Nematistius Pectoralis



Southern California, Pero, Panama, Costa Rica

50 - 114 pounds

48" - 64"


Also Known As: Rooster Tail, Jack  

Roosterfish (Nematistius Pectoralis) Fish Description

Roosterfish is an in-shore game fish and the only species in its family and genus. It is notable for its 'rooster comb' – and, yes, that's where it got its name. It usually has seven to eight long spines as dorsal fins usually remain at rest atop its back. But when it gets excited – and to attract its prey – it raises at an unbelievable speed. It feeds on smaller fishes such as sardines, blue runners, mullet fish, and small bonito. These make great baits to catch a Roosterfish. 

It has two broad, dark diagonal stripes along the sides to the base of its tails and along their flanks. This large fish makes it great for sport fishing and looks beautiful in photos.

Anglers often just catch and release Roosterfish since it's not known for being tasty. While some anglers eat Roosterfish, some prefer not to since Its meat is tough and has a strong flavor. Catching and taking a photo with them is enough for some enthusiasts.


Interesting Fact About Roosterfish

Roosterfish's swim bladder penetrates through the large foramina and uses it to amplify the sounds in their surroundings. They are the only fish with this feature.



A Roosterfish's average weight is about 110 lbs. and it can reach over 5 ft in length. Its current world record in the International Game Fish Association is 114 lbs. and 4 ft. 4 in.


Habitat and Distribution

Roosterfish are inshore fishes found in warm waters in the Eastern Pacific. They are prominent in waters around Southern California leading up to Peru. They also swim around Central America's seas, especially in Costa Rica and Panama, where they can be caught year-round.

Although they are inshore fishes and most commonly caught