Roosterfish, Nematistius pectoralis: The Roosterfish fish, characterized by its spectacular "rooster comb," is one of the world's most exotic fish species. Roosterfish identification is about as easy as it gets. No other fish looks anything like this true oddball.
The Roosterfish is widely distributed throughout all fishing waters of Mexico, including all offshore islands. It is viewed as a prized game fish that can generate an adrenaline rush as it chases live bait on the surface. Once hooked it is one of the strongest hombres in the sea. In Mexican sportfishing areas, it is called "pez gallo."
The Roosterfish is normally a “catch and release” species, as its food value is poor.
This fish species has been reported to reach over four feet in length and up to 114 pounds (the current I.G.F.A. Roosterfish world record, with the fish caught in Mexican waters), and is found along the beach, predominately during warm seasons with water temperatures in excess of 80 degrees, and at depths of up to 100 feet.
The Roosterfish is a true visual phenomenon. It feeds on sardines and other small silvery fishes and travels in packs chasing food onto the shore.
It is usually caught with slowly trolled mullet, ladyfish, or sardines just outside the surf line, outwards from shore to about a quarter-mile. It has also been caught with good regularity from shore using Ranger Plugs and Klassen Poppers, and can also be caught by fly casting
The Roosterfish is a member of the Carangidae or Jack Family, but it looks like no other jack.