Updated: May 16, 2020
My wife and I decided to take a vacation to the Baja California Peninsula of Mexico. We have good friends that have a beautiful property in Cabo San Lucas, and that is where we called home for the week. Cabo is known for its great fishing, but not all times of the year are great. After talking with a few reputable fishermen ( if there is such a thing ), I figured my best bet for this time of year was to target inshore fish including Wahoo, Dorado and Rooster Fish. I have always wanted to catch a big Rooster Fish, so this sounded like a great option. I called down to Minervas Baja Tackle in downtown Cabo
and talked with Minerva about reserving a Panga with Captain Jamie. I was calling on short notice, but Minerva, as always, was great and got me set up for Thursday the 4th.
We arrived at the docks around 6:00AM to check in and enjoy some coffee and Mexican Sweet Rolls. After check in we met Captain Jamie expecting to go out in his Panga, but instead he was in a nice offshore boat! Jamie told us that is Panga was being worked on, so we got to enjoy a bigger boat today.....for no extra charge - what a great way to start the morning! We loaded our bags and were off. As we idled out of the bay, a small boat pulled along side and we purchased our live bait for the day. 12 large bait fish for $30.00. Captain Jamie and his crew loaded the bait into the live wells and we were off.
Once we were clear of Cabo we headed towards the Sea of Cortez and put out a couple of Magnum Raplas and one bait. We were trolling about a mile offshore at a steady pace. 20 minutes into the troll one of the rods went off and I was thinking “SWEET, FISH ON! “, but it was not meant to be. As quick as the rod went off, it fell silent again. It was probably a Dorado or a Whaoo, but we will never know.
The ocean was very calm, quite flat and very hot ( highs around 100 and high humidity). Hurricane Blanca was a fully formed Category 4 hurricane a few hundred miles away, and Captain Jamie told me this was the calm before the storm. Cabo was hit head on last year by a major Hurricane, so as you can imagine, everyone there was a little skittish about this new hurricane forming off the coast of Acapulco. There would be no fishing tomorrow, so I was glad we were able to get out today.
After trolling for an hour or so with no Luck, Jamie suggested we go look for some rooster fish. This was music to my ears!! We switched out the big rods with spinning gear and hooked up some of the live baits we had purchased earlier. Jamie used Eagle Claw Lazer Sharp Circle hooks L197 7/0. We put the frisky live baits into the water, let out about 50 yards of line, and power drifted 300 yards off the shoreline. I could feel my bait pulling and kept imagining a Rooster fish making him nervous, but we had no action for the first hour or so. I was just getting the feel of my bait tugging sporadically off and on when I felt something distinctly different. My bait was pulling hard now, and I saw it flailing on the surface. I was on full point and the deck hands were too. Soon I
could see the dorsal fin of a Rooster fish near the bait and I waited to see if my line would start peeling off. To my surprise, my friends rod went off instead of mine. There were TWO roosters chasing our baits! Bill was hooked up and I was still waiting. Bill landed a nice Rooster and it was great to get the first fish in the boat.
The deck hands quickly re-baited my friend’s rod and soon we were both fishing again. It only took about 15 minutes for us to see the Roosters breaking the water near our baits. This time we both hooked up at the same time!! These were both big fish and we were forced to criss cross each other at the back of the boat several times in order not to get our rods tangled. About 5 minutes into the battle my friend’s rod went empty, and we realized that his line had snapped. He was off the fight, but I was still hooked up.
I was absolutely shocked at how strong this fish was! I was fishing with 40 pound braid and a flourcarbon leader. I think the leader was about 30 feet long. Every time I gained enough line on the Rooster Fish to see my leader, he would pull 20 more yards of braid
off my reel. This went on for about 15 minutes, before I finally felt I was getting the upper hand on him and was able to keep him close enough that he did not get into the braid. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, I landed my first Mexican Rooster! It was a beautiful fish that Captain Jamie estimated was around 30 pounds!
I thanked Jamie and the deckhands for their help and grabbed a cold Pacifico to celebrate the victory!
Jamie asked if we wanted to keep fishing for Roosters or if we wanted to go after some bottom fish for dinner. We decided the ladies would love some fresh fish so we headed out to look for table fare. We made several drifts over some deep rocky points looking for fish, but no luck. ( I guess I should have listened to the old saying - “never leave fish to find fish”) but it was fun anyway.
After a couple of hours of this it was time to head back in. We arrived back at the docks around 12:30 and headed back to Pueblo Bonito for some cold beer and a cool swim in the pool. We ended the night with a fantastic meal of Grilled Carne Asada with grilled
onions, rice and beans - and of course a few Pina coladas. Fresh fish would have been great, but the ladies saved the day with an incredible meal!
It was a great trip and a great day of fishing. I highly recommend a day of Rooster fishing if you find yourself in Cabo. Be sure to set it up with Minerva well before you leave.
Thanks for reading!