I am no expert when it comes to chasing Roosterfish from the beach but I did learn a bunch during our last trip to Baja. This is one of those places where you will have to spend years and years walking the beach every day to get the slightest idea of what makes these fish tick.
But, here are five tips if you plan on doing this trip:
1Prepare to fail.
It’s a strange thing but over the years the overall experience definitely overshadows the fish. We were all mentally prepared to work our asses of spending long hours in the blistering heat, running up and down, sweating, stepping on boxfish, you name it… I am a sucker for a challenge as you will always appreciate a fish more if you have to work hard.
2Learn to cast, this is not even an option.
Don’t do this trip if you struggle to get 70ft+ of fly line out using a 10 wt rod…I honestly take my hat off to the guides that frequent these beaches.
3Patience is key.
Camping out is by far not my favorite style of fishing and it’s something I try and avoid if possible. I think we are just spoiled having spent lots of time in the Seychelles where you are constantly busy. On the beaches of Baja, this is not always the case, although you do encounter days where you can have endless shots. We really found it effective to stake out on certain areas where we saw bait etc. it’s just a matter of time before “the one” will show up.
4Check your hooks.
Fishing from the beach in often heavy shore breaks takes its toll on hook sharpness. I can’t even remember how often we had to sharpen our hooks. Of all the hooks we played around with I found that the Owner Aki 6/0’s were my favorite and kept a sharp point longer.
5Keep your cool.
I don’t think I have ever had more refusals from any other fish than Roosters. All you can do is laugh and prepare for the next one. This is part of the fun, and again you appreciate it more when it all finally comes together. You have to believe that the next one will commit and eat the fly, that is the only way you will keep casting and stripping with good focus and energy.
The setup for my big Rooster was:
Rod: Sage Salt 10wt
Reel: Nautilus CCFX2
Fly Line: Cortland Intermediate
Leader: Cortland 30lb Fluorocarbon
All photos are courtesy of Christiaan Pretorious check him out on Instagram @christiaanpretorius