Many anglers have good fishing days—but not so common are the great catches that freshwater fishing can provide. What if I told you there is an opportunity for you to fish and catch large numbers of exotic species that you would expect to catch only on the Amazon? What if I also told you that you can experience all the action and more by traveling less than an hour from Miami?
Fishing in West Palm Beach freshwater lakes commonly yields a catch of up to 100-plus fish such as peacock and largemouth bass. South Florida has an abundance of big schools of sunshine bass on Lake Ida. In addition, clown knifefish and peacocks are commonly present in up to 20 lb catches per day. You can also find huge largemouth bass feeding on the abundant shad schools when the weather is right. You may even see some fat Mayan cichlids grabbing up the bait that the larger game fish neglect.
An array of ultra-light spinning outfits should be kept ready with plenty of live bait, and live bait chum. The bait should be either rigged straight to a small light gauge wire hook or deployed with an adjustable float and split shot rigged about six inches above the hook. Troll, drift, or fish "on the anchor." Naturally, the placement of the hook in the bait may change depending on the boat's angling deployment.
As soon as you start chumming with live baits, as well as faster-sinking tiny shad chunks, you will immediately be hooked to hard-fighting sunshine bass. Clown knifefish and largemouth bass can be found feeding along the weed bed edges. It may take as little as 5 minutes scouting along the weed edges to see your first knifefish roll.
Much like the peacocks, chumming produces non-stop action with largemouth bass—up to 10 lbs, as well as 15 lb knifefish—which may inspire the avid angler to turn his/her attention inland to freshwater fishing for largemouth bass and bluegills in the western canal system of Palm Beach County.
The canal system has been stocked with peacock bass. The peacocks have created the makings of a guaranteed-catch fishery that would thrill any angler. While the peacocks were growing in popularity in Brazil's Amazon River, you can get an opportunity to catch fair-sized specimens yourself right in South Florida.