Category Archives: Snapper (Maya Maya)

Ruby Snapper ( Etelis coruscans )

deep water snapper

Banjie’s Huge Snapper

Common Name:   Flame Snapper, Longtail Snapper, Longtailed Deepwater Snapper

Local Name  Maya-maya, Tikwi (Tagalog);  Sagisihon (Cebuano)

Max Size:  120 cm

Biodiversity: Marine, Reef Associated, Deep-Water

Depth:  90 – 400 m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size LimitNone

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Fish, Squid

IUCN Red List Status:  Not Evaluated (NE)

The Ruby Snapper is one the prized fish found in deep water around the country.  These fish can be difficult to catch mainly because of the great depths at which they are found.  Anglers fishing for Ruby Snapper and other deepwater species often use electric reels to aid in the retreival of line.  Dropping a heavy weight down over 200m takes a long time to reel in and is tiring even when there is no fish on the other end.  Braided line is a must when fishing in deep water, called Deep Dropping.

The 27kg monster pictured above was caught very deep with a special winch reel.  They used a whole squid as bait and it took quite a while to bring the monster in.

Maori Sea-Perch ( Lutjanus rivulatus )

Maori Sea Perch caught in Subic Bay

Maori Sea Perch caught in Subic Bay

Common Name:   Snapper, Rubberlip Snapper, Sea Perch,

Local Name Maya Maya, Bambangon  (Tagalog), Maya-Maya, Kilawan (Cebuano)

Max Size:  80 cm ( 11 kgs )

Biodiversity: Marine, Reef-Associated

Depth:  10 – 100 m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit10 inches

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Shrimp, small fish and crustaceans

IUCN Red List Status:  Not Evaluated (NE)

Photo courtesy of Andrew Leighton

Photo courtesy of Andrew Leighton

Note the pattern on the face

Note the pattern on the face

Freshwater Snapper ( Lutjanus fuscescens )

tangdungan fish

Lutjanus fuscescens

Common Name:   Snapper, Spotted Sea Bass,

Local Name:  Maya Maya, Pargo  (Tagalog), Tandungan, Mangagat (Cebuano)

Max Size:  40 cm

Biodiversity: Brackish, Freshwater

Depth:  1 – ?? m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:  None

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Shrimp, small fish and crustaceans; Jigs, lures

IUCN Red List Status:  Not Evaluated (NE)

This is a another snapper species from the Lutjanidae family that is found in the Philippine waters.  This particular species if quite a bit more rare than the Mangrove Snapper and is reportedly only caught in estuaries and rivers. They are distinguished from other snapper species by their olive green to brown color with a whitish underbelly.  They also have large bands on their sides and a large dark blotch towards their tails.   According to reports these are abundant in Mindanao around Dipolog City.  They reportedly can reach up to 25kgs.

This species of snapper seems to be unique to South East Asia as it is only reportedly be documented in the Philippines, Indonesia, New Guinea, New Caledonia and the Solomon Islands and China. That makes this a great species for anglers to target who are looking for rare or unique fish.

lutjanus fuscescens

lutjanus fuscescens

Black Snapper ( Lutjanus goldiei )


Nice Black Snapper caught in Mindanao

Common Name:   Snapper, Nuguini Bass, Papuan Snapper, Black Bass

Local Name Maya Maya, Pargo  (Tagalog), Ahaan, Pantahan, Mangagat (Cebuano)

Max Size:  100 cm (19.2 kgs)

BiodiversityMarine, Brackish, Freshwater, Benthopelagic

Depth:  1 – ?? m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:  15 inches

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Shrimp, small fish and crustaceans; Jigs, lures

IUCN Red List Status:  Not Evaluated (NE)

This species is somewhat rare here in the Philippines.  The more commonly caught snapper when shore fishing are Mangrove Snappers.  The Black Snapper are very similar in look and color to the Mangrove Snapper the main difference however being the black color and yellow trim on the fins.  I have identified this as Lutjanus goldiei however there is a possibility this is another species.

