The roosterfish (Nematistius pectoralis) is a coastal marine fish of the family Nematistiidae, known ‌for its distinct dorsal fins that resemble the comb of a rooster.

Conservation Status

Although there is little‌ detailed information on​ population trends,‍ the roosterfish is not currently classified as⁤ a species of concern, and thus not presently under ​any particular conservation status. However, efforts like limiting overfishing and ⁣promotion‌ of catch and release practices⁤ help to preserve the species.


Statistic Average Range
Length 1.5⁤ m 1-1.6 m
Weight 20⁢ kg 2-50 kg
Lifespan Not specified Not specified


Ranging the⁤ Eastern Pacific from Baja, ⁣California to Peru, Roosterfish would migrate up and down the ‍coast ​in relation⁤ to the changing seasons and water temperatures.


Favoring inshore environments,​ such as​ sandy beaches, rocky ​outcrops, and coral reefs, roosterfish often operate within a shallow depth range.​ These fish prefer warmer water temperatures and are found more abundantly in areas⁢ with water temperatures around 24-30°C.

When and Where to See

Roosterfish can be seen throughout the year, ⁣but are⁢ more present during warmer months. These fish are usually active during the dawn and dusk feeding periods.

Best Fishing‌ Locations

Roosterfish are a coastal species, found in tropical and subtropical ​waters off the ⁤western coast of Central and South America. Top fishing locations include:

  1. Golfito, Costa Rica
  2. Piñas Bay, Panama
  3. Espinosa Bay, Baja California
  4. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  5. Zihuatanejo, Mexico
  6. Manzanillo, Mexico

To find roosterfish when ‌specific locations aren’t known, look for them along sandy beaches, rocky​ outcrops, ⁣jetties, or coral reefs. They⁢ often ‍cruise in shallow water and⁤ can ⁤be seen chasing schools of smaller fish.

How to Catch

Roosterfish put up a strong fight and are enjoyed by​ sports fishers. They are best⁣ caught using ‌live bait fish, predominantly mullet and sardines.

Identification Guide

Roosterfish can be ‍easily identified by its long, spiky dorsal fins. It has a sleek, torpedo-shaped body and a ‌silver-grey color ⁢with darker bars or marks running vertically along the body.


Although edible, roosterfish is not‍ regularly‍ targeted for ⁤food ​because the meat is considered⁤ not as desirable compared to other fish species. However, some ⁢recipes ⁣include grilling ⁢or pan frying with citrus ⁤and fresh ‌herbs.

Additional Information

Roosterfish have ambiguous feeding habits. They ‌patrol the coastal ⁣areas ​in search of​ smaller fish and will also eat crabs and other small sea creatures. Although ⁢there are no known natural​ predators of adult roosterfish, young can fall prey⁤ to larger fish species, birds, and marine mammals. The species has little⁤ historical or cultural significance, but it is highly ‍valued as a ​sport⁤ fish due to ‌its strength and endurance.

References and Further Reading

For further detailed information about roosterfish, consider ‍these sources:

Please note: Always handle ⁢fish with care and respect all fishing⁢ regulations to ensure these species’ survival.