Can You Eat Roosterfish? Are They Any Good?

Roosterfish are one of the most unique-looking and strongest species of inshore fish.

They grow up to 100 pounds, have bright colors, and a huge rooster-like dorsal fin…

But are they any good to eat? Can you eat roosterfish and if so, what do they taste like?

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Can You Eat Roosterfish?

Roosterfish are perfectly edible, and although they are more known for their strong fighting abilities as gamefish, they taste similar to Mahi-Mahi and Jack Crevalle.

The meat is firm, with a strong bloodline running down the middle. If you’re used to eating mild, flakey white fish like grouper, roosterfish may not be for you.

However, they are perfectly edible and a favorite among locals in countries like Costa Rica, Panama, and Mexico.

Can You Eat Roosterfish? Are They Any Good?

Taste Profile

Roosterfish are not considered to be the best-tasting fish available. The flavor can be strong (fishy), especially in fish over 20 pounds.

The meat is dark pink and coarse, with a thick grain. Which is not surprising for such a powerful and explosive fish.

However, with the right preparation, it can be made more palatable. Locals often cook the fish over hot coals with the skin on, and if properly bled and eaten fresh it can be good.

Ethical Concerns

Roosterfish are a popular game fish, and many anglers enjoy catching them for sport. However, some people argue that eating these fish goes against the principles of catch-and-release fishing.

Roosterfish are not considered endangered, but they do have a slow reproductive rate, which means that overfishing could have a significant impact on their population.

If you do decide to eat roosterfish, it is essential to ensure that the fish is caught sustainably. This means that you should only consume roosterfish that are caught using responsible fishing practices.

Related: Are Blue Marlin Good To Eat? Is It Even Ethical To Eat One?

Nutritional Value

Roosterfish is a good source of protein, with around 20 grams of protein per 100 grams of fish.

It is also low in fat and calories, which makes it a good choice for people who are watching their weight. Roosterfish is also rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, phosphorus, and selenium.

However, it is important to note that roosterfish can contain high levels of mercury, which can be harmful to human health. It is recommended that pregnant women and young children avoid eating roosterfish due to its high mercury content.

Here is a table that shows the nutritional value of roosterfish per 100 grams:

Vitamin B123.6mcg

See Also: What Is The Best Tasting Fish? FULL Species List Ranked!

Preparing Roosterfish To Eat

Roosterfish are fairly easy to clean and fillet for eating. Most anglers just rinse the fish off, and fillet off the meat on each side.

Make an incision behind the gills, and work your knife around the edge of the fis starting along the top backbone and down to the tail.

You may notice the fillets are quite dark (blood), this is normal. Just be sure to rinse them off before cooking, or you can soak the fillets in buttermilk to reduce some of that strong flavor.

How To Cook Roosterfish

Roosterfish can be prepared in a variety of ways, such as grilled, fried, baked or even smoked.

Here is my favorite easy and simple grilled roosterfish recipe:


  • 2 lbs roosterfish fillets (skin on)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper


  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  3. Place roosterfish fillets in a large bowl and pour marinade over the top. Toss to coat evenly.
  4. Place fillets on the grill, skin side down, and cook for 4-5 minutes.
  5. Use a spatula to carefully flip the fillets over and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.
  6. Remove from grill and serve immediately.

Catching Roosterfish

Roosterfish are a popular game fish that can be found in the East Pacific, mainly off the coast of Central America. If you’re interested in catching roosterfish, here are some fishing techniques and ideal locations to consider.

Fishing Techniques

Roosterfish are known for their aggressive behavior and fighting ability, making them a popular target for sport fishermen. Here are some fishing techniques that can be used to catch roosterfish:

  • Topwater Lures: Roosterfish are aggressive predators who feed on the surface. Large 8″-12″ topwater plugs and poppers are one of the most exciting and visual ways to catch a rooster.
  • Live bait fishing: Roosterfish are known to feed on a variety of live bait, including sardines, mullet, and mackerel. Using live bait can be an effective way to catch roosterfish.
  • Trolling: Trolling with lures or live bait can also be an effective technique for catching roosterfish. This involves dragging a lure or bait behind a moving boat.
  • Fly fishing: Roosterfish can also be caught using fly fishing techniques. This involves casting a fly into the water and enticing the fish to bite.

Where To Catch Roosterfish

Roosterfish can be found in the East Pacific, from Baja California to Peru. Here are some ideal locations to consider when looking to catch roosterfish:

  • Mexico: The waters off the coast of Mexico are a popular destination for roosterfish fishing. Some popular locations include Cabo San Lucas, La Paz, and Puerto Vallarta.
  • Costa Rica: Costa Rica is another popular destination for roosterfish fishing. The waters off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica are known to have large populations of roosterfish and snook.
  • Panama: Panama is another ideal location for roosterfish fishing. The waters off the coast of Panama are home to some of the largest roosterfish in the world.

Final Thoughts

Roosterfish are perfectly edible, and although not as revered as other fish, they can still be prepared into a good meal.

But, if you really want to experience what a roosterfish has to offer, catch them on rod and reel. They’re exciting, powerful, and explosive!

Thanks for reading.

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