Cichla Temensis

Cichlidae

Perciformes

Rivers, Tributaries, Canals

3 - 29 pounds

18" - 39"

Speckled Pavon Game Fish Quality Very Good
Speckled Pavon Meal Quality Decent
Speckled Pavon Fly Fishing Quality Very Good

Speckled Pavon

Speckled Pavon
Also Known As: Painted Pavon, Royal Pavon, Striped Tucunare, Tucunare Pinema, Temensis Peacock, Speckled Peacock Bass, Three-Barred Peacock Bass

Speckled Pavon (Cichla temensis) Distribution

The Speckled Pavon is a large freshwater fish. It has a slender elongated body with 2 dorsal fins; the first is spiny and the second is soft. It has 3 black vertical stripes and their color pattern highly varies depending on the breeding season. When an adult speckled pavon has a dark brown or grey color and speckled with white spots, it means it’s a non-breeder. If the color is golden-olive with a red to white belly and lacks the white specks, It’s a breeding individual.

 

Speckled Pavon Size and Diet

In America, the speckled pavon is the largest cichlid. It can get as big as 3.3 feet and weigh as heavy as 29 lbs. On average, they’re only 18 inches long and weigh 3-4 lbs. The speckled pavon is a carnivorous fish. It mostly eats prawns, mussels, lancefish, or other small fish.

 

Interesting Facts About the Speckled Pavon

  • Aside from being a popular gamefish. It’s a famous pet recommended for serious fish keepers because of its size.
  • During the breeding season, some of the males also develop a bulbous head.
  • They’re also considered as a great dish. In Brazil, They’re cooked with vinegar and spices and sometimes they are grilled.
  • Originally, the speckled pavon was introduced to control the population of the Oscar fish and tilapias in Miami. They used to be plenty but now there are few speckled pavons seen in Florida. They and are now illegal to fish or possess in the U.S.
  • It’s also called the peacock bass because its caudal fin has a black spot rimmed with gold, which resembles that of the peacock feathers. 

 

Fishing Techniques: How to Fish the Speckled Pavon

The speckled pavon is known for its territorial characteristics and aggressiveness, which is why anglers love them in South America. To fly fish a speckled pavon, Take your boat to a spot where there will be stumps and plenty of vegetation where they most likely hide. Cast your lure and make it sink for a bit and then reel it in to make a sound. This will immediately catch the attention of the fish and take your bait.

Use a fast action 5-7wt rod of 7-9 feet in length. For your line, you can either use a monofilament or fluorocarbon leader and use a 15- or 20- pound tippet. For hook sizes, use the large 1/0 to 2/0 hooks.

The best lure to use is a popper for an aggressive fish like this. You can also use plugs, jigs, and spoons. For baits, you can use worms, shrimps, minnows.

 

Habitat & Distribution of the Speckled Pavon

The speckled pavon originally came from South America where it’s a popular jungle fish to catch through fly fishing or with a regular spinner. in the Amazon, Brazil. Other countries to catch as speckled pavon are Columbia, Venezuela, and Guyana. In the United States, they are quite rare. They thrive in shallow depths of the warm waters of the Amazon River.

The speckled pavon prefers temperatures between 73-77°F. The fish cannot survive when the water is below 60°F. The speckled pavon spawns when the water is at its warmest around April to September. They are more active during spring and summer when the water is close to their native area of South American waters.

Since it is illegal in Florida to catch a speckled pavon. Your best place to catch them now is in South America, where you can take a guide and fish in the vast Amazon River. Former fishing spots before in the U.S. for the speckled pavon are found in Florida, especially in the southern area. Anglers used to fish in West Palm Beach, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Naples.