nocturnal, long lifespan, good hiding places, shy clown knifefish

Rapala SDRS09 Shadow Rap Shad Lure (3.5-Inch, 0.3oz, Clown)


Royal clown knife fish at 12 inches. Very striking fish.

Fishing for clown knifefish is becoming more and more popular among South Florida anglers in Lake Ida, Lake Osborne, and the canals connected to these two bodies of water. These non-native gamefish were introduced into Palm Beach County freshwater canals and lakes when they were released from someone’s aquarium or aquaculture environment. They have flourished and spread enough to create a dependable fishery that is accessible by anglers looking to hook into this elusive species. There are several factors that dictate success when fishing for clown knifefish in Lake Ida, Lake Osborne, and the adjacent canals connected to them. Once you learn the factors involved you can successfully target clown knifefish in Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Lake Worth, and West Palm Beach.

The Best Locations For Clown Knifefish Fishing
Like many predatory gamefish in fresh and saltwater, clown knifefish tend to orient towards area with structure that allows them to hide and ambush their prey. In this case, the prey is small shiners, shad, cichlids, and any other small fish that they can fit in their mouth. Look for bridges, dock pilings, submerged trees, and any other structure that a clown knifefish can use as an ambush point. Especially productive areas include shallow water and deep water in close proximity to eachother. This means deep ledges and channels that border a flat or shallow shoreline area often present the best environment for clown knifefish to feed. Look for places where current meets structure as well. During periods of heavy rainfall, the spillway gates will open to allow the freshwater from Palm Beach County lakes and canals to empty into the ocean. This creates a current throughout the main Lake Ida and Lake Osborne chain of lakes, ponds and canals. If you can find an area where the main current is running through and around structure where shallow water meets deep water, you have found prime clown knifefish feeding areas. You can also find them by looking for them gulping air on the surface of the water like a tarpon. The clown knifefish uses oxygen from the air to keep it alive in low oxygenated water, and looking for them gulping on the surface can be a dead giveaway to their presence. All of these factors combined will help you to find the best locations for clown knifefish fishing in South Florida.

Same royal clown knife fish 10 weeks later. Looks even better.

  • Clown Knifefish are members of a sub-family called notopterids they develop distinctive dark spots on their sides. The Black Ghost Knifefish is a member of the Apteronotidae sub-family and the speckled knifefish group. It is considered a true bony fish.
  • That eye really denotes the clown knife fish.

    Clown Knifefish are called clown due to the spots on their sides which multiply as they age. They are nocturnal feeders and prefer an aquarium with hiding places.

    A clown knifefish requires a tank of approximately 200 gallons, water that has been properly conditioned, a solid diet of either live food or fortified pellets and regular water tests with adjustments. The fish should sustain minimal changes that might cause shock in order to maintain proper health, according to Animal-World.