Peacock bass are a species of fish native to the Amazon River Basin of South America. They’re a beautiful fish, and a tough fighter, making them a very desirable gamefish. Peacock bass were first imported to United States in the 1950s and have thrived in the warm waters of South Florida. While most famously fished for in the U.S. in Florida, they can also be found in Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

Angler Debbie Hanson found where to fish for them in Southwest Florida and successfully added this bucket list fish to her fishing resume. In this article, she shares five facts she learned about this awesome fish in the process.

deb_peacockI heard the initial rumors about two years ago. Yep, I was standing in the middle of the crankbait aisle at the Fort Myers Bass Pro Shop when I first tuned into talk of peacock bass being caught in Southwest Florida. Since this freshwater game fish was first introduced to Southeast Florida by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in the 80′s to help control the populations of non-native species such as the oscar, I was eager to find out if the rumors of these fish in Southwest Florida could be confirmed. So for the past couple of years, the peacock bass has taken a prominent place on my “fishing bucket list,” not to be scratched off until the time (and place) was right. SCRATCH!

Photo credits: B’ass Fisherwomen