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Streamers fished on sinking lines seem to be most productive for catching larger-sized fish as well as peacock bass. Popular streamers include 6-inch (5/0) bi-colored, heavily-dressed bucktails in red/yellow, olive/white, black/white, and orange/black. Big Deceivers, Bunnies, Saltwater Zonkers, Clousser Minnows, and other flashy bait-fish imitations all take fish. All patterns should have generous amounts of matching Flashabou or Crystal Flash. Big saltwater poppers are exciting to fish, but can be extremely exhausting to cast and retrieve for prolonged periods. Gaines saltwater popper in red/yellow and pearl/olive hold up well and are hard to beat in terms of their 'action' in water. 'Sliders' are productive in clear water situations. Popovic's 'Silicone Mullet' in olive and white is hard to beat.
They should be fast action models, because they load sinking lines more efficiently, and they generally have more 'backbone' than softer models. Bring at least two fly rods, because they often break under the 'jungle stress'. Reels don't need to hold a lot of backing because peacocks don't make long runs, so a smooth strong drag is essential. It is recommended that you have a 'heavy' fly rod & reel combination: A stiff/fast action, 9-foot, nine or ten-weight rod (Sage 990-3RPLX) + Scientific Anglers 'System 2- 89' reel.
And recommended 'med-heavy' fly rod & reel combination (for smaller fish): A stiff/fast action, 9-foot, seven-weight rod (Sage 790 - 3RPLX) + Sicentific Anglers 'System 2-78' reel.
They are undoubtedly much more effective than floating lines. A Teeny '300 T-Series/Sink Tip' (this line can be fished on anything from a seven to ten weight rod) is our number one choice, followed by a Scientific 'Uniform Sink V' full sinker. Also bring a floating line for poppers and sliders. A line with drastic weight-forward taper (like Scientific Anglers 'Mastery Saltwater Tarpon') matched to your rod weight will handle the wind-resistant poppers most effectively. A Small Cotton Minnow Seine is a must in order to keep your fly line from tangling in the boat's seats, floorboards, rods etc.
Peacocks are not the least bit leader shy. Most fly anglers use a straight shot (approximately six feet) of 40-50 pound monofilament leader material. Anything lighter will be snapped off like sewing thread when that fifteen pounder runs you into a tree or rock pile. You will go through a lot of leader material, because of the peacock's extremely abrasive teeth. We recommend buying a 1/2-pound spool of Ande 'Tournament' monofilament. If you're trying for a IGFA record, you'll have to follow their leader specifications.
All our camps have courtesy casting rods with reels and line for the use of our guests. Every season the stock is renewed and brands and models may change. Guests usually bring along their favorite tackle and, we highly recommend bringing three -or four- piece spin, casting, and fly rods that you can carry on the plane. The cumbersome one-piece models often get lost or broken in transport no matter how well they are packed.
Bait-casting and spinning rods should be LONG-HANDLED/medium-heavy action models designed with plenty of backbone for hook setting/pressuring big fish (recommended for 1-3 ounce lures). Bait-casting reels should have a high-speed retrieve ratio, as lures are normally worked at an extremely fast rate. Bring at least two rod and reels, because you might break a rod or strip the gears in one of your reels. Because of this, most anglers prefer to use casting rods instead of spinning models. The precise, direct presentation of the level-wind casting reel is generally much more accurate than the high-arching lob of a spinning reel.
Here are a few examples of the most popular tackle combinations:
BAITCASTING: G. Loomis, G3, three piece IM6 6'6" Casting + Abu Garcia's 5500 C3-Two Speed level wind reel. SPINNING: G. Loomis, G3, three piece IM6 Spinning + Diawa's '4500 Regal-Z' spinning reel.
50 LB. Berkley 'Gorilla Braid' (green color). (Kevlar sinks and is therefore not suitable for top-water fishing).
Make sure to bring AT LEAST the minimum number of recommended lures listed in front of each lure type -- in a mixture of BOTH light and dark colors/shades (i.e. 10 of the 'propeller-type' top water, 8 of the minnow/jerk bait, etc...) Angling conditions will have you going through a lot of tackle. In many cases, there are several brands of lures listed under each classification. Those listed first are the most popular, although the order could be a topic of serious dispute among peacock veterans.
Quantity: 10-12 lures, or one of the PEACOCK KITS
Classification: PROPELLER TYPE (topwater)
Company: HighRoller Fishing Lures
Model: RipRoller Series
Size: 5.25", 6.25" or 7.25" RipRoller
Color: Perch, Halloween, Clown, Peacock, Fire Tiger, Speckled Peacock, Pearl Chartreuse Head, Black/Orange.
Classification: MINNOW/JERK BAITS (surface)
Company: Cotton 'Redfin' Cordell
Model: 'Long A Minnow'
Size: 6" hvy. dty. hointed 1oz.
Color: Silver Flash
Company: Tony Aceta
Model: # 17 PetSpoon'
Size: 1 oz.