade County Canals
Anywhere throughout these two counties, if you can find a canal, you’re likely to find peacock bass. Our top choices are the C-103 Canal, Black Creek Canal, and Snapper Creek Canal. They run through neighborhoods, by stores, and close to all interstate highways, so you’re always sure to find one that works for you.
If you’re traveling here from outside the area. Be sure to check out some local guides to help you determine the best time of year to fish for peacock bass, as well as what they’re currently biting.
Lake Ida, Delray Beach
The Lake Ida chain of lakes is a popular fishing destination for people from all over the world. Within minutes of landing in Palm Beach County, you’re a short trip away from some of the best fishing anywhere on the coast.
The lakes start at Boynton Beach and end in Delray Beach. Make your way through the seemingly endless canals, and you’ll find plenty of structure where the peacock bass are hiding.
While you might be able to see the interstate from portions of the lake, don’t let it turn you away. When you’re fishing in this part of Florida, much of the time, you’re right in someone’s backyard, but there’s great peacock bass fishing no matter where you are in South Florida.
Markham Park, Ft. Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale also offers some great fishing that’s rich with peacock bass. If you’re traveling here from out of the area, you’ll find a ton of canals that make their way throughout the area down to the Everglades.
Markham Park is a 669-acre park intertwined by Florida canals. Here you’ll not only find an abundance of peacock bass, but you’ll also find snakeheads. These are a favorite in this area, and they are highly aggressive and fun to fish because they put up quite a fight.
Peacock bass are also an exciting catch around here and a favorite of locals in Fort Lauderdale. One of the best things about visiting this area of the state is that there is plenty for the whole family to do. When you’re done fishing for the day, there are tons of activities for those who might not be as interested in fishing.
Golden Gate, Naples
The Golden Gate canal system is one of the most exciting areas to fish for peacock bass. It’s located between Naples, Marco Island, and the Everglades National Park. If you’re exploring South Florida for the first time, we highly recommend checking out this area.
There are miles of drainage canals that make up this system, and every so often, you’ll find a boat ramp and bridge where you can launch or cast. At the northeast parking lot, there’s a community park, and this is where most people launch their boats. The ramp is at 3300 Santa Barbara Blvd in Naples.
You’ll find plenty of low-hanging trees, docks, and weed beds to fish, so there’s no shortage of great opportunities to catch peacock bass here.
The Bel Aire Canal (C-100), Miami
The Bel Aire Canal is a perfect example of peacock bass fishing at it’s finest. While you might have a bit more of a difficult time finding a strong population of fish here, it’s the canal system and variety of fish that draws people in. Expect to find butterfly peacock bass, largemouth bass, bluegill, and other panfish here as well.
Lake Osborne is a 356-acre chain of lakes in Palm Beach County. Here you’ll find an assortment of fish ranging from butterfly peacock to sunshine bass and catfish. Access to the lake is plentiful with plenty of areas to fish from the shore because most of the lake is surrounded by John Prince Park.
Whenever you can catch a cold front, the peacock bass start biting heavily. Make sure to target them during the middle of the day when the temperature warms up a little. If you’re fishing in the hot summers, this is when peacock bass bite most heavily, and the largemouth retreats deeper for more moderate temperatures.
Peacock Bass Fishing in Florida: Locating Them
Now that you’ve seen some of the best peacock bass Florida locations, let’s talk a bit more about your strategy for catching them. These fish are an exciting fight, and their bright colors make the event even more enjoyable. But you need to know where to find them.
While you can find peacock bass almost anywhere in South Florida, there are some specifics that can help you. Look near drop-offs and hard structures such as boulders and large cement blocks along the shoreline.
Peacock bass generally prefer clear water, so you’ll want to fish clear sections near the shore. They do inhabit weedy areas underneath lily pads and in murky water, though.
The best trick we have for identifying peacock bass is to look for their bright orange color. During the spring months, when they’re spawning, they travel in pairs, so it makes it easier to locate them.
Sometimes you can even catch them swimming in small groups of four or five while chasing down small baitfish in the shallow water. This is the best way to track them down and figure out where they are.
Regulations in this area permit anglers to take two fish per day, with one being longer than 17 inches. It’s important that anglers practice proper catch-and-release policy to preserve these beautiful fish.
Presenting your Lure to Peacock Bass
The next step to catching a peacock bass is knowing how to present your lures and what to use. Peacock bass are big predators, so they eat heavily on anything, and they’re most aggressive in the heat and sun. When they’re active, they’ll strike at anything, so you don’t have to be too picky about what you give them; it’s all about the presentation.
If you’re out there and they don’t seem interested in shiners or cichlids, go ahead and switch to a small fly or soft plastic worm. If they’re not biting, try slowing down the presentation a little, and this especially applies during the spring. When in spawn, they tend to stay in one place and protect their beds, but if you can get close enough to threaten them, chances are you’ll get a strike.
Topwaters tend to work pretty well too. If you can do anything to mimic the baitfish they’re familiar with eating, you should have no problem.
Local Peacock Bass Fishing Guides
Your first step to getting a trophy Peacock bass if you have no access or visiting and have no gear is using a fishing charter. Here at Florida Peacock Bass, we employ many of the world’s best professional guides all across the country to work here. Simply choose a destination and we can provide a true professional in every sense of the word and you’ll find a list of all available charter captains on the guides page.
So let’s get your friends and family out fishing for a memorable day of peacock bass fishing! Depending on if you’re looking to go out today or in town wanting to go tomorrow, or you’re planning a vacation and wanting to mix in a little fishing. Start your next trip with our local professional guides and get the adventure started today.
Peacock bass fishing in Miami is a thrill, and it’s something that brings a lot of people to this area of the state each year. These bass are an exciting fish to track, and they’re sure to impress when you pull one out and snap a picture of it.
Keep in mind all the recommended lakes we’ve provided and always check our fishing reports to find new information and updates on the best peacock bass fishing in South Florida.