Info on fly fishing for Roosterfish?

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Tom Arroll, Nov 8, 2005.

  1. Hi,

    I am heading to the La Paz Baha Mexico for the Christmas break to do some Kayaking and hopefuly some fishing. We plan to spend much of the time kayaking around Isla de Espiritu Santos. Based on what I have read my best bet for fishing at this time of year is to go after Yellowtail and Roosterfish. As for the Yellowtail I figure my only chance is to troll while we are kayaking around and hope I get lucky. As for the Roosterfish I have read a few things about fishing for them but not much about fly fishing. They tend to feed on baitfish in the surf and most people fish for them from a boat on the outside of the break. Anyone had any luck with these beasts? Techniques? Flies? I tried fishing for them this summer while on the Coracovado Pennisula in Costa Rica. I was fishing in waist deep water in light surf when some little local kid ran me over with his kayak. This ripped the mouting bolts out of my Nautilus reel and busted the tip of my Sage XI2 rod:mad: . Fishing was done for the rest of this tripbawling: . After my gear was trashed I saw a number of Roosterfish and Snook taunting me!

  2. decievers and clousers, what more does a guy need :)

    you should probably make these up in patterns that imitate the herring of the area. my favorite is white under with mouse gray over topped by peacock.

    you should be using an intermediate line and perhaps a second spool with some heads of various densities. if you are really in the surf, these fish will be pretty shallow. the problem, as always, is predator fishes cruise the beaches so the real problem is just finding them.

    i have successfully only fished from outside the surf line in a boat or over blue water reefs that were reachable with my head system.

    have fun. these fish deserve the bull dog reputation they have earned. hard to imagine a tougher fish, # 4 #.
  3. Here are a few sites to check out. All of these folks have extensive experience fishing Baja. Good selection of patterns to look at also. Enything that looks like a sardine will work. Also take some brown mullet patterns.
    I've caught small roosters off the beaches in Cabo using clousers in all white or gray & white. They can be really spooky and tough to get to eat the fly. The bigger they get the harder you have to work for them. Stripping super fast while sitting in a kayak may be tough. There should also be some sierra and yellowtail around at that time not to mention other inshore species. The nice thing about Baja is that something is usually biting.
    Also, watch out for the north wind at that time of year. It can get real nasty.
    You should also post your questions about where you are going to fish on Dan Blanton's bulliten board. Great board with lots of folks that fish Baja on a regular basis.
    Weekly Mexico fishing reports - New report posted every Monday and cool Fish ID photo gallery.
    Hope this helps.
  4. Hi Tom,First, you lucky dog you, love Baja.Go check out,Jim will be able to help with any qusetions about fishing with a kayak down there.Have fun and eat a fish taco or two us....Alan
  5. Dang, Tom, don't I wish I had lots of personal experience to give you recommendations. :rofl: One of these days! Have a great trip: report back on your trials and tribulations, and watch out for unlicensed kayakers.
  6. Tom,

    One thing that the articles and books don't often say (but every experienced rooster angler knows) is that roosterfish are almost always a royal pain in the rear. They are snooty, smart fish that usually follow alot more than they bite. Don't be disappointed if this happens to you too. Just seeing them is a thrill though, and if you use a big, light colored saltwater streamer and strip it as fast as you possibly can, you just may get lucky. Throwing bait in the water certainly helps, but that isn't my idea of flyfishing. To each his own!

    Have Fun,
  7. Yeah, what James said...

    I probably put in close to 100 hours for this little guy.

  8. Thanks for all the information. I have heard that these fish are quite a challenge, especially with fly gear. I agree with James about throwing baitfish, it just seems wrong to me somehow. This appears to be a common technique used by southeastern US anglers as well as guides in Mexico, Costa Rica ect. I gained quite a bit of respect for Roosterfish during my limited experience fishing in Costa Rica. Prior to my mishap with the Kayaker I had spent a couple of days fishing in a fresh water lagoon for Snook. On one day I was fishing the flooding tide casting to some disinterested snook when I saw a big fish rocket in to the lagoon from the ocean. There were some Mullet and Ladyfish milling around. This big fish started racing back in forth in the lagoon thrashing away at the baitfish. It came close enough for me to see the classic shape and dorsal fin of a Roosterfish. I cast a Clouser to this fish but by the time the fly hit the water the fish was already on the other side of the lagoon. This happened again and again over about 5 min. It was both pathetic and comical how ineffective I was in getting the fly in front of this fast moving fish. As quick as this fish came into the lagoon it was gone with me standing on shore slack jawed. Alpinetrout, where were you fishing in your attached picture? What was the key to your success?

    Thanks again,

  9. Tomfish,
    Chumming is a very acceptable practice in Mexico and other blue water fishing locations. You can be fishing and the sea may seem empty. Toss in a few sardines and things come alive. You don't have to chum, but it will greatly increase your odds of hooking up.
    I feel your pain. It took me four trips to Mexico to finally catch a rooster. I had hooked a large rooster my second trip when it eat a pompano I was reeling in. That fight only lasted about 30 seconds. I caught four in one day fishing off the beach. I was pumped to hit the beach again the next morning. That night I got a severe case of Montazuma Revenge that lasted two days. A trip to the local ER ended of fishing for that vacation. Always fun to have mexican nurses speaking spanish really fast as they get ready to use the needle to get the IV started.
  10. That fish was caught from the beach on the East Cape, Baja. There's definitely a big difference between beach fishing versus boat/chum fishing. I have nothing against chumming since I partake in it myself, but you get more style points for a sight-cast, beach-caught roosterfish than you do a chummed, boat-caught fish. If you really want to land one, go for the boat option.

