The sensitivity of localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) of metal nanostructures to adsorbates lends itself to a powerful class of label-free biosensors. Optical properties of plasmonic nanostructures are dependent on the geometrical features and the local dielectric environment. The exponential decay of the sensitivity from the surface of the plasmonic nanotransducer calls for the careful consideration in its design with particular attention to the size of the recognition and analyte layers. In this study, we demonstrate that short peptides as biorecognition elements (BRE) compared to larger antibodies as target capture agents offer several advantages. Using a bioplasmonic paper device (BPD), we demonstrate the selective and sensitive detection of the cardiac biomarker troponin I (cTnI). The smaller sized peptide provides higher sensitivity and a lower detection limit using a BPD. Furthermore, the excellent shelf-life and thermal stability of peptide-based LSPR sensors, which precludes the need for special storage conditions, makes it ideal for use in resource-limited settings.