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Fly Fishing Seminar (1/23/13) in Cebu City

Fly fishing cebu

We held a Fly Fishing Seminar and Casting session on Feb. 23, 2014.  A visiting experienced fly fisherman, Sven Cederberg shared some of his knowledge and expertise on fly fishing basics, tactics and fly casting.  The seminar was held at Vista Mar Beach Resort located on Mactan Island in Cebu City.  We had six people that attended and had a great time hearing from Sven and learning more about fly fishing.

Here are some pictures:

fly fishing seminar cebu

The Group Listen to Sven’s Saltwater Fly Fishing Tactics

fly fishing

A Sampling of Sven’s Fly Box for Fresh and Saltwater

fly fishing

A shot of us during the casting session after the seminar.

The seminar consisted of an introduction by Sven to who he is and where he fishes.  He shared his experiences fishing both fresh and salt water in both Sweden and New Zealand.  He then shared some of the basics of fly fishing and showed us some of his go to patterns for both fresh and salt water.  Sven also showed us the Perfect Loop knot he uses for connecting his fly line to his leader.  After the informative seminar we all headed to the jetties on the water to practice casting.  We had a couple looks from some small barracuda but no fish landed.

If you are visiting Cebu and would like to interact with local anglers as well as share your experience or expertise let us know.  We would love to organize more seminars, training/fishing sessions or get togethers.


A Note On Fish Names In The Philippines

It can be quite difficult and confusing trying to figure out the correct name of a fish you catch here.  Here is a little info on fish names and on why it is such a task;

Linguistic Diversity – The Philippines is a country composed of more than 7,000 islands.  There are 8 major languages spoken throughout the country  (Cebuano, Bikol, Hiligaynon, Tagalog, Ilocano, Kapampangan, Waray, and Pangasinan) and there are many distinct dialects of those languages.  Each language and many times dialects have their own and often distinct name for a particular fish.  A Caranx ignobilis (Giant Trevally) is known as a Talakitok to a Tagalog speaking person and as a Mamsa to a Visayan.  Depending on the region you are in when you catch a particular fish you will hear a different name.  We list the English names and the scientific names here on Fishing the Philippines because the names of fish are more standardized.

A Lack of Awareness – Another reason why learning the correct name of a fish can be difficult here is due to the fact that much of the population here knows little of the diversity of fish species found here in the Philippines.  Most people will know the names of the fish they directly come in contact with; Fish they buy to eat or fish raised in ponds or lakes nearby.  That is why one of our goals here on Fishing the Philippines is to show the diversity of species found here and to teach an awareness and appreciation for these fish.

Incorrect Naming – Another problem when determining a fish’s name here is when people tell you what they think the fish is.  Often this means that you will be getting the name of a fish that this fish reminds the person of.  We have found that local fishermen and fish vendors are able to give the more accurate names of fish species found in various regions.

Introduced Species – This creates a unique problem as well because these fish do not have local names.  The local communities create names for these fish which can also lead to confusion.  The name Black Mass or Black Mask is a name used in parts of Laguna to refer to the Largemouth Bass (a species introduced to some lakes from America).  It however is also used for some invasive species of carp such as bighead carp and silver carp.


Our task – Fishing the Philippines was started because we noticed a lack of information when it came to fish and fishing here in the Philippines.  Our goal is to teach conservation and appreciation of the wealth that we have teaming in the water here in the Philippines.


How you can help –  If you know the local names of the fish we post please let us know.  We would like our site to be a comprehensive resource for sport fishing and you can help be a part of that.  Also feel free to contribute to our fish species list.  You can do that by sending us pictures and information about fish you have caught here.  We are also glad to promote and share information regarding fishing events, conservation projects and other educational programs involving fish.


Sanipit Fishing Method

philippine fishing methods

A Rough Sketch Of The Sanipit

This is a local fishing method typically used for fishing very deep water that would either be too tiring or too time consuming to fish with a handline.  The technique involves fastening a buoy of some sort (traditionally a couple sections of bamboo) to a long main line.  Local nylon is used for the main line which is then tied to an stick that has a branch off at the top.  Guava wood is a favorite for this because of it is strong, dense and durable.  The guava branch is tied to a rock to create an anchor weight.  The mainline which is tied to the top of the guava branch is also tied with light nylon to the base of the anchor.  If the anchor is snagged on the bottom the light nylon can be broken by pulling on the main line.  This allows the anchor to pivot at a different angle and hopefully pull free from the snag.  Near the anchor a dropper loop is tied to which a leader line is tied.  Either one or two hooks are tied onto the leader and baited with cut bait such as mackerel or other fish.  This rig is then dropped into deep water where fish are suspected.  The Sanipit is left usually overnight and retrieved in the morning.  This type of fishing allows the local fishermen to fish water from 100 – 300 meters in depth.  Many species of deepwater fish can be caught.  Some of these include; deep water Snapper, large Grouper, Emperors, Jobfish, Oilfish, Snoek, Amberjacks, etc.