Mark's 3kg Snapper from Dipolog

Mark’s 3kg Snapper from Dipolog

Green Jobfish ( Aprion virescens )

3kg Jobfish speared off Punta Engano, Mactan

3kg Jobfish speared off Punta Engano, Mactan

Common Name:   Snapper, Jobfish, Aprion

Local Name Maya Maya  (Tagalog), Malaguno, Sagisihon, (Cebuano)

Max Size112 cm (15.4 kgs)

Biodiversity: Marine, Reef Associated

Depth1 – 180 m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit15 inches

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Shrimp, small fish and crustaceans; Jigs

IUCN Red List StatusNot Evaluated (NE)

The Green Jobfish belongs to the family of Jobfish and Snapper and is common around the Philippine Islands.  This fish is a predator feeding on small fish, squid and anything else that it can catch around reefs.  The can be found quite deep however it is also common to catch these fish on shallow reefs.

These fish have thick torpedo shaped bodies with a white flaky flesh.  It has a slight fishy smell and taste making it less desirable than its relative Snapper species, but delicious enough to be considered good table fare.   Green Jobfish are easy to identify because of their olive green color with blue highlights along with their neatly printed large scales.

Jobfish are often taken bottom fishing, jigging and also spearfishing.  As seen below in one of the pictures, they can also be occasionally taken trolling in shallower water.

Green Jobfish Speared off Mactan Island

Green Jobfish Speared off Mactan Island


aprion virescens

Rod’s Jobfish caught while trolling!

Spotted Snapper ( Lutjanus sp. )

shore fishing in Cebu

Art’s Spotted Snapper

Common Name:  Spotted Snapper

Local Name: Pargo, Maya Maya  (Tagalog), Aluman, Awman, (Cebuano)

Max Size:  30 cm

Biodiversity: Marine, Brackish, Reef Associated,

Depth:  1 – 80 m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit8 inches

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Shrimp (either live or dead), small fish and crustaceans; small lures

IUCN Red List StatusLeast Concern (LC) / Not Evaluated (NE)

This is a relatively small species of snapper that is abundant throughout the islands. It is often found in schools or pairs around reefs, rocky coast, mangroves, lagoon and even estuaries.  We are not quite sure yet the exact species this is due to the fact that there are several species of small spotted snappers that these fish may be.  Here are some of the possible species; guttatus, russellii, fulviflamma.

Despite their small size these fish are still valued as a food fish.  To catch these fish fishermen often use multiple hook bottom fishing rigs with small hooks. Small live shrimp are the preferred bait though many small bait work.

Rusty Jobfish ( Aphareus rutilans )

Rusty Jobfish

Common Name: Jobfish, Snapper

Local Name: Maya Maya, Bisugo

Max Size110 cm (commonly 79cm)

Biodiversity: Marine, Reef Associated, Endemic

Depth: 100- 330m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

This species is often mistaken for Ruby Snapper or Flame Snapper, however the color and different shape of the mouth eyes and body help distinguish them.  It is a member of the snapper family.   These are deepwater fish found very deep, over 300ft below the surface.  The fish pictured above was caught by Anthony while jigging 150g jigs off the coast of Northern Luzon.

Red Snapper ( Lutjanus sp. )

Lutjanus campechanus

Romel’s Two Snapper

This species is very similar to the more common Mangrove Snapper which inhabits the coastline of the country.  These fish are more commonly found on deep reefs, wrecks, and and other structure.  Romel caught the larger fish while deepwater jigging, and the other while fishing with live shrimp on the bottom.

I am unsure of the exact species of this snapper.  The most common “Red Snapper” is the species is actually found only in the Atlantic ocean.

These fish, along with others that look similar or that are bright red are known as Maya-Maya.  These fish are excellent food fish and are quite expensive when purchased from the market.

