Category Archives: Tarpon (Buan-Buan)

Wolf Herring ( Chirocentrus sp. )

Chirocentrus dorab

Wolf Herring Caught Trolling In Pagbilao

Common Name Wolf Herring

Local NameBuan-Buan, Bidb-bid (miss-identified) (Tagalog); ?? (Bisaya)

Max Size:   146 cm (40+kgs)

BiodiversitySaltwater, Brackish, Reef associated

Depth:  1 – 120 meters

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:  None

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Small fish or lures

IUCN Red List Status Status:  Not Evaluated (NE)

This sly predator is quite rare and elusive.  It is often mistaken for a Tarpon or a Ladyfish due to its silvery sides and shape.  It can be distinguished however by its large grotesque fangs and long sardine shaped body.  These can be caught on lures, trolling or with live or dead bait.

There are two main species of Wolf Herring that can be found around the country, the Whitefin and the Blackfin.  We believe this is the Blackfin (nodus) species however we are not sure.

wolf herring

A Wolf Herring taking on a pins minnow lure


Wayne’s Wolf Herring caught in Romblon

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