How To Catch Peacock Bass

Peacock bass was introduced in Malaysia during the 90s as ornamental fish. Since then, peacock bass has spread into the wild and has been accepted as freshwater game fish for local anglers. Our butterfly peacock bass can grow up to 60cm length (~4kg) but the most common size is around 40cm to 50cm. It is fun to catch on light and medium tackles and also technically challenging to catch on lures. But that is what game fish is for!


Peacock bass can be found in small body of still water and abandoned tin mines around Peninsular Malaysia. Peacock bass loves warm water and will shy away or becomes lethargic when the water gets too cold for them. They hunt in both shallow water (1 foot) and deep water where we have caugh them in water up to 40 feet deep. They loves vegetations and will use it as cover to ambush for food. They also loves hard sandy bottom and will make nest on this type of stucture during spawning. Though they say the early bird catches the worm, for peacock bass the action will gets better when the sun is out. 

Even though peacock bass is said to has voracious appetite, catching them on lures is technically challenging. The best lures to catch numbers of peacock bass is using micro or small profile lures. To catch size, bigger profile lures will do the job. You may have read somewhere in the Internet that peacock bass is hard to catch on soft plastic baits. That is not the case  for our butterfly peacock bass in Malaysia. If you want to catch your personal best, we highly recommend you to consider using soft plastic baits especially big worms. In many high pressured fishing spots here, soft plastics baits will excel where anglers will have hard time catching them using hard lures. 

Peacock bass hunt in groups, the smaller peacock bass will have larger number of members than bigger peacock bass.  The movement of peacock bass is greatly influenced by their spawning stages where they will stay shallow during spawning and post spawning stages and will move deeper after spawning until pre spawning stages.  

Like other chiclids, peacock bass will spend most of the time close to bottom of the lake. Any bottom contact techniques will catch these peacock bass. Sometimes on cloudy days, you can see school of peacock bass busting baits on the surface and you can catch them using top water lures.

Peacock bass is fun to catch on light and medium tackles. Here are some tips for choosing tackles to fish peacock bass:


Tip: Fast action

Line rating: 1-6lb, 4-10lb, 6-12lb, 10-20lb

Lure Weight: 1/4oz - 1oz

Length: 6'6" to 7'


Spinning size up to 2000 or low profile baitcaster. Gear ratio 5:1 or 6:2 for spinning and 6:3 or faster for low profile baitcaster.  


6lb to 15lb test line for mono or fluorocarbon. 10lb to 20lb test line for braided. 


Micro and finesse type lures will catch numbers. Bigger profile lures will catch the biggest fish in that fishing spot!