Bubba Life


By: Nick Honachefsky

Roosterfish not only capture an angler's imagination, they can flat out steal an angler's soul. Their beguiling, long flowing, coxcomb dorsal fin swaying on the ocean's surface often buckles an angler's knees, especially when witnessed in the surf. Wesley Brough, aka @cabosurfcaster, specializes in chasing down the atavistic roosterfish from the Cabo San Lucas Surfline, and he knows a thing or two about targeting roosters.

"I'm usually fishing the Pacific side of San Lucas where there is more rocky structure as roosters use the structure to hide and ambush prey," says Brough. "That's where we fish topwaters aggressively. Usually, the fish along the Sea of Cortez side are mainly sandfish and are a little warier; its better there for the fly guys as big lures spook em."

Brough concentrates his efforts around the higher tides of the month, coinciding with the full and new moons. "Feeding activity is highest in the morning and evening, and we generally look for water temps from 76 to 82 degrees," states Brough. "The mullet run starts around mid-May and will last through September with larger 40 to 70-pound roosters, then in October and November, the 15 to 20 pounders seem to move in."

Brough targets roosters first by looking for bait schools. "Bait like mullet piles up and stays for weeks at a time, and roosters will stay with them, circling up the bait schools. That's when you see them charge with their fin up as their plan is to crash in and single out a bait. Poppers perfectly mimic that lone bait." Brough's advice is not to keep casting blindly, but only cast when you see rooster fins popping up and crashing the bait schools. "It's hard to maintain self-control, but even when you see fins pop up, don't make repeated blind casts, that breaks up the bait ball, and roosters feel they haven't finished their job of packing the bait ball up so they won't generally hit. Wait until you see the ball penned up and the first crashing of the roosters on the bait; that's when you make the cast. You only have a 15 to 25-second window, but they should hit it with reckless abandon." Brough's go-to lures include surface skipping plugs like GT Ice Creams, Rangers, and Jansen Cabo Killers.

The surf weaponry in Brough’s arsenal is a fast action rod like Brough’s custom-designed 12-6 foot Century Cabo Surfcaster matched with a Daiwa Saltiga 6500H, or any type of high speed retrieve reel which allows you to get a couple of casts in if you miss on the first one or two. Spool with 30 to 50-pound braided line, with a 5 foot top shot of 80 to 100-pound mono or fluorocarbon leader connected via FG Knot then tie direct to the lure.

Releasing roosters in heavy surf can be a daunting task. For pliers, Brough needs heavy-duty caliber stuff. “I am using big tackle and I need pliers that won't flex on a twist of a big treble hook in a rooster’s heavy jawbone when pulling the hook out. I also need a good grip on the handle so my hand doesn’t slip under the extreme weight and torsion.” The 8.5-inch Bubba pistol grip pliers fit the bill nicely. For filleting and cutting through heavy flesh, Brough goes with stiffer knives such as the 9-inch Stiff Fillet.

Use these tips wisely so you can answer the call of the rooster when it comes for you.
― The BUBBA™ Team