Roosters in Dreamland Page 2

Roosters in Dreamland

Part 2: Although you can catch roosters here any time, prime season is May through September, which coincides with the quieter rainy season.

By Richard Thiel — March 2005


Photo: Kanutto Fuentes
 More of this Feature

• Part 1: Roosterfishing
• Part 2: Roosterfishing
• Part 3: Roosterfishing
• More Than Just Fish

 Related Resources
• Feature Index

 Elsewhere on the Web
• Costa Rica Dreams Sport Fishing
• Los Sueños Marriott Ocean and Golf Resort
• Los Sueños Resort and Marina

Although smaller than billfish, roosters are every bit as challenging. They’re smart and spooky and when hooked will violently shake their heads and frequently perform spectacular aerobatics. And if you’re really up for a challenge, you can try for roosters on fly, an endeavor that locals say has a success rate no better than one in 20—after you spot the fish.

It was the dream of landing a roosterfish on fly that lured me to Los Sueños for two days of fishing in early December—not the best time of year for this activity. Although you can catch roosters here any time, prime season is May through September, which coincides with the quieter rainy season, when brief but intense rainstorms flush baitfish into Golfo de Nicoya from surrounding rivers. Day one found me on Dream Catcher, an Albemarle 32 Express out of Costa Rica Dreams, Los Sueños’ on-site charter operator. Capt. Herado Lara announced that we would start with live bait.

When going after roosterfish, live blue runners are the preferred option, attached to the 20- to 30-pound mono via a clear leader and using a bridle threaded through the head behind the eyes, with the hook just in front of the bait’s nose. The bait is slow-trolled some 20 yards aft, with the captain frequently bumping the boat in and out of gear, allowing it to swim freely. The rod is always hand-held, and the reel is always on free-spool, with your thumb providing drag. When the rooster hits, you wait three to five seconds, then lever down the drag and quickly take in the slack. You do not set the hook, and contrary to most fish, you keep the rod tip down. And you hang on.

Next page > Part 3: The fight was intense, exciting, and brief, with no time to try the fly, but at least I had my fish. > Page 1, 2, 3, 4

This article originally appeared in the March 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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