Tapiroid Grunter (Mesopristes cancellatus)
Common Name: Grunter, Cross-Barred Grunter
Local Name: Pigek (Tagalog); Pigok (Cebuano)
Max Size: 30 cm
Biodiversity: Marine, Brackish, Freshwater, Amphidromous
Depth: 1 – ?? m
Fishing Season: April to September, December
Minimum Size Limit: 6 inches
Recommended Bait/Lures: small shrimp, worms, insects
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern(LC)
The Pigek is a somewhat rare species to catch around the country. It is a highly sought after food fish and usually has a high market price. They are caught mainly in freshwater rivers where they migrate to spawn. These fish are not large however can grow to be quite portly reaching weights of up to 1kg. Because they can be found in clear freshwater rivers and feed on small shrimp, insects and worms Pigek make a good species for fly fishermen to target. They are known to travel as much as 10km up streams.
Update: According to my friend Chito in Butuan City, this fish is seasonal and can be caught in nets of on tackle. It spawns in estuaries and is highly valued for its delicious meat. It can fetch up to 500.oo php per kilo in some places. Its oil is also apparently used in some musk perfume.