    I don't think there really is a "key" other than to get a perfect presentation with a perfect fly in front of as many fish as possible. I've had roosters chase the fly to my feet, literally, before refusing it. Fast retrieves seem to help, probably not only because they like fast moving prey, but also because it's that much harder for them to inspect and refuse the imperfections in your pattern. A lot of it is being in the right place at the right time. The craziest roosterfish feeding frenzy I have witnessed was this spring, not too far from La Paz. I probably saw close to 40 roosterfish crashing a bait school that afternoon. I went to the same spot the next day, the bait was there, the conditions were identical, but I only saw 3 roosterfish and they were all out of casting range. Of course, there's been plenty of other days when I haven't seen a single rooster, so it's all relative.
  11. Brian,

    Chumming is acceptable in your opinion. For myself and many others, it is not our cup of tea in Mexico, blue water, or Puget Sound. What is flyfishing? That's up to the individual and his/her own sensibilities to decide.

  12. James,
    Yes, I agree with you. It is acceptable to myself and many others. Chumming in Puget Sound, not sure how that came into the discussion? I won't consider Puget Sound a blue water destination, would you? Do you know folks who actually chum while fly fishing Puget Sound?
    What is fly fishing you ask? You tell me. The line gets fuzzier all the time. Is trolling with a dead hookless bait to tease up a sailfish and then casting a fly to it fly fishing. Is fast trolling with a bucktail fly in the straits for silvers really fly fishing? Would Grant Hartman and his guides at Baja Anglers be better fisherman if they didn't use chum to help their fly fishing clients catch fish? I personally don't care how folks fish as long as they enjoy doing it.

    My point to Tomfish was that chumming can help get you into fish. If the bite is off, you can spend lots of time blind casting without hooking up. If he decides to not use chum while fishing then that is his choice.

    My "sensibilities" will stick with chumming. Thanks for your input.
  13. yah know chumming is something that many folks do to get fish up or within range. if you would prefer to blind cast for hours on end over a blank ocean, then by all means you should do so.

    i have used a teaser on bill fish, guilty!
    i have stunned herring and pitched them overboard in baja, guilty!
    i have trolled feathers for dorado, guilty!
    i have trolled feathers for salmon, guilty!

    once the fish had come up or within range in the above scenarios, i have cast to them with flies of my own creation, guilty!

    and for me, in all of those situations i have C&Rd some beautiful fishes, guilty!

    go have some fun fishing your way, i don't mind at all.
  14. gt,
    You and I are both guilty of lots of the same offenses!
  15. well yah know brian, folks start salt water fishing and think it's the same as their favorite trout stream. you can see those folks at hoodsport. there they are doin' their favorite impression of 'the river runs through it', flipping their line here and there. all the while the fish are blasting past and the gear guys are getting more and more pissed with every false cast they make.

    salt water takes lots of getting used to and many, many different techniques to be successful even a part of the time. but, the salt has so much to offer it is certainly worth the time to adapt and get after those mean, aggressive, nasty fishes wherever on the planet you choose.

  16. James, chumming to attract fish in the wide open expanses of the Sea of Cortez is an acceptable practice for more than people than not, whether using gear or fly. Although chumming doesn't appear to be acceptable to you, I believe that is the minority. Chumming doesn't mean the person is using bait on their fly, or that they can be guaranteed catching fish.

    As opposed to your question "what is flyfishing"? Some folks think strike indicators are wrong. Some folks think only using dry flies is acceptable "fly" fishing. Some folks think clousers are jigs. Some folks think using metal beads on flies is wrong. In reviewing some of your posts, it appears that you do some Puget Sound salt fishing; I hazard a guess that you probably use clousers from time to time. Some definitions interchangeably use the term "lure" with "fly". What is a fly but an imitation of something a fish wants to eat, and effectively "lure"s the fish in to biting? Hey, it's just fishing, and I'm using a fly line to cast my "lure" that would be otherwise impossible or nearly so to cast without a weighted fly line.

    I prefer not to chum, but there are some venues where it is an accepted and standard practice. I do agree with your statement "That's up to the individual and his/her own sensibilities to decide." Being a sensible guy (I think), when fishing in the Sea of Cortez I side with the majority and believe it's OK to chum. Is it right? I dunno. Heck, I use strike indicators, too, and think it's OK. It's all good.
  17. strike indicators?? now that's going too far!!!!! :rofl:
  18. Boy,
    Had an interesting conversation about chumming with a couple of high rollers that had just returned from South. These guys had good fishing for jacks and roosters over live chum but were apalled when the pangero wanted to take home some of the fish they were catching. Seems they were strictly catch and release. No way they were gonna let this mexican kill one of there fly caught jacks, after he had chummed them into casting range with the 500 sardines they had bought from the bait net and stunned to order.
    I've live chummed, hell I've live baited. To chum or not to chum? Not my decision to make for some one else, it is reasuring though when people at least see the irony.
  19. Hey mate,
    best to use the aussie slang the burly slick sounds more cool than chumming like we say in the states.
    Fair Dinkum, Tight lines

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