Category Archives: Snapper (Maya Maya)

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

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

Sunset Snapper

Had around 30mins free this evening to fish.  Grabbed my light lure casting set-up (Shimano Sedona 2500, 10lbs JB Braid, 5′ Lemax rod and pins minnow)and headed over to the Carbon spot as the sun began to set.  Plan was to be in and out in 30mins and be back before dark.  I was followed by a small crowd of fans for the first 20 mins, but they all left as sun was about to set.  In the 10mins after they left I hooked this nice 1/2kg Mangrove Snapper and missed strikes from two others.  This fish was caught at extreme low tide. I was a bit surprised that they would still be biting with the tide way out.

Fishing Spot Cebu Philippines

1/2kg Mangrove Snapper (Managat)

Snapper on Rainy Saturday

Fished for about an hour this morning and hooked this nice Mangrove Snapper.  These are quite common here around Cebu and are good fun to catch.

Snapper Philippines Lures

1kg Snapper

Lure Fishing Cebu

Beautiful Colors of Mangrove Snapper

Mangrove Snapper Fishing

Cebu Managat

Rod: CRONY Galaxy 7ft Medium action

Reel: Shimano Sedona 2500

Line: Jerry Brown Line One Spectra 10lbs

Lure: Pins Minnow Medium Runner (Yellow Flash Color)

Mangrove Snapper (Lutjanus griseus)

largo fish philippines

Mangrove Snapper caught in Cebu

This beautiful species is common all through out the Philippines and is an excellent gamefish and food fish.  They can be found patrolling water near rocky shorelines and they can also be caught offshore. They are known in the Tagalog speaking regions as Pargo or Maya Maya.  Cebuanos call this fish Mangagat.  They can be caught on lures (this one was taken on a floating minnow lure), shrimp, squid, dead bait, cut bait and more.   They put up a great fight when hooked.

This one was caught in Cebu near the Carbon Market on a Yo-Zuri Pins Minnow.

Here are some more pictures of the fish:

lure fishing philippines

Caught on Jerry Brown Line One Braid

Here is the fish with some of the kids who followed me around 🙂

saltwater fishing philippines

1kg + Snapper

Here is the Fish Base page on Mangrove Snappers :

Feel free to leave comments or other info about this fish or fishing for them.

Checkered Snapper (Lutjanus decussatus)

bangalaw fish

Checkered Snapper caught off Mactan Island

Common Name:  Snapper

Local Name: ??  (Tagalog), Bangalaw (Bisaya)

Max Size:  35 cm

Biodiversity: Marine, Reef Associated

Depth:  2 – 35 m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit10 inches

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Shrimp, small lures, spoons

IUCN Red List StatusLeast Concern (LC)

snapper species

Wayne’s Checkered Snapper from Romblon

The checkered snapper is another of the small snapper species found often along the coastlines of the Philippines.  Like other snapper species they are a good food fish.   They can be caught on a variety of lures and bait typically around reefs and and rocky coastlines.

Here is a plump little Checkered Snapper caught in Puerto Galera, Mindoro.  This was caught from the shore on a small silver minnow lure.