Monthly Archives: May 2014

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.



Banded Archerfish ( Toxotes jaculatrix )


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.


Toxotes jaculatrix

Aeds Archerfish caught on a lure

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