palm beach county fisherman on a charter with peacock bass

Capt. Patrick Smith

​​Ph: 561-503-0848

Email: captpatrick@swamptosea.com 

We Are the Home of the All Tackle World Record clownknife fish

During July of 2018 Michael Donvito caught a 14.8lb Clownknife Fish in Lake Ida while fishing with Capt Patrick Smith here at Swamp to Sea Guide Service. 


Fishing for Clownknife Fish

With the mild winters and year round growth, the potential for another record fish is very high.
Swamp to sea and our close network of guides have the best techniques to target these fish with great success.
We have day and night trips available.

​​About the Species

(Courtesy FWC)


Appearance
Very distinct, flat, silvery fish with long anal fin that gives the knifefish its common name; tiny dorsal fin and 5-10 black spots ringed with white distinguish it from all other fish in Florida; juveniles possess dark vertical bands instead of spots; long anal fin equally allows for forward and backward movements.

Range
Currently only found in Lakes Osborne, Ida, and their associated canals in southeast Florida. Native to tropical Asia--Indochina and Thailand.

Habitat
Lakes, swamps, and river backwaters; young fish occur in schools among aquatic plants and submerged roots; adults tend to be loaners commonly found near shore in areas with overhanging vegetation or docks; utilizes air to survive in warm, stagnant waters with little oxygen.

Behavior
Spawning Habitats: Reportedly spawning takes place in spring when females each lay thousands of eggs on the substrate or piece of wood; male cares for the eggs by fanning them with his tail, keeping them aerated and silt-free; later male reportedly protects hatched fry.
Feeding Habits: Feeds on a variety of prey including small fish, insects, and grass shrimp.

Age and Growth
Largest specimen documented in Florida was a 31-inch specimen weighing just under 10 pounds.

Sporting Quality
Limited, but its unique appearance and jumping skills make for an exciting catch.

Edibility
Bony, but commercially important in native range; flesh minced, made into balls, and cooked with curry.