Roosterfish techniques?

Discussion in 'Fish Species and Techniques' started by Bellyups, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. Bellyups

    Bellyups Senior Member

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    I am wondering what are the best techniques, equipment, lures, etc. We will be targeting them in Panama and I really don't know anything about roosterfish.
     
  2. ALW

    ALW Senior Member

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    I called down there. They have every bit of tackle you might need. Stella 20K for top waters and Shimano Torsa's and Tiagra's etc, also all the terminal tackle. I would guess they have what works.

    I will try and put a 4 day trip together down there.
     

  3. ksong

    ksong SPONSOR

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    Here is an article by internationally renowned suf fisherman, Sergio in Mazaltan, Mexico. It can give some idea how to appoach them.

    1.Choose your weapon correctly. You need a far casting combination that will permit you to cast almost non stop +100 yds away for several hours and with little risk of a break or weakening the line because of backlash (conventional) or twisted line (spinning reels). Roosterfish are tremendously strong fighters, but most of the time stay away from rocks. Using +30 lb lines permits you to fight better but I use a 125 - 150 yd of 15 to 20 lb mono topshot and braid of slightly higher breaking strength as backing. This to cast further and increase the hookup rates. You can not go wrong with a 3 oz Ranger in white/red color, if you don't raise roosterfish on this lure you have little chance of raising it with any other one, so stick with it until you have hooked several and feel like experimenting. Use of a 50 lb bite leader, a ball bearing swivel and an appropriate length 30 lb shock leader for power casting the 3 oz lure is a sine qua non condition. (**I'm guessing "sine qua non condition" is sort of like a no brainer? TimS)

    2. Operate your weapons correctly! Don't use conventionals on roosterfish unless you can crank at blender speed for long periods and cast them far in a very controlled way (most retrieve less inches per crank than similar capacity spinning reels). A good and not too expensive roosterfish combo would be a Daiwa Emblem EM-X5500A spinning reel mounted on a Daiwa Sealine-X 12' spinning rod (Check the spine of the rod carefully before you buy it!).
    The MAIN trick when fishing for roosterfish is to use a skipping lure cranking so that the lure skips constantly on the water and it is most of the time entirely or with most of its body out of it. This is easier to attain with the X5500A, because it has a very high retrieve ratio and an exceptionally wide spool. When you see that roosterfish erupt from the water and starts wildly attacking the lure, DO NOT SLOW DOWN BUT CRANK FASTER!. If you slow a very small fraction down, the roosterfish will shy away instantly, I can almost guarantee that. If the roosterfish seems like it is going to run out of water and beach himself, DON'T STOP, but bring the lure out of the water and in one swift motion cast again out and start retrieving fast again. The roosterfish will practically always grab the lure from behind and you should KEEP CRANKING fast even if you see that the lure is in his mouth, KEEP CRANKING and set the hook only after line starts peeling off your reel like if you hooked a car passing by a highway. I am going to make a plug here regarding the use of an item called "The Cannon" by Breakaway. Power casting with spinning reels is practically impossible without tightening the drag very hard or locking the spool with some sort of devise. You can even hurt your finger badly if using a heavier lure or lead and a soft drag as the line will slip no matter how hard you hold it against the rod. With the Cannon, you can set the drag accordingly with the line test (rather low on most cases) and lock the line safely for the cast. If you want to use it, e-mail me for a diagram showing a trick for better gripping.


    3. Choose a good hunting ground. Ask reliable sources where roosterfish have been feeding recently. When you get to roosterfish territory, don't take your eyes off the water and look for roosterfish charging baitfish. A 30 lb roosterfish can be seen feeding a mile away under good conditions. They will probably be feeding on mullet. I don't have to explain what does a roosterfish feeding looks like... you will instantly see what I mean. Instead of me telling you what type of place you should be looking for, you will be more successful if a reliable source tells you where they have been feeding recently. Be patient, hunting roosterfish is like hunting big game on land in many ways.

    4. Please release ALL roosterfish ASAP! A mid size roosterfish will take at least half an hour to land and it will probably be very exhausted if using 15 - 20 lb line. They don't give up easily and literally fight to death. Bring some pliers and tell your partner to have the camera ready so you can put him in the water fast or he will die. Don't just let him stay there floating upside down, but hold him straight and revive him much like you would any other fish. Sometimes this operation can last 5 to 15 minutes, specially when the fight lasts more than an hour, so please be patient.

    Hope this helps!

    Sergio
     
  4. MrBill

    MrBill Senior Member

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    Ranger's are good. So are big poppers. I think the blue/chrome is the best ranger for rooster's. They love to eat shiny flashing baitfish. Have you ever seen a live monfish? They are as shiny and chrome plated as a live ribbonfish. Presenting a live monfish to a rooster is like placing a prime Med/Rare filet in front of me. It won't last long.
     

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  5. gman

    gman Senior Member

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    not an expert by any means but I did have a really successful trip with regards to Roosterfish as I landed about 10 in 5 days and lost about 3 more.

    Some observations from my trip

    Products: I was using a fairly large poppers probably 8-10" with 4/0 belly treble and a 5/0 tail treble hooks. My normal set up of swivel to split ring to popper. I was also using 150 fishermans stealth leader. I went heavy because Cuberas live in the same domain and heavier leader will benefit you if you hook one up.

