The Roosterfish is a game fish found in the warmer waters. It is the only species in the genus Nematistius and the family Nematistiidae. The Roosterfish is one of the most unique looking fish in the ocean. It uses its swim bladder to amplify sounds. Roosterfish can reach over 1.6 m (5 ft 3 in) in length and over 50 kg (110 lb) in weight. The weight of the average fish hooked is about 20 lb (9.1 kg). The fish is popular as a game fish, but it is not considered a good eating fish. However it is exploited as a local fish and found fresh in markets.
The distinctive dorsal fins of the Roosterfish normally remain retracted in a deep groove along the fish's back, but when the fish is excited the fins rise. There are two dark blue or black, curved bands on the flanks. One begins from the front and the other from the back of the first dorsal fin. Both run diagonally down the flanks towards the front of the anal fin then curve smoothly and run along the flanks to the tail base. The dorsal spines are banded with alternate dark and light stripes and the lower base of the pectoral fins is black.
An Accurate BX500 reel should handle pretty much any Roosterfish. They readily attack lures and bait. They are often seen feeding at the surface as the splash around chasing baitfish. Most Roosterfish, especially the bigger ones, are generally not easy to land on lures. They sometimes take poppers that are retrieved rapidly, but more often than not they just follow the lure and then turn away. The Ranger lure should land you a Roosterfish. Roosterfish are much easier to catch on live bait than lures. The biggest ones have generally come on live skipjack tuna in the 3-4lb range. Small fish in the jack family are usually good, as are ladyfish if you can catch them.
Roosters have a fairly broad range but are mostly a south southeastern Pacific fish populating the shore line down the Central and South American Coast as far as Peru including the Galapagos Islands. They are very commonly found through Central America in places like Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia, Peru and as far north as Mexico's Pacific side (Baja Coast) where most of the large Roosters and world records have been caught. They are rarely seen north of Baja California or Mexico. While they can be caught in the Caribbean Sea, they are limited to southern Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia.