October 12, 2021
It took three-hundredths of a pound to erase an almost 30-year-old fishing record in Florida.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission certified a new record for butterfly peacock bass this week, a 9.11-pounder caught on live bait that beat the previous record of 9.08 pounds caught in 1993.
Felipe Prieto from Hialeah, Fla., caught the record while fishing at a Broward County lake after work. It measured 23 5/16 inches long, the FWC said in a news release.
"The butterfly peacock bass is colorful, a lightning-fast striker and a hard fighter," FWC Commission Chairman Rodney Barreto said in a news release. "Anglers from across the country travel here to catch a peacock bass, which only adds to the tremendous economic impact fishing has in Florida. This unique game fish is just one of the features that makes Florida, truly, the Fishing and Boating Capital of the World."
More info from FWC:
- Peacock bass are unique among freshwater fish as the only nonnative species to be legally established in Florida.
- The FWC stocked peacock bass in coastal southeast Florida canals in 1984 to help reduce the number of undesirable exotic fishes, especially spotted tilapia.
- A side benefit of the stocking has been a new fishery for Florida. Limited low temperature tolerance normally restricts butterfly peacocks to Broward and Miami-Dade counties but recent mild winters have allowed anglers as far north as Palm Beach County to enjoy catching this species.
- Native to South America, butterfly peacock bass have flourished in southeast Florida and FWC biologists have documented even larger fish.
Florida's Big Catch Program compiles state fishing records in numerous categories. Before a catch can be certified as a Florida freshwater record, an FWC biologist must identify the species and an FWC employee must witness its weighing on a certified scale.
Check back for updates on this story.