- Species Name: Nematistius Pectoralis
- Species Family: Nematistiidae
- Species Order:Perciformes
- Habitat: Southern California, Pero, Panama, Costa Rica
- Weight:50 – 114 pounds
- Length:48″ – 64″
Roosterfish (Nematistius Pectoralis) Fish Description
Roosterfish is a shore game fish and is the only species in its family and genus. He’s famous for his “cock comb” — and yes, that’s where he got his name. They usually have seven to eight long spines where the dorsal fins remain in a state of rest over their back. But when it’s exciting – and it attracts its prey – it lifts incredibly fast. It feeds on small fish such as sardines, bluefish, mullet, and small bonito. These make great lures for rooster fishing.
It has two broad, dark slashes along the sides of the base of its tails and along its wings. This large fish makes it great for fishing and looks beautiful in pictures.
Roosterfish are often caught and released by fishermen because it is not known for their taste. While some anglers eat roosterfish, some prefer not to eat it because its meat is tough and has a strong flavor. Just snapping and taking a picture with them is enough for some enthusiasts
Interesting Fact About Roosterfish
The floating bladder of a rooster penetrates into the large hole and uses it to amplify sounds in its surroundings. This is a feature that only they possess.
An average rooster weighs about 110 pounds. It can reach more than 5 feet in length. Her current world record in the International Fishing Association is 114 lbs. and 4 ft 4 in.
Habitat and Distribution
Roosterfish are inshore fish found in the warm waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean. They are prominent in the waters around southern California leading to Peru. They also swim around the seas of Central America, especially in Costa Rica and Panama, where they can be hunted throughout the year.
Although they are inshore fish and are often caught in waves and water with sandy bottoms, roosterfish love to swim around coral reefs and rocky islands. They can rarely be seen in the mouths of rivers but will only come close if you use bait to lure them. However, they do not swim in brackish water, so it would be pointless to drag them there.
The best way to catch a cockfish is to trap it slowly with live bait such as blue runners, bonito, and mullet. If live baits are not available, you can also use baits that mimic their usual prey patterns.
You can also catch rooster with fly fishing, although you can’t expect to get a bigger catch, especially if you cast your line along the estuaries. Roosterfish swim only in shallow water to get food. Once it is full, it swims back to the depth. If you prefer this method, have enough bait, some pomegranate to toss on top, and curl up on the flies.
Due to its size, you can consider turkey fish to be aggressive with incredible strength, which makes catching it a little difficult.
Roosterfish prefer long, strong runs. Just like you thought you already caught him in line, the moment he sees the boat he’ll make one last round to try and get away. Hence, you have to time your streak and gather enough stamina and strength to loosen it once it catches the bait.
Another tip is to prepare for it. Use a 13-foot medium-weight rod with a reel with a braided line at least 300 yards long. This gives you enough power on your gear alone, so you won’t spend a lot of energy trying to fight it off.