Peacock Bass: What are They and Where are They Found?

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Peacock bass are some of the most exotic and beautiful freshwater fish on the planet. You will find, however, that the species known as “peacock bass” could actually be any of fifteen different species of Brazillian Chicla. They are often referred to as tucunaré (their Portuguese name) or pavon (their Spanish name).

Further, despite carrying the coloquial title of “bass,” they have far less in common with black or white bass than you might imagine.

Appearance: What Do Peacock Bass Look Like?

A myriad of different colors including different shades of reds, yellows and greens primarily. Usually sporting vibrant red eyes with black vertical lines wrapped around its robust body.

All of these paired together make the peacock bass not only aesthetically pleasing but also easily identifiable.

Did you know: Peacock bass are not actually bass at all.

These fish are part of the Cichlidae family and certain species can grow to be 20lbs or more. They are plentiful but only in certain warm areas of the Americas and Asia which makes the peacock bass a bucket list catch for a lot of anglers from around the world.

Where Are Peacock Bass Found: Habitat and Locations

Peacock Bass
Photo via Karelj/Wikimedia Commons

A large portion of these fish can be found in the Amazon in South America, however, they have also been introduced into hot weather climates in North America and Asia. Peacock bass thrive in large pools of water where there is plenty of food for these absolute predators.

Diet and Lifestyle

Like largemouth and smallmouth which aren’t related outside of the word bass, peacock bass are opportunistic feeders. This species is very aggressive whether its targeting crayfish, tilapia, shrimp or insects.

Root systems of tress below the water’s surface is a good place to look for these fish as they use this cover to strike unsuspecting prey near the perimeter of the roots.

Are Peacock Bass Safe To Eat?

Yes, you can eat peacock bass. They have a firm white meat which has a hint of sweetness in the taste. Most anglers in North America practice catch and release with peacock bass.

It is always a good idea to check the local fishing regulations on bag limits before heading out to fish if you plan on keeping any species of fish.

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