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Hawaii Fishing Article

Peacock Bass at Lake Wilson

By Stan Wright

Heavy rains raised the level of Lake Wilson by 12 feet, and dropped the water temperature into the low 70s. The peacock bass moved from patrolling the shoreline to chasing shad in the deeper water.

Due to the cooler water temperatures the fish have been less than aggressive and only stayed on the surface for a short time. We called it the "five second rule". If you could get your lure in the boiling water of the feeding frenzy within 5 seconds, you hooked a fish. If not, you just had to wait for the next time the shad were driven to the surface and hope it was within casting distance of the boat.


What a difference 4 days and a 4 degree rise in water temperature can make. The peacock bass were chasing shad on the surface all around the boat. In every direction the water boiled with feeding fish. We were getting strikes and chases on almost every cast.

Chris and I started fishing at 4:00 pm. The water temperature was 74 degrees. For weeks the fishing had been slow. Peacock Bass are tropical fish and totally shut down when the water temp. drops below 70.

Light fly rods are just the thing for these
small peacock bass. Stan Wright has been
fishing Lake Wilson for over 30 years.

Chris Wright prefers ultra-light spinning
tackle to test his skills against Hawaii's
peacock bass.

I was using a 5wt fly rod with a small chartreuse/white Clouser. Chris had his ultra-light spinning rod loaded with 2# test line and was tossing a 2 inch Senko. Pink, White, Green, or Tan, color didn't seem to matter.

The tukes (peacock bass) ranged in size from 8 to 15 inches. Less than 2 pounds. They were fat and healthy fish, striking hard and fighting all the way to the boat. The perfect size for our ultra-light tackle.

When the sun set, their feeding ceased. I was ready for a rest from the constant action. I don't know how many fish we landed, well over 25 I guess. More important, I was fishing with my son and we got some nice pictures to remember our special time together.


Lake Wilson - Fun For All Ages

Andrew and Jesse pose with a Tuke (peacock bass) caught in Lake Wilson on the island of Oahu.

This 2 pound peacock bass was the perfect match for Andrews 4# test spinning tackle.

The schooling fish averaged from 1 to 3 pounds and were really exciting to catch on light tackle.

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