Monthly Archives: January 2014

Coral Trout ( Plectropomus leopardus )

suno fish

10kg Coral Trout Caught In Cebu

Common Name:  Red Grouper, Coral Trout, Leopard Coral Grouper

Local Name:  Lapu Lapu (Tagalog), Suno, Pogapo (Cebuano)

Max Size:  120 cm  (23.6 kg)

Biodiversity: Marine, Reef Associated, Oceanodromous

Depth:  3 – 100+ m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:    32 cm

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Shrimp, Squid, fish or cut bait;  jigs

IUCN Red List Status:   Near Threatened (NT)



Oilfish ( Ruvettus pretiosus )

Ruvettus pretiosus

Big Oilfish Caught by Josh in Siargao

Common NameOilfish

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

Max Size:  300 cm (63.5 kgs)

Biodiversity: Marine, Benthopelagic, Oceanodromous

Depth100 – 800 meters

Fishing Season: None

Minimum Size Limit:   None

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Fish (cutbait or whole) , squid

IUCN Red List Status StatusNot Listed

This species is a deepwater species related to the Snoek (Snake Mackerel). These are relatively rare to see around the country due to the depth at which they live.  These fish are called oilfish due to the high oil content of their flesh. They are edible and delicious however eating large quantities of this fish’s flesh causes a laxative effect which can be quite disturbing.  It is recommended that if you eat this fish that you don’t eat very much.


Another Shot of Josh’s Oilfish

Orange-Striped Emperor ( Lethrinus obsoletus )

katambak budlis

Common NameEmperor, Bream

Local Name: Bitilya  (Tagalog); Katambak Budlis (Cebuano)

Max Size:  60 cm

Biodiversity: Marine, Reef Associated, Non-Migratory

Depth1 – 30 meters

Fishing Season: None

Minimum Size Limit10 inches

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

IUCN Red List Status StatusNot Listed

Here is another one of the many emperor species found through out the waters here.  This fish was caught on Mactan Island, Cebu.

Indo-Pacific Tarpon ( Megalops cyprinoides )

fish species of the philippines

Indo Pacific Tarpon

Common NameTarpon

Local NameBulan-Bulan (Tagalog), Buan-Buan, Salongong,  (Cebuano)

Max Size:  150 cm (18kgs)

Biodiversity: Marine; Freshwater; Brackish; Benthopelagic; Amphidromous;

Depth:  1 – ?? m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit12 inches

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Shrimp, small fish; spoons, jigs, crankbaits and soft plastics

IUCN Red List Status:   Data Deficient (DD)

The Philippines is unfortunately not blessed like Florida, USA with giant Tarpon.  Instead we have the smaller Pacific cousin; The Indo-Pacific Tarpon.  Though this species is reported to reach up to 18kgs, which is a good sized fish, the common size found throughout Philippines waters is closer to 1-2kgs.  These fish are Benthopelagic, meaning they spend the majority of their time just above the sea floor.  They are also Amphidromous, meaning they migrate to freshwater from salt or from salt to fresh at some point in their lives.  It is not uncommon to find these fish in freshwater rivers, ponds and even lakes.  Adult tarpon are  more commonly found at sea while the smaller ones are typically found close to shore.   These are a popular fish to stock in freshwater sportfishing ponds because of their energetic fights and often aerobatic displays.  Baby tarpon can often be seen in pet shops for sale for freshwater aquariums and are easy to spot due to their large flashy silver scales.  Their local name Buan-Buan (literally – Moon-Moon) comes from their flashy white color which can even be seen reflecting of of light at night.

Tarpon are excellent game fish because they take a variety of lures and have great fighting abilities.  They are however fair to poor as a food fish.  Their flesh has a very muddy taste and so we recommend that you release these fish if you catch them.

tarpon fishing philippines

Joseph G. with his tarpon caught on a micro lure.

pampanga anglers

Jospeh G.’s impressive haul from Tarpon fishing

indopacific tarpon

A Buwan-Buwan (Tarpon) caught night fishing in Cebu



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.

Spotted Butterfish ( Scatophagus argus )

pond fishing in cebu

Dave’s Butterfish

Common Name:  Spotted Scat

Local Name:   (Tagalog), Kitang (Cebuano)

Max Size:  35 cm (1.2kg)

Biodiversity: Marine, Brackish, Reef Associated,

Depth:  0 – ? m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:  8 inches

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Shrimp, Squid, fish & many other baits including algae.

IUCN Red List Status:  Least Concern (LC)

These are a relatively small fish that are very similar to the Rabbit fish species.  They resemble rabbit fish however they have a more unique body shape.  They are said to have venemous spines that cause painful wounds so should be handled with care.  Here in Cebu angler use very small hooks to catch these fish.

Honey Comb Grouper ( Epinephelus merra )

epinephelus merra

Honey Comb Grouper Caught at the Marcello Fernan Bridge

Common Name:  Grouper

Local Name:  Lapu Lapu (Tagalog), Lapu Lapu, Pogapo (Cebuano)

Max Size:  32 cm

Biodiversity: Marine, Reef Associated,

Depth:  0 – 50 m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:  8 inches

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Shrimp, Squid, fish or cut bait;  jigs, soft plastics, crankbaits

IUCN Red List Status:  Least Concern (LC)

This  is a small species of grouper found throughout the islands.  It Is easily distinguished by its small size and honeycomb like spots covering its body.  These fish, though small are prized as food fish.

sportfishing cebu

Omet’s Honey Comb Grouper