Mangrove Snapper ( Lutjanus griseus )

mangrove snapper fishing

1 kg Mangrove Snapper on a Vibe Lure

Common Name: Mango Snapper, Grey Snapper, Pargo

Local Name: Maya Maya (Tagalog), Aha-an, Pantaan, Mangagat (Bisaya), 

Max Size:  89 cm (20 kgs)

Biodiversity: Marine, Brackish, Freshwater, Reef Associated, Endemic

Depth: 1- 180 m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit 10 inches  (fish responsibly and release all fish smaller than 10 inches)

This is one of the highly sought after game fish that can be caught here in Philippine waters.  Mangrove Snappers are quite abundant throughout the country can be found in coastal waters, out over offshore reefs and even in freshwater estuaries.  These fish will take a variety of lures and bait and put up an excellent fight when hooks.

Mangrove Snapper make an excellent food fish and taste delicious almost any way you cook them.  It is important however to note that snapper have been known to cause Ciguatera Poisoning.  If you catch these in waters where there is a high human population it is best not to eat these fish.

Mangrove Snapper less than 10 inches in length are quite small and are considered juvenile fish.  It is best to release these fish unharmed and not to keep them.

crony galaxy rod review

My Crony Galaxy 7′ Spinning Rod claims another.

The snapper in these pictures was caught while I was product testing a Crony rod that we sell.  The Crony Galaxy rods are high quality carbon rods and are perfect for this kind of fishing.  The rod I use was rated for lures up to 20g, but even when I used a 26g lure the rod still performed.  The rod has a nice sensitive tip and also a good backbone to muscle in the larger snapper and barracuda.

shimano reels philippines

The Pink Vibe Lure That Fooled This Fish

I am happy to say that this fish was released in good condition after our photo shoot. :-)

The Carbon Spot

A decent fishing spot that you can fish at for free here in Cebu City is what I like to call the Carbon Spot.  This spot is located very near to the Plaza Independencia Park and Fort San Pedro.  It is also at the entrance to the SRP Road which heads south to Talisay City.  Here is a map showing the area:

This spot has some pros and cons and I will try to list them here:


It is a Free spot to fish

Has lots of fish, some good size ones too

Is easily accessible and centrally located in the city

There is a guard stationed at the guardhouse which is located at the entrance to the SRP Road

Is near Plaza Independencia and has places to park or catch cabs/jeepneys

You can occasionally rent pump boats from there to take you fishing off the shore


Usually there is some garbage floating in the water

There is often a smell of sewage when the wind blows

Has lots of people (especially kids in summer) who swim there

People from the Carbon market use the sea wall to relieve themselves

There have been cases of robbery in the past down closer to the Carbon Market

There are occasionally fishing nets set not far off from shore as well as occasional spear fishermen

The rocks can be very slippery at low tide


Grouper, Barracuda, Snapper, Eel, Rabbitfish, Giant Trevally, Parrotfish and many more.


You can fish a variety of ways at this spot.  The rocks which you fish from slope gradually out into the water, but eventually come to a sandy/mucky bottom.  The depth off this spot is not that great with the maximum depth at casting distance being less than 20m.  The rocks hold lots of crustaceans, making the best bait to use here live shrimp.  If you plan to bottom fish keep in mind that there are many crabs here which destroy your tackle and steal your bait.  It is best to keep you bait slightly off the bottom.


Because the water around this spot is polluted it is advisable NOT  to keep and eat any fish caught from this spot.  The best thing to do is to catch and release.  Ciguatera is present in Cebu waters and can cause poisoning.


I rate this spot as a ( 5/10 ).  It can provide an enjoyable fishing experience, however the cons do tend to out weigh the pros from time to time.  If you have fished this spot please let us know by leaving a comment or sending us an email.  You can send us pictures of anything you have caught and give us your rating for this spot.


Catch and Release

Clean up after yourself and don’t leave any garbage behind even if the place is dirty

Here are some photos from one of the times I fished this spot with some friends:

Managat Cebu

Kayla Holding a Good Size Mangrove Snapper We Caught

Here is a good view of the spot looking towards the south

fishing cebu

Size Comparison; The Snapper and a size 9 Islander

1.5kg Snapper cebu

1.5kg Snapper hooked on 10lbs JB Line One

Pins Minnow Medium Runner victim

The Beautiful Color of the Mangrove Snapper

cebu city fishing

Good Sized Snapper


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