    Poppers

    [​IMG]

    You want to have heavy leader incase this guy comes behind your popper

    [​IMG]

    Situation A: When casting in open water over reefs, there are many reefs submerged just off shoreline. I always casted to color change in water as I feel they hang out in dark spots and chase bait through clear water. I was right many times when captain told me not to cast in that area and I landed several bigger Roosters in color change spots

    Open water casting with poppers

    [​IMG]

    Situation B: When casting to out of water structure like rock formations. I always casted as close to rocks as possible especially in froth. 100% of my strikes from Roosters were right near rocks ledges so getting your popper out in front of a corner and pulling across worked wonders. WHITE WATER between rock formations = GOLD

    [​IMG]

    Technique: Change up your routine as if it were a injured baitfish. I didnt get this until the second day and my bite turned on for me. As soon as my popper hit water with rod tip up I would reel fast as I could throwing frantic water for atleast 5 turns and then pause and then chug normal for 3-4 pulls and keep routine going alternating between chugs and frantic reeling.

    *** KEY NOTE ... if they follow but wont commit immediately change your retrieve to the opposite to what your doing this will incite them to bite instead of diving back down.

    Strike: Most Rooster will follow directly behind hair out of water and then dip to the left or right of popper and explode from bottom or side. This almost always hooks the fish rear treble in mouth front treble gill plate or gut. Unlike tuna they very rarely get the treble across bridge of nose

    Example of hookup

    [​IMG]

    Fighting: They will immediately surface and run along surface but then dive and sit in current, this will be rough if you have a hookset as described above. Similiar to a Permit, GT. they will use their wideness to their advantage

    Like I said Im not a pro but I was able to dial in to them on this trip

    PANAMA ROOSTERS

    http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff77/gkrosss/screencapture053-3.jpg

    http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff77/gkrosss/screencapture068-1.jpg

    http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff77/gkrosss/screencapture071.jpg

    http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff77/gkrosss/screencapture022-12.jpg

    http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff77/gkrosss/screencapture023-12.jpg

    http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff77/gkrosss/screencapture025-10.jpg

    http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff77/gkrosss/screencapture032-4.jpg

    http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff77/gkrosss/screencapture039-2.jpg

    http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff77/gkrosss/screencapture040-2.jpg

    Release them very quick as they are very fragile fish, you should have that fish out of water for no longer than 30 seconds max. Hope this helps

    http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff77/gkrosss/screencapture041-2.jpg
     
  6. Bellyups

    Bellyups Senior Member

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    Wow!! A BIG thanks for all the very detailed information!!

    How would surface iron work? I may bring a few tady surface irons.
     
  7. MrBill

    MrBill Senior Member

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    Glen did a great job on his post. Rooster's travel a lot. If you don't find them in a prime area, move on to the next prime spot. They are not know to stay at one rock structure for long lengths of time unless there is a lot of bait and they are feeding. They love to cruise. Surface iron might work if it's shiny. Next time I'm think about tossing a big Tony Acceta silver spoon to them.
     
  8. gman

    gman Senior Member

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    Glen did a great job on his post. Rooster's travel a lot. If you don't find them in a prime area, move on to the next prime spot. They are not know to stay at one rock structure for long lengths of time unless there is a lot of bait and they are feeding. They love to cruise. Surface iron might work if it's shiny. Next time I'm think about tossing a big Tony Acceta silver spoon to them.

    thank you they can definately get in your head especially if they chase but dont commit. You made a great comment about them moving as we basically would drift a coastline from rock formation to rock formation until we found them. When you did you generally found a pack but if you miss them teh first couple of times on top they get weary and spooked
     
  9. Bellyups

    Bellyups Senior Member

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    Strike: Most Rooster will follow directly behind hair out of water and then dip to the left or right of popper and explode from bottom or side. This almost always hooks the fish rear treble in mouth front treble gill plate or gut. Unlike tuna they very rarely get the treble across bridge of nose

    Do you even need a belly hook on the lure?
     
  10. gman

    gman Senior Member

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    Do you even need a belly hook on the lure?


    I would either the belly hook is in the gut or in the mouth but they are always hooked with both hooks mouth-gut
     
  11. LST-Ray

    LST-Ray Junior member

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    Last year took my first trip to Mexico to Surf Fish for Roosters. Primarily I fish the New England coast for Striped Bass, Bluefish, Flase Albacore & Bonito.

    The waves seem bigger in the Mexican Pacific and distance casting appeared critical.

    Rod: Lamiglas 11ft Surf Rod
    Reel : Diawa Emblem Pro ... High gear ratio helped to work surface lures quickly
    Line: 30 or 40 lb Suffix Braid
    Leader: 50 lb Fluorocarbon
    Lure: 3 oz Surface Tension (White or Yellow)

    We had the use of ATV's but most of the fish were taken blind (not working birds) so you really worked each spot. We caught Rooster to 50 lbs and Jacks to about 35 lbs.
     

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  12. BretABaker

    BretABaker Guest

    Wow!! A BIG thanks for all the very detailed information!!

    How would surface iron work? I may bring a few tady surface irons.

    I am bringing some Tady's. I've got them sitting around so why not.
     
  13. ksong

    ksong SPONSOR

    11,826
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    Last year took my first trip to Mexico to Surf Fish for Roosters. Primarily I fish the New England coast for Striped Bass, Bluefish, Flase Albacore & Bonito.

    The waves seem bigger in the Mexican Pacific and distance casting appeared critical.

    Rod: Lamiglas 11ft Surf Rod
    Reel : Diawa Emblem Pro ... High gear ratio helped to work surface lures quickly
    Line: 30 or 40 lb Suffix Braid
    Leader: 50 lb Fluorocarbon
    Lure: 3 oz Surface Tension (White or Yellow)

    We had the use of ATV's but most of the fish were taken blind (not working birds) so you really worked each spot. We caught Rooster to 50 lbs and Jacks to about 35 lbs.
    Nice catch !!
    Which part of Mexico was it ?
     
  14. LST-Ray

    LST-Ray Junior member

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    Puerto Vallarta