Info on fly fishing for Roosterfish?

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

  1. cascade kid

    cascade kid New Member

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    Disclaimer: The following is just my view, and not being sold as anything other than one opinion:

    The thing about chumming that puts it apart from other controversial methods is that teasing and attracting gamefish to chum significantly alters the environment itself that you are fishing in. For me, this is contrary to the spirit of flyfishing. Well knowns have defended it by comparing it to a mayfly hatch-- that the fish are "chummed up" when you throw out your dry fly. The difference, of course is that you cause chum to happen, stacking the deck toward you in an unnatural way. It really is an arbitrary thing that a fish hits your fly when you throw it into a bunch of blood and guts that you've thrown into the water.

    I would prefer to meet fish where they are, as they are. I probably catch less in the process, but as is the case with baseball, flyfishing is supposed to be hard, that is one of the many things that are great about it. That being said, I have caught roosters, tuna and dorado in Mexico without chum.

    So yes, fishing clausers is jigging, strike indicators are bobbers, and chumming is bait fishing because your are feeding them food. And I couldn't care less what anyone else chooses to do when they fish. It's just not for me.

    James

    P.S. I like jig and bobber fishing!
     
  2. Denny

    Denny Active Member

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    Whaaaat . . . ? Arbitrary? Try it sometime and you'll discover that it IS NOT arbitrary! No more arbitrary than a trout denying your artificial because it looks too different than the rest of the hatch. There is art and skill in fishing chummed up fish. The bait pieces sink at certain rates, have a certain color to them, etc., and it is difficult to match many of those items. I've watched Spanish Fly on TV many times where the fisherperson tosses their fly out amongst the chum, and the fish won't touch the fly. You can easily tell which is the artificial.
     
  3. Stonefish

    Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

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    Tomfish,
    There is an article regarding roosterfishing in the lastest addition of Fly Fishing in Saltwater Magazine. The article discusses fishing Isla Cerralvo which isn't to far from La Paz. The article is wriiten by Jay Murakoshi. Jay and his partner Ken Hanley do seminars in Baja several times a year. I gave you Jay and Ken's websites in a previous post.

    James,
    Perhaps we are talking about two different things when it comes to chumming in Mexico. Chumming to me is tossing one to three live sardines from the livewell to see if anyone is home. Sardines are the main baitfish in Mexico and something these fish likely eat in their natural setting on a daily basis. Using ground up frozen chum blocks ("blood and guts" as you describe it) is not what I use, although in certain situations such as shark fishing it is a very useful techique.
    Chumming doesn't gaurantee fish and I wouldn't consider it arbitrary thing. Based on your thought on what is contrary to the spirit of fly fishing, wouldn't trolling a teaser for sailfish be the same as chumming? You troll a teaser which caused the fish to come up and chase it, thus stacking the deck towards you in a unnatural way.
    Also, I've never heard that fly fishing is supposed to be hard. Enjoyable yes!
    Is that something you read somewhere or just your opinion? I'm just curious.
    Thanks,
    Brian
     
  4. cascade kid

    cascade kid New Member

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    Hey Dudes,

    Whether or not to use chum or not and the comparison to troll-teasing fish is once again a personal choice. In comparing the two, it is for me a matter of how far you are willing to go. Trolling a feather teaser is a world apart from using actual food to bring fish to you. When you bait fish you also use food to bring fish to you. It's the difference between using bait and not using bait. I am not a bait fisherman. Slaughtering a bunch of bait fish to chum is to me contradictory to a the catch and release ethic. There are some gruesome methods where baitfish are even intentionally blinded before release. No thanks! Maybe I'm just a softie. I release nearly all of my fish, and don't like killing anything I'm not going to eat soon. To each their own.

    As to the flyfishing being hard question: It isn't usually the most expeditious method. You can catch a lot more estuarial chums on anchovies than flies. Some of us go after blackmouth with fly tackle-- no way as easy as downrigging. Pulling plugs in rivers for steelhead-- much more effective. Lots of examples. So yes, we are often limiting ourselves for whatever aesthetic or other reasons, despite the fact that it is harder.

    Sayonara,
    James
     
  5. Mike

    Mike Active Member

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    I have taken Roosters from both a boat and the beach. They a finicky and very competitive with each other.

    From a boat you really need sardina to make it happen. When fishing from a boat, throw your fly in the water right after and where the sardina are tossed. When the sardina hits the water a rooster will grab it, his buddies will be more apt to take a fly if they think somebody got something and they didn’t.

    Beach fishing for roosters is easy once you find them. Finding them along the beach isn’t difficult, it just takes time. From a kayak is should be a lot of fun and easier then walking in the coarse Baja sand. Go along the beach and watch for bait being busted or look for a large dark area along the beach. That dark area is normally a school of bait. It is best early in the morning before the wind starts up. If you find bait and don’t see a fish, watch and wait because the predators will come. You can also blind cast in the area of the bait to attract unseen fish, just don’t break up the school of bait.

    Once you see a rooster or whatever else has come to feed, cast in front of him and strip like hell. You need to do a two handed strip to get enough speed. With a two handed strip you will need to put your rod under your arm. The fish will follow the fly but won’t take it. You need to strip the fly right up onto the beach. To add a lot of speed to the strip as the fly approaches the beach, twist your upper body in the direction of the strip. The rooster will want something he is about to lose so will follow the fly right up to the sand. If you don’t get a take, throw the fly out again doing the exact same process. Just before the fly hits the sand is when you get your take. The excitement has just begun. Now you will have hooked a rather upset fish with a whole bunch of line wrapped around your feet. Clearing the line while the fish runs is exciting and you will lose fish because the line will hang up on your reel, your feet, your hands, sea grass, you name it. Sometimes you clear the line and then handling the fish isn’t bad. I tried a stripping basket, but could not strip as fast as needed to make the strike occur and still keep the line in the basket. Then the basket is just one more thing for the line to tangle on.

    As far as flies, an olive and white clouser works well, so will chartreuse and white. You will need about a 12” of 30# shock tippet as well. Rod weight is an issue. You need to cast fast and often. From the beach, I used a 7. From the boat I used a 9 or larger. A large heavy rod from the beach will just make you tired.

    Good Luck,

    Mike
     
  6. cascade kid

    cascade kid New Member

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    Mike,

    You mention that catching roosters is easy from the beach. I've noticed that little roosters are a world apart from big ones in terms of catchability. I too have caught lots of small ones relatively easily. In my experience big ones (over 10-15 pounds) are a world apart and are while not impossible to catch, are a challenge without the aid of bait. I know many people that live and fish down there full time and they would say the same thing.

    James
     
  7. gt

    gt Active Member

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    wish i knew how to paste a jpg into this thread. check out the jpg in the 'salt water' photo section. i just posted one of my wife with an 'average' sized in shore rooster.

    fished two live baits, two decievers over an inshore mount. all four lines were hit. landed this fly caught and one on live bait. interesting way to get the action going as already described. some monsters hang on this mount, >40#.
     
  8. Mike

    Mike Active Member

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    I agree with you. The large Roosters that I saw were always on the move and did not hang around the bait the way the smaller fish did. They weren’t as close to the edge either. That is why I am able to get away fishing with a 7 weight. For a large fish I would expect that chumming the fish with sardina is the answer or finding someway to get ahead of the cruising fish so that your fly is in the water as he comes by. Gary Graham uses/used all terrain vehicles to spot fish from the beach. He also used or still uses a boat to cruise the beach. If I remember right, he would cruise the beach and then let his sports out on the beach once fish were spotted.

    Mike
     
  9. TimHa

    TimHa Member

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    I just got back from Baja a few weeks ago and was there at Christmas last year staying in Los Barriles, south of LaPaz. The big roosters tend to be harder to come by in the winter months down there but there are lots of smaller ones aronud and many can be found right on the beaches. Last Christmas I probably got 2 dozen of them in 5 days of fishing. If you can drive to Punta Arena de la Ventana that should be holding some roosters year-round or take a panga out of Bahia de los Muertos and hit the beach at Punta Arena and the beach within the bay, I've seen them there too. Driving further south, I did well for roosters on the beach south of Los Barriles and the beach south of Rancho Leonero to Punta Soledad last Christmas. The bait in eastcape is all small right now so a #1-2 Chartruese Clousers or a small sea-habit bucktail was the ticket. We were even throwing a #4 Snot, the sea-run cutthroat fly, and doing well. Walk the beaches looking for boils and cast to them as quickly as possible, I've found most of the boiling fish are either roosters or small jacks though there are some sierras around in the winter too.

    I did manage a few very nice roosters down at Punta Arena below La Ribera fishing from a panga with a guide from Baja on the Fly. We were not chumming but were teasing them up with a spinning rod and a big old bass plug. Once the fish would get hot on the plug I'd cast to it and start stripping and almost always one would break off and take my fly.

    Good luck.

    Tim