EAST CAPE- Every year the Fred Hall crew takes a trip to Rancho Leonero. We Love it there; it is our favorite Mexican destination. Usually we go in the Spring, but in 2008 we took a Fall trip. The fishing is exceptional in the Fall but it was nice to get back there in the Spring because the weather is so nice. This year the temperature was in the low 90s with low humidity and a late afternoon breeze.
It is also nice to come back in the Spring because it is the prime Roosterfish season. The feisty Roosterfish are my target fish of choice in the Sea of Cortez, and this area is the Roosterfish capital of the world. Over the years the largest Roosterfish I have ever caught weighed about 25 pounds and the largest one I ever saw in person weighed about 40 pounds.
Erick with proudly showing off a big Roosterfish
The size of the fish usually doesn't matter to any of us because we come prepared with a variety of fishing tackle, and at any time we can choose light tackle as well as heavier tackle. Small Roosterfish on your Bass tackle is an absolute blast. Roosterfish, also known as Pez Gallo, are "devil" fish and they fight like crazy. The problem is that sometimes you will hook that 25 pounder on 12-pound test and it takes a long time to get them to the boat. This is usually while dozens of other fish of the same size are all around you.
This year the Rooster fishing was phenomenal. I can't even do it justice by saying that. I have never seen anything like it in the seven years Fred Hall & Associates have been going there. Our group caught 8 fish over 50 pounds with three of them (caught by Tim Baker and Mike Lum) pushing 70 pounds and one over 70 pounds. All this while we caught several other 35 pounders and many smaller fish in the 6-15 pound range. There were another dozen fish in a similar size category caught by other "Ranch" anglers in the previous weeks.
These large fish fight something like a cross between an Amberjack and a Tuna. We all experienced several very long runs by these magnificent fish. Every time you'd get the fish to the boat there was another run. What an absolute ball! The only problem is that they are so large it is hard to handle them to get a picture. We don't want to put our hands in their gills because everyone is very serious about getting these fish back in the water and keeping them alive, especially the Mexican skippers.
They kept yelling at us to hurry up because we had to get those fish back in the water. They are also very slimy, so getting a good picture, and getting them back in the water quickly, is challenging.
I wanted to share the incredible Rooster fishing experience that was going on at Rancho Leonero. If you get a chance... Fly on down. It's just two hours away, airfare and hotel rates are great, and this is the Roosterfish experience of a lifetime. It was fantastic for us!
Bart Hall is the producer of the Fred Hall Shows in Long Beach and Del Mar, California.