World Record Peacock

The giant peacocks in the area draw most of the interest from the visiting anglers, Marstellar admits. That hasn't changed since the new International Game Fish Association all-tackle peacock bass record was caught on the Rio Negro in late 1994. The 27-pound trophy, taken in early December, bested the previous record by 8 ounces. Gerald "Doc" Lawson was fishing around noon on a shallow "oxbow-type" lagoon off the Negro River in the state of Amazonas, Brazil, when he hooked the monster "tucunare". The world record peacock measured 36 inches in length and 26 inches in girth.

Lawson was using 30-pound Iron Thread braided line spooled on a Shimano Curado baitcasting reel and a Luhr-Jensen Peacock Bass Special lure. The topwater plug is expressly designed for the species with beefy hooks and hardware. The Luhr-Jensen Peacock Bass Special has two propellers on the rear of the plug and attracts peacocks by disturbing the water.

The 50-year old avid largemouth angler was fishing very clear, shallow water that had a light wind ripple on the surface, when he barely twitched the topwater plug. Lawson only noticed an almost imperceptible swirl to the left of the lure, but the guide and his fishing partner, John Williams, both saw the big fish coming up behind the plug. They pointed it out to Lawson who picked up the "twitch" speed of his retrieve. The fish engulfed the black with orange belly lure and made a power run from the 4-foot deep water toward the brushy shoreline. The giant was snubbed short of entanglements as Lawson tightened his drag slightly and thumbed the levelwind reel. Guide Natanael Miranda jumped into the shallow water with the net, but the fish turned and swam out into deeper, open water before jumping completely out of the water near the aluminium boat.

The angler and his partner yelled "No, No", fearing that the guide might spook the fish or get entangled in the line and risk losing the fish. Williams grabbed Miranda by the shoulders and literally yanked him back into the boat. He then lifted the trolling motor from the water just before the fish charged under the bow of the boat. The big peacock fought much of its battle within 20 feet of the boat and surged away several times. Lawson noticed that the fish was hooked deep, so he took his time and carefully "played out" the fish. The fish escaped the net four times before Miranda could reach it as Lawson led it head first into the net. The fish had taken the plug deep inside its throat. One hook was in its gill and the other in its mouth tissue. When they took out the lure, they noticed what appeared to be the tail of one-pound peacock bass sticking out of the giant's gullet.

Text from Peacock Bass & Other Fierce Exotics by Larry Larsen

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