Roosterfish are common inshore around Los Cabos and the East Cape where they are taken either from pangas or from the shore.
It occurs generally in the eastern Pacific Ocean from the Gulf of California to Peru. It is an inshore species found in the surf, over sandy bottoms, and in moderate depths.
The distinctive dorsal fins of the roosterfish normally remain retracted in a deep groove along the fish's back, but when the fish is excited the fins rise. There are two dark blue or black, curved bands on the flanks. One begins from the front and the other from the back of the first dorsal fin. Both run diagonally down the flanks towards the front of the anal fin then curve smoothly and run along the flanks to the tail base. The dorsal spines are banded with alternate dark and light stripes and the lower base of the pectoral fins is black.
It is a predator of small fishes. When hooked or in pursuit of prey it will raise its dorsal fin like a flag and chase them aggressively near the surface. They occasionally jump but it is more common to see the rooster's dorsal fin raised and cutting through the waves.
Fishing methods around Cabo are trolling or casting baits and lures, but the best method is live bait fishing from a panga or shore. On a panga it is a slow troll just outside the surf line that usually is the most productive. The normal size is around 20lb but in the summer the large roosters move in following schools of mullet. At that time, a mullet bait can get you a nice fish such as the one in the photo caught just off Finestera by our CEO.
Current Roosterfish All Tackle Record
114 lbs. 0 ounces.
Best time to catch a Roosterfish in Cabo: available all year but the bigger specimens are found from July until early October.