5 Tips For Using Surf Fishing To Catch RoosterFish In Costa Rica

The Roosterfish is found in the East Pacific Ocean. This game fish has a dorsal fin resembling a rooster comb of seven long spines with two dark blue bands along its sides, a sloping forehead and strong, bone-like jaw. The fish looks great in souvenir photos because of its striking appearance which makes it very popular for sportfishing Costa Rica is famous for.

The fish travels in large schools chasing baitfish like mullet and sardines. They can easily grow to over five feet in length and weigh over 100 pounds. They are also popular for sportfishing because they average around thirty to forty pounds. Fishers in Costa Rica typically catch them at about fifty pounds. The world record catch was in La Paz, Baja, California. It weighed 114 pounds. Because the fish are normally caught and released, it is believed that the world record will be soon be broken as the fish continue to grow.

Surf fishing is one of the most effective methods of catching Roosterfish because of their tendency to remain close to the surface and in more shallow areas.

What Is Surf Fishing?

Surf fishing is the method of catching fish by wading in the surf or standing on the shoreline. This method can be easily confused with pier fishing but they are two different methods of fishing. Surf fishing can be done from large inshore rocks or boulders and tidal pools. Unlike pier fishing, surf fishing requires that you get close to or in the water. This can be dangerous if you do not have the right equipment. You should also make sure someone is aware of where you will be if you go out alone. Accidents happen every day, so take every precaution to ensure safety over trying to snag the big catch.

Buying the Best Rig

The most effective setup is the fish finder rig. This is the simplest rig available. It consists of a leader with a hook and a barrel swivel tied to the main line behind a fish finder weight slide. The rig is ideal for holding large pieces of bait. Typically, Roosterfish are lured by small fish around three to four pounds. With this rig, an angler can give the Roosterfish time to ingest the bait before attempting to reel it in.

Another option is a rod with a graphite composite medium to medium-heavy action rod. The rod should have a length of between ten and thirteen feet with a high-capacity spinning reel. The spinning reel should be spooled with braided line measuring 300 yards. It will prove to be durable for reeling one of the larger Roosterfish.

Finding the Ideal Location

The ideal location for Rooster fishing is close to the shore. Some Roosterfish have even come close to beaching themselves. They are normally found near rocky outcrops and islands. As an in-shore species, they do not typically go into the rocks and tend to chase baitfish near the surface, around 200 feet. These factors make them ideal for surf fishing. Finding the right shore line can prove to produce a very lucrative day at sea.

Although you may not have the benefit of traveling to your location by boat, many surf fishing anglers use four-wheel ATV’s to carry tackle and fishing equipment. In some areas, you may be permitted to travel down remote stretches of beach and terrain looking for signs of activity such as birds scouting schools of baitfish or fish feeding on the surface. The ATV can also serve as seating area and anchor for your rod. Make sure you fill up with gas so that you don’t get stranded in a remote area.

Peak Timing in Costa Rica

Rooster fishing can be done all year round from the southern to northern areas of Costa Rica; however, Roosterfish are most easily caught between January and April. The slower months are September and October. The best time of day for surf fishing is during high tide because this is when the fish come to feed.

Luring with Live Bait

Roosterfish are not attracted to dead bait. They are more easily caught with live bait. They prefer the skipjack, mullet and rainbow runner fish. Using fish that are approximately three to five pounds have proven to be the most effective. Some anglers have had success with poppers and spinners but most prefer the live bait because the Roosterfish like to play with the bait before engulfing. Using the wrong bait can cost you a great catch. Don’t be too quick to reel in the prey, give them time to catch firmly onto the bait.

Overcoming the Resistance

Make sure you have sturdy equipment because of the size of the Roosterfish. Many will put up a fight and you want to be careful not to get pulled in since you will not have the benefit of a boat to keep you from going into the water. Avoid using buckets or coolers as rod holders causing your fishing rod to be dragged into the surf. When Roosterfish are hooked, they raise their dorsal fin and leap repeatedly. This can go on for about thirty to forty minutes causing what may seem like a fight with the potential captor.

Surf fishing for Roosterfish in Costa Rica can be a very enjoyable and economical activity. Unlike many of the popular sportfishing species, Roosterfish are found close to the shore which reduces the need for expensive charter services. With the right equipment and an ATV, you can easily set out for a day excursion along the shore and perch atop a boulder to scout out these beautiful fish. Although they are not tasty enough to catch and cook, they are striking in photographs.

5 Tricks To Catching A Roosterfish

The Roosterfish is a game fish found in the warmer water of the East Pacific Ocean. It stands out because of the seven long spines of the dorsal fin, also called its rooster comb. The extremely photogenic fish has two dark blue or black bands along its sides, a sloping forehead and a very strong, bone-like jaw. It is also unusual because the swim bladder penetrates its brain through a large passage that makes contact with the inner ear, allowing the swim bladder to amplify sounds.

The Roosterfish feeds on small fish like mullet and sardines. They chase baitfish by traveling in large schools. They can grow to over five feet in length and can weigh over 100 pounds. The average Roosterfish is about thirty to forty pounds which makes Rooster fishing a very popular type of sportfishing. It is not uncommon to hook one around fifty pounds. The world record is 114 pounds. It was caught in La Paz, Baja, California. Many believe that this record will be broken soon in Costa Rica. The Roosterfish is not considered a tasty fish and is usually caught and released.

How do you snag a Roosterfish on your next sportfishing trip to Costa Rica?

1. Don’t Go Deep

Roosterfish generally feed close to the shore, sometimes coming close to beaching itself. If you prefer deep sea fishing, this may not be your target fish. Although it is normally found near rocky outcrops and islands, some of the larger ones have been found on the shore. When planning your trip, don’t be dismayed if your charter service does not take you more than a few miles from the shore. This is ideal for sport fishers who may be apprehensive about going out into the ocean. It can make an enjoyable experience for a young person’s first excursion.

2. Know Where to Look

Roosterfish are generally found in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Even though they are likely to be found near rocky areas, they do not generally go into the rocks which makes them easier to lure. As an in-shore species, they have a tendency to chase baitfish near the surface at depths less than 200 feet. Do not be fooled into thinking they will be easy to catch but they can be easy to find. The catch and release nature of the species ensures the population will continue to grow in the region. It is not uncommon for a fisher to catch two or three in a half day, if you are in a good spot.

3. Timing Is Everything

Although Roosterfish can be caught in Costa Rica all year around from the southern to northern coasts of Costa Rica, the slowest months are September and October. The peak season is considered January through April.

When planning your sportfishing Costa Rica trip, make sure you have a passport. It takes about two to three weeks to gather the information needed for the application and an additional four to six weeks for processing. Even though you don’t need a visa to get into Costa Rica, you need to be sure you have your exit ticket already purchased.

4. Be Ready for a Fight

Because the Roosterfish can average between thirty and forty pounds, they are popular for sportfishing because of the fight needed to catch them. These fish will not go down or come up, easily. When hooked, they will raise their dorsal fin like a flag and leap repeatedly, making them one of the harder to catch species. Be prepared to exert a little muscle power to catch one. Your effort will be rewarded with great photographs of your catch. Some Roosterfish have been known to fight for thirty to forty-five minutes. If this is your target species, don’t be afraid to lift some weights in preparation for your big catch.

5. Have the Right Equipment

Roosterfish are much easier to catch using live bait. They are rarely attracted to dead bait but seem to prefer the skipjack fish, rainbow runners, or mullet fish. Their ideal bait is typically in the three- to four-pound range. You can also use poppers and spinners, but sport fishers have the most luck with live bait. Fishers have also found that it is best to wait until the Roosterfish have engulfed the bait before attempting to reel it. They seem to like to play with their bait before they get on the hook which can easily cause you to lose the catch.

The ideal fishing rod will be graphite composite medium to medium-heavy action rod. The rod should be between ten and thirteen feet long with a high capacity spinning reel. The spinning reel should be spooled with 300 yards of braided line.

Roosterfish are not one of the tastiest fish to catch, however, they are very popular for sportfishing in the East Pacific Ocean in Costa Rica. Many fishers are not only attracted to them because of their photogenic nature but also because of their size. Ranging from thirty to forty pounds, they make great souvenir photographs. They can add a high level of excitement to your excursion because of the fight they are sure to put up when trying to catch them. A little extra muscle power will go a long way to get them on the boat but using the right bait is also key. Remember to bring along some live bait and resist the temptation to take the easy way out with fake lures.

Using these five tricks will surely make your next sportfishing adventure in Costa Rica a success. Who knows? You could break the world record and find the Roosterfish over 114 pounds!

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