Fishermen normally place multiple Sanipit rigs at one time around a general area.  This helps them to triangulate spots that hold fish.  There are some difficulties with this fishing method.  Rigs can get hopelessly snagged which causes loss of line and some times tackle.  Large fish can also drag the buoy away or cut the mainline.  Theft by other fishermen is also another problem which is why many place the Sanipit at dusk and collect at dawn.

Here is a picture of the Sanipit anchor/weight:

sanipit fishing

Common Weights Used For Deep Sea Fishing Around The Islands

I will try to get some pictures of the actual rig and fish caught using this rig.  If you have any additional information or photos to add or if you have any questions please leave a comment or send us a message.


Bunso Bunso

bunso bunso

This is a local form of jigging for mackerel and other small fish.  It involves dropping a long main line with many snoods (or short branch leaders) almost to the bottom.  The main line is then jigged up and down by hand to attract fish throughout the water column.  The hooks are similar to small sabiki like hooks that are dressed with small feathers, tinsel or other similar fabrics or plastics. This is typically done around Payaw (buoys) in deeper water to catch small schooling pelagics.  Unlike in the west these small mackerel and other small species that are caught by this method are eaten and not used as bait.  These rigs can be quite productive when big schools are present.  Guys who use this technique are quick to tell though of how they have often been snagged by many of the small hooks when a large predator takes one of the smaller fish that is struggling on the line.  The way to avoid this is to firmly hold the main line so that the snood will snap off instead of drag the main line and other small hooks through your hand.   The snoods are usually very light poundage (4-8lbs) with the smallest of the locally available hooks.

This technique is an excellent way to catch baitfish when fishing Payaws for Dorado, Tanigue, Tuna and other large predator fish. They are quite easy to make although they are a bit time consuming.

Send us your pictures or other info you have about this fishing method and we’ll add it to the site.


Blood Red gear

Here are some pics of me showing off some of the new Blood Red gear.   We did a river trekk in Cebu and tested their new Dry Bags and some of their new Fusion board shorts.  The Dry Bags are great and as the photo shows did not allow a drop of water in even though we trekked literally up the river.  The Fusion shorts handled the water well, dried fast and had some convenient pockets that are often not present in board shorts.  These guys have well designed gear great for the amihan and habagat seasons here.  Click on either picture or on the link below to check out the Blood Red site and order online.  I have been trying to get them to add a line of sports wear specifically for fishing. Who knows maybe next year 🙂

Tadlac Lake

arial view of Tadlac Lake

Tadlac Lake From the Air

This is another post about Tadlac Lake, also known as Crocodile or Alligator Lake.  This lake is located in Brgy. Tadlac, Los Banos, Laguna.  I had not heard of the lake until recently and have since made several trips there to see what I could catch.  I hear that there are large snakeheads, large carp, large pangasius, and many other kinds of fish in this lake.  I have tried for the previously named fish with out luck.  I have caught Ayungin, Tilapia, and various types of Bia there.

The lake is quite a beautiful and secluded little lake nestled back away from the hustle and bustle of Los Banos.  As can be seen from google maps, the lake sits next to Laguna Lake, though is not connected.  I have heard there is an underwater tunnel, but this may just be rumor.

I have also read that this lake is very deep, similar to the other volcanic lakes of Laguna.  I heard that someone tried to measure the center with a fishing line and reel and found the depth at the center around 78 meters.  That is quite a depth for a relatively small lake such as this.

I also heard that there used to be pangasius and tilapia fish pens on the lake until the local government stopped them and had the fish released into the lake.  The locals say that the pangasius in the lake are up to 20kgs.  This may just be rumor, but if you watch the surface of the water you can see large fish surface.  According to some friends a 40kg carp was caught in a net in this lake a while back.

below is a picture of the lake that I took from the Los Banos high school of the arts when Dowie and I took a trip up there.  Sorry the pic is a little blurry.

Fishing spot Laguna Philippines

View of Tadlac Lake from Makiling High School of the Arts

If any of you guys have fished this lake and caught stuff, let me know.  I am curious as to how to catch some of the giants that live here.

Fish Species List:  (these are the fish I have caught or am aware are present in the lake)

– Tilapia

– Pangasius Catfish

– Snakehead

– Giant Snakehead

– Ayungin

– Carp

Soft Shelled Turtle

  I was bottom fishing in the Mabacan River in Laguna and caught this soft shelled turtle.  The river is full of these turtles which stay along the bottom of the river and periodically come to the surface for air.  I have unintentionally caught them on worms, chicken liver, chicken skin, and doughballs.  These turtles take a variety of bait and have a tendency to swallow the hook.  They can be difficult to unhook, but pliers help.  I am not sure what species these are.

Duct Tape Boat

These Photos are for all who enjoy creativity, building things and the water.  This is my ductape boat that I made in a week and have sucessfully sailed on Lake Lumot: