Peacock bass is the common name in English for a group of closely related species of tropical, freshwater fish of the genus Cichla, native to the Amazon River basin of South America. Despite their name, these fish are cichlids, not basses.
Sport fishermen have made these cichlids prized game fish for their fighting qualities, so much so that many travel agencies now arrange fishing trips to Brazil and Florida specifically to catch peacock bass. Renowned American peacock bass fisherman and fishing author, Larry Larsen, refers to them as “freshwater bullies” due to their ferocious nature when hunting and their tendency to damage and sometimes destroy fishing gear when striking.
The most common techniques for catching these cichlids are similar to those for catching largemouth bass, with the notable exception that peacock bass usually will not strike artificial worms – a widely used lure among largemouth bass fisherman. In addition, fly fishing techniques, including lures such as poppers and large streamers, are becoming increasingly popular for catching them. Despite their popularity among anglers, some naturalists have identified peacock bass as potential pests for causing ecological imbalances in some of their introduced areas.