Fishing the Philippines 4 G-L

Category Archives: Grunter

Silver Grunt ( Pomadasys argenteus )

spotted grunt

Common Name:   Bream, Grunter, Grunt, Javelin

Local Name:   Bakoko, Aguot  (Tagalog),  Ago-ot, Likti (Cebuano)

Max Size:   70 cm

Biodiversity: Marine, Brackish, Freshwater

Depth:  1 – 115 m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:  None

Recommended Bait:  Shrimp, worms and crustaceans;

IUCN Red List Status:  Least Concern (LC)

This is one of a couple fish that is known around the islands as Bakoko or Ago-ot.  It is distiguished from the larger Bakoko ( Acanthropagrus pacificus ) by its more elongated snout and small black spots on its sides.  These fish are encountered most often by anglers fishing is estuaries or large rivers that flow into the sea.  Bakoko are known to be shrimp eaters and bait fishermen use small shrimp either live or dead to catch them.

pomadasys argenteus

Photo courtesy of Mikko C.

Pacific Sea Bream ( Acanthopagrus pacificus )

Acanthopagrus pacificus

Gary’s Bakoko from Pampanga

Common Name:   Sea Bream, Porgie, Grunt

Local Name:  Bakoko, Agoot, Bakokong Moro (Tagalog);  Bunggok,  (Cebuano)

Max Size:  50 cm

Biodiversity: Marine, Brackish, Pelagic-Neritic

Depth:  1 – ?? m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:  8 inches

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Shrimp, small fish and crustaceans

IUCN Red List Status:  Not Evaluated (NE)

There are quite a few species of fish that are called by the name Bakoko here in the Philippines of which the Pacific Sea Bream is one.  This particular species is primarily found in estuaries and even in rivers in brackish water.  They are not a particularly large fish however they are a heavy set fish and make a good food fish.

  Anglers target these fish mainly with shrimp either live or dead.  This fish is most commonly caught around central Luzon though it is present all throughout the waters of the Philippines.


Acanthopagrus pacificus

A good haul from Pampanga

Acanthopagrus pacificus

A good sized Bream caught night fishing in Bacolod

These fish are called Baccucu in Bacolod City.

Cresent Grunter (Terapon jarbua)

fish species philippines

Grunter caught on a lure

Common Name:   Grunter, Terapon, Thornfish, Crescent Perch

Local Name:  Bagaong (Tagalog);  Bugaong, Gunggong (Cebuano)

Max Size:  36 cm

Biodiversity: Marine, Brackish, Freshwater,

Depth:  1 – ?? m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:  none

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Shrimp, small fish, crustaceans, small flashy lures

IUCN Red List Status:  Least Concern (LC)

These are a relatively small fish that can be caught all over the Philippines from the shore or rivers that flow into the sea. They are most commonly found over sandy bottoms along beaches coastline and estuaries.   They can be caught on lures or live bait and can grow up to around a kilo in size.  They are known to make a grunting or croaking sound when handled and often will tighten their bodies and expose their many spines. They should be handled with care.  They are a fair food fish with a white flesh that retains a slight fishy taste after it is cooked.  These fish are not a primary target of sport fishermen and instead are often considered as pests. They are fun fish however for children to fish for as they will readily take almost any bait.


Surf Fishing in Cebu

Tapiroid Grunter (Mesopristes cancellatus)

mesopristes cancelatus

Cross Barred Grunter

Common Name:   Grunter, Cross-Barred Grunter

Local Name:  Pigek (Tagalog);  Pigok (Cebuano)

Max Size:  30 cm

Biodiversity: Marine, Brackish, Freshwater, Amphidromous

Depth:  1 – ?? m

Fishing Season:  April to September, December

Minimum Size Limit:  6 inches

Recommended Bait/Lures:  small shrimp, worms, insects

IUCN Red List Status:  Least Concern(LC)

The Pigek is a somewhat rare species to catch around the country.  It is a highly sought after food fish and usually has a high market price.  They are caught mainly in freshwater rivers where they migrate to spawn.  These fish are not large however can grow to be quite portly reaching weights of up to 1kg.  Because they can be found in clear freshwater rivers and feed on small shrimp, insects and worms Pigek make a good species for fly fishermen to target.  They are known to travel as much as 10km up streams.


Pigek caught in the Kawasan River, Cebu

A large pigek from Butuan City, Mindanao

A large pigek from Butuan City, Mindanao

pigok fish

Note the extended upper jaw and thick fleshy lips

Update:  