Category Archives: Tuna (Tambakol)

Dogtooth Tuna ( Gymnosarda unicolor )

Gymnosarda unicolor

Big Dogtooth caught in Zambales


Common NameDogtooth Tuna, White Tuna

Local Name: Tambakol (Tagalog), Lanhu-an (Cebuano)

Max Size:  248 cm ( 131 kgs )

Biodiversity: Marine, Reef Associated, Oceanodromous

Depth: 10 – 200 m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size LimitNone

This is one of the big game species that can be caught here in the Philippines which is normally targeted by angler who are deep water jigging.  Those this species is normally caught at deeper depths, it can also be caught while trolling lures near the surface.  Dogtooth are reef associated fish normally found offshore around reefs.  They feed mainly on small schooling fish and squid though they are opportunistic feeders and can be caught on a variety of bait.

Dogtooth are known by many different names throughout the country of which Tambakol seems to be the most common.  Surprisingly they are not members of the Tuna family.  They are excellent food fish and prove a great challenge when hooked.

The one pictured above was caught by anglers fishing out of the Masinloc Zambales Fishing Lodge.

Yellow Fin Tuna ( Thunnus albacares )

Thunnus albacares

Common Name: Tuna, Yellow Fin

Local Name: Tambakol

Max Size:  239cm  (commonly 150 cm)

Biodiversity: Marine, Pelagic-Oceanic, Oceanodromous Endemic

Depth: 1 – 250m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Yellow Fin Tuna are one of the big game fish that can be caught here in the Philippines.  The big ones can be fished in certain parts of the country like Siargao, General Santos City, Mindoro, Palawan and along the Philippine Trench.  Smaller ones can be caught throughout the islands.  Arnold caught this beautiful 36kg specimen in Siargao while drifting live squid down under bright propane lamps.  The lamps attract squid which then bring the fish.  Smaller ones can be caught when trolling lures and feathers. Often local fishermen target these tuna and other species using long lines that they troll behind their boats.  Their long lines sometimes have up to 40+ feathered hooks.

Mackerel Tuna ( Euthynnus affinis )

where to fish around the Philippines

A good sized Mackerel Tuna caught in Siquijor

Common Name:   Tuna, Kawa Kawa, Bullseye

Local Name Tulingan (Tagalog); Barilis, Hasa Hasa (Cebuano)

Max Size:  100 cm

BiodiversityMarine, Pelagic, Oceanodromous

Depth:  0 – 200 m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:  12 inches

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Tuna flies, small fish and crustaceans

IUCN Red List Status:  Not Evaluated (NE)

This species of fish is common in large schools off the coast all over the Philippines.  It is usually found quite close to shore where the school feeds on  baitfish.  It is quite a popular fish for local fishermen to target as it is quite abundant, easily caught and fetches a good price in the market.  It has dark flesh that is quite tasty.

Fishermen most often go after this fish with long lines of multiple hooks (sometimes up to 30 or more hooks per line).  Their hooks are relatively small long shank hooks dressed with striped feathers, tinsel, crystallite, or various other materials to create a small pin fish lure.  For those who are familiar fly fishing their dressed hooks look very much like Clouser Minnows.

Siquijor Tuna Photo courtesy of Eric Mark E. Opaon

tuna spots in the philippines

Small Tulingan caught off Puerto Galera Mindoro