Silver Pompano ( Trachinotus baillonii )

Trachinotus baillonii

Expert Angler and Fishing Guide Joseph G. with his Dart caught on Grande Is. in Subic.

Common Name:    Pompano, Dart, Swallowtail

Local Name Pampano, Salay-salay, Talakitok  (Tagalog);  Uruk (Cebuano)

Max Size:  60 cm (1.5 kgs)

BiodiversityMarine, Brackish, Reef Associated

Depth:  Surface  – ?? m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:   None

Recommended Bait/Lures:  small minnow lures, flies, and shrimp

IUCN Red List Status:  Not Evaluated (NE)

This species of Pompano is a member of the Carangidae family of jacks and pompanos.  It is found around the Philippines often close to shore near reefs, lagoons, and along sandy beaches.  These fish travel in pairs or small groups and often feed near the surface on small fish.

Like other jacks and pompanos this species makes great table fare.  The elongated shape of this species along with its small spots on the sides help identify the fish.

Joseph caught the fish above on a small lure while casting from Grande Island near Subic.

Indong Eel

Indong

Most bait fishermen here in the Philippines have experienced catching a slimy, squirming eel of some kind.  This particular eel is in called Indong in Cebuano and is shorter and stockier in length than some others. Small eels of this and other species are called Bacasi here in the Visayas.

Eels are most often caught at night on a variety of bait.  Usually something smelly attracts them and they often gobble the bait down whole.  Anglers fishing for other species of fish are often annoyed at catching eels because they twist their slimy bodies in a attempt to escape.  This action is however often caused the line and leader to twist and wrap tightly around the eels body.  It is not uncommon for the eel to strangle itself this way on the line.  Anglers usually have to cut off their leaders when they catch an eel that tangles their line.

Eels are generally considered good eating.  This particular species is desired because of its thick flesh which contains fewer bones than some other eel species. Some local Cebuano dishes for Indong include; Sugbaonon (Grilled), Inun-unan (vinegar/ginger  based dish) and Larang (another sour soup dish).

Vencio holding an Indong

Vencio holding an Indong

Boomerang Triggerfish ( Sufflamen bursa )

boomerang triggerfish

Common Name Triggerfish ( Scimitar, Lei, Scythe, White-lined)

Local Name: Papakol, Pakoy (Tagalog); Pugot, Tikos (Bisaya)

Max Size:   25 cm

BiodiversityMarine, Reef-Associated

Depth:  3 – 90 meters

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:  None

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Shrimp, crabs, other small crustaceans, sand worms

IUCN Red List Status Status:  Least Concern

This is yet another of the many small species of triggerfish found around the Philippines.  This species can be identified by the boomerang shaped markings over the eyes along with a fairly plain colored body.  Notice the stunning blue eye shadow like color over this fish’s eye.

Like most triggerfish the boomerang is oddly shaped and has a thick leather-like skin.  The make good eating once this skin is removed.  This particular species has quite a depth range in which it can be caught from shallow water all the way to 90 meters.  Angler’s are most likely to catch these when using small baits like shrimp or squid on small hooks.  These are one of the many species of small fish that can be a bother fishermen who are using large bait for larger fish.  The small triggerfish with strong jaws and sharp teeth can cut larger baits to pieces while  evading the hooks.

The triggerfish in the picture above was caught on small pieces of shrimp off Mactan Island in Cebu in around 50 meters of water.

Lobed River Mullet ( Cestraeus plicatilis )

Cestraeus plicatilis

Lobed River Mullet

Common Name:  Mullet, The President’s Fish

Local Name:  Banak, Ludong (Tagalog);  ?? (Cebuano)

Max Size:  32.5 cm ( 2 kg)

Biodiversity: Marine, Brackish, Freshwater; Endemic

Depth:  0 – ?? m

Fishing Season:  Closed Season October to January

Minimum Size Limit:   6 inches

Recommended Bait:  Flies, bread, algae

IUCN Red List Status:  Data Deficient(DD)

This mullet  is well known throughout the country as being the country’s most expensive fish.  They are most common in the Cagayan River of northern Luzon, however they are also most likely present all around the country in estuaries and rivers.  These plant feeders like most mullet species are a challenge to catch on hook and line.  Anglers targeting this species and others are likely to have success fly fishing with small bread, algae, and shrimp pattern.

Ludong are one of the few freshwater species in the Philippines to have a strict fishing season.  The months of October to January are when these fish migrate to spawn and fishing for these fish during those months is now illegal.  This is most likely due to the reputation this fish has as being one of the best tasting and rarest freshwater fish.  It is said that this was the former president Ferdinan Marcos favorite fish.

If you have caught Ludong on hook and line send us your pictures and we will post them here.

 

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Banded Archerfish ( Toxotes jaculatrix )

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Toxotes jaculatrix

Aeds Archerfish caught on a lure

Common Name:  Archerfish, Riflefish

Local Name:  Kataba (Tagalog);  Ataba, Bang-ga (Cebuano)

Max Size:  30 cm

Biodiversity: Marine, Brackish, Freshwater

Depth:  0 – ?? m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:   none

Recommended Bait:  Insects, Poppers, small lures, flies

IUCN Red List Status:  Least Concern (LC)

   Archerfish are native to the fresh, brackish and saltwaters of the Philippines.  They are most well known for their ability to shoot insects from branches into the water where they can eat them.  They are most commonly found in estuaries around mangrove forests however they can also be found far up freshwater rivers and also in the sea.  Taal Lake in Laguna which a freshwater lake is full of these fish.

  Anglers can catch these fish on lures and they are said to readily take small poppers.  They are also a great fish to target with fly rods.

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Streaked Spinefoot ( Siganus javus )

Java Rabbitfish

Streaked Spinefoot caught in Cebu

Common Name:  Java Rabbitfish, Spinefoot

Local Name Samaral, Alama, Barangan (Tagalog);  Danggit, Kitong (Cebuano)

Max Size:  53 cm

BiodiversityMarine, Brackish, Reef Associated,

Depth:  0 – 15 m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:   none

Recommended Bait:  Banana, Rice, Seaweed

IUCN Red List Status:  Least Concern (LC)

  This is one of the many species of Rabbitfish that inhabit Philippines waters.  They are primarily on algae and are not targeted as a sport fish in the country.  Instead they make a good food fish and subsequently are targeted by anglers using bait.  Local angler have two main methods of catching these fish; one is with small hooks attached to a float that are baited with cooked Saba (cooking banana, similar to a plantain) or glutinous (sticky) rice.  The other method used involves a rig designed to snag the fish with big hooks that are positioned around the bait which is usually a piece of banana.

  Rabbitfish are also known as Spinefoots because of their venomous spines.  Care is needed when handling these fish because a small prick on the finger from the spines on a Rabbitfish can leave a throbbing pain for quite a while.

   These fish are a good food fish and have a firm though somewhat soggy texture. In Cebu they are often stuffed with onions, tomatoes and spices and grilled.  Their thick skin helps keep the fish from falling apart while grilling.  Rabbitfish have been successfully cultured in ponds and though not an ideal culture fish.

    Small Rabbitfish make good bait for large reef associated predators such as Giant Trevally.

Longnosed Lancetfish ( Alepisaurus ferox )

Scan 1

Common Name:   Lancetfish, Handsaw Fish, Wolffish 

Local Name  Tokey, Diwit, Aswang (Tagalog); ?? (Cebuano)

Max Size:  215 cm (9 kgs)

Biodiversity:  Marine, bathypelagic, oceanodromous  

Depth:  1 – 1900 m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:   none

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Fish, Squid

IUCN Red List Status:  Not Evaluated (NE)

Lancetfish are a unique strange looking fish that are capable of handling great extremes in pressure and temperature.  They are able to feed at the surface all the way down to almost 2000 meters.  They can also be found from the tropical seas all the way to the arctic.  Their diet consists mainly of squid and fish and they are primarily a nocturnal fish.   They resemble both Snake mackerel and Scabbardfish however they have noticeable differences than both.

  The fish in these pictures was caught at around 300 meters depth off Paluan, Mindoro Island by Doc and was 3.8 kilos.  He described the fish as having soft skin, two inch long long teeth and being called Tokey or Tukey by the locals there.  They caught this fish while deep sea fishing for large squid.

longnosed lancetfish

Alepisaurus ferox

wolf fish

The ferocious teeth of the Lancetfish

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eel

Amberjack ( Seriola dumerili )

deepwater jigging philippines

Nino’s 7.55kg amberjack caught jigging

Common Name:   Amberjack, Yellowtail, Rock Salmon

Local Name:   Talakitok, Tonto (Tagalog);  Marang, Dorado  (Cebuano)

Max Size:  190 cm (80.2kgs)

Biodiversity: Marine, Reef-Associated

Depth:  1 – 360 m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:  18 inches

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Fish, Squid, Jigs

IUCN Red List Status:  Not Evaluated (NE)

This is one of the primary targets of deep water fishermen in the Philippines, these fish are plentiful around the country though they are somewhat difficult to target because of the depth they are usually found.  Sport fishermen target them with heavy deepwater jigs while the traditional way to catch these involves using a large stone as a weight.

Pacific Sea Bream ( Acanthopagrus pacificus )

Acanthopagrus pacificus

Gary’s Bakoko from Pampanga

Common Name:   Sea Bream, Porgie, Grunt

Local Name:  Bakoko, Agoot, Bakokong Moro (Tagalog);  Bunggok,  (Cebuano)

Max Size:  50 cm

Biodiversity: Marine, Brackish, Pelagic-Neritic

Depth:  1 – ?? m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:  8 inches

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Shrimp, small fish and crustaceans

IUCN Red List Status:  Not Evaluated (NE)

There are quite a few species of fish that are called by the name Bakoko here in the Philippines of which the Pacific Sea Bream is one.  This particular species is primarily found in estuaries and even in rivers in brackish water.  They are not a particularly large fish however they are a heavy set fish and make a good food fish.

  Anglers target these fish mainly with shrimp either live or dead.  This fish is most commonly caught around central Luzon though it is present all throughout the waters of the Philippines.

 

Acanthopagrus pacificus

A good haul from Pampanga

Acanthopagrus pacificus

A good sized Bream caught night fishing in Bacolod

These fish are called Baccucu in Bacolod City.

Armored Sea Robin ( Satyrichthys welchi )

armored gurnard

Common Name:   Sea Robin, Gurnard, Crocodilefish

Local Name ??? (Tagalog);  ??? (Cebuano)

Max Size:  50 cm

BiodiversityMarine, Deep Water, Benthic

Depth:  80 – 228 m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:  none

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Shrimp, small fish and crustaceans

IUCN Red List Status:  Not Evaluated (NE)

This bizarre looking little bottom feeding fish belongs to the family of sea robins.  These two were caught off Cuaming Island, Bohol while deep bottom fishing.  These fish are edible.

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