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ulua

Roosters

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Hello all,

 

Roosterfish have certainly perked my interest when Sergio mentioned that they are typically caught using 400yards of PE#4. I have never seen a roosterfish up close and personal, but would like to know more. They definately sound very srong!

 

Please bear with me.

 

1. Are the standard hooks/split rings enough, or do they have to be upgraded?

2. DO they prefer pencil poppers (Surface Cruisers) or Chuggers?

3. What is the typical drag pressure set?

4. How far should we be able to cast to get to them?

5. Where in the world can the largest of them be found?

6. Wire leaders needed?

7. Soft or hard mouth?

 

Mucho thanks in advance! smile.gif

cheers, ulua

 

 

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ulua - Sergio, I'm sure will be answering this post but I can provide some info.

 

They don't require wire leaders and have excellent vision as they are a daytime site fish.

 

In the surf they usually require long casts and very fast retrieves. Sergio switched to spinning gear just to increase speed.

 

Roosters are indigenous to the south western Pacific coast of Central America. They're northern boundary is Bahia de Los Angeles on the Sea of Cortez side of Baja, Mexico and the Magdalena Islands on the Pacific side of the pennisula. I know that they range as far south as Panama but I don't know if they can be found any farther.

 

They world record comes from La Paz, Baja Sur and the area of the east cape of Baja just south of there is considered the home of the Roosterfish as the largest specimens come from there. There may be better places as they are not pursued much in the majority of their range as most fisherman travel to these areas for billfish.

 

The best lures are ones that can be moved very quickly on the surface. The Roberts Ranger is considered the standard.

 

 

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Ulua... You can get them with lighter tackle in my area, but I have been using 30 to 50 lb test GSP braided line in the last years, because it lets me fight the average 30 lb rooster with authority and prevents a very prolongued fight. They fight almost to death and never surrender, complicating the release. A 30 lb rooster can break 50 lb test line fast if your drag is not properly set.

 

I have never caught a GT, but stories of line abrasion with rocky structure abound and this makes me think that this is also a reason to use stronger line. Roosters specially old ones do use almost in an intelligent manner rocks to free themselves, but most stay out of the rocks and put up a very strong but noble fight.

 

I have had big roosters take out +300 yds of PE #4 line with a 30% drag setting, so asking for 400 yds is not too bad idea. I have been spooled many times (even twice in a day) with mono, but not in the last years since I began using braided lines.

 

Regarding your questions:

 

1. Are the standard hooks/split rings enough, or do they have to be upgraded?

 

They have to be upgraded in almost all the lures I have used, specially if using braided GSP line.

 

2. DO they prefer pencil poppers (Surface Cruisers) or Chuggers?

 

They take these Ulua, but the best lures are skipping lures than do not displace water with their flat face, or have their butts inside the water in the retrieve, but instead skip along the surface like a frightened mullet at high speed.

Take a look how a snapper or grouper (ambusher) drives mullet into the air in a "fountain" fashion, very different to the straight line skipping motion of a mullet when chased by a fish like a roosterfish. When chased by a roosterfish they run in a straight skipping motion that changes to circling and frantic erratic moves but only when the rooster is already practically on top of them. Have you ever seen a dolphin (the mammal) do the "mullet" show when chased by killer whales (orcas)? I have and it is impressive to see the speed in a perfectly straight line that dolphins manage when the killer whale is hunting them.

 

With skipping lures you crank in a fast and steady rithm and even pick up a little speed when the rooster is behind the lure, but NEVER EVER SLOW DOWN, because the rooster will shy away instantly.

 

3. What is the typical drag pressure set?

 

Unless the rooster is in a rocky place and heading for the rocks, you can get away setting your drag at 30% of the rated line strength, but be aware that I do not use a scale to set the drag like with my conventional reels because I need to lock the drag completelly to be able to cast the 4 oz lures up to 150 yds away (average cast 100 - 130 yds) without the drag slipping. If you let your drag slip, it is dangerous for your finger, but even if using protection the PE line will be abraded and weakened after some casts slipping (rubbing) at such high loads. I retrieve with a locked drag and the tip of the rod straight up, when I see a rooster chasing the lure I set my mind automatically into the "unlock the drag" mode and instead of setting the hook yanking back, I lower the tip pointing at the rooster as soon as he takes the lure and in one motion unlock the drag. It takes some practice and a cool head when you see a big one behind the lure, but it is almost a reflex motion after a while. This is very different than when using mono with a not-locked drag as most people should do. In this case when you see the rooster take the lure, you pull your tip up and keep cranking steadily until line starts peeling off your reel against the drag and then you might set the hook in the most popular manner.

 

4. How far should we be able to cast to get to them?

 

Casting at least 100 yds in still wind conditions will improve your success in most places, but sometimes roosters get so close to shore chasing bait, that a 20 yd cast will do for a fish 10 yds away. but do not count on this last scenario and try to get a rig and style to cast at least 100 yds away.

 

5. Where in the world can the largest of them be found?

 

100 lb roosters are still present, most in the Pacific side of the Baja peninsula in México. A friend of mine thinks that in the Maria Islands South of Mazatlan there might be bigger ones but to be able to cast from shore (or even get close to the islands) you will need to wear a striped uniform and stay at least five years in the island without touching the mainland because you did something bad smile.gif.

 

6. Wire leaders needed?

 

50 lb mono in sandy beaches with no rocks and 80 lb mono will do in most places. No need for wire leaders.

 

7. Soft or hard mouth?

 

Soft mouth with no cutting teeth.

 

Mucho thanks in advance!

cheers, ulua

 

There is a friend here called MikeStaten that recently came here fishing for them. Maybe he can comment from the perspective of someone that fished for them for the first time. That kind of advise is important also.

 

Hope this helps!

 

Sergio

 

 

[This message has been edited by Sergio (edited 11-10-2001).]

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{Tips snipped to preserve bandwidth}

 

Thanks guys! smile.gif

 

cheers, ulua

ps. Btw, I have got some pictures from my Maldives trip in softcopy. I try uploading them but they are too big. So if anyone wants to take a peek at what a GT looks like, give me a mailer/message or post on this board. I will try to zip a couple of pictures to ya. Oh yeah, did I mention that we caught 3 Yellowfin Tunas (10kg - 30kg) on surface poppers and spinning tackle as well? biggrin.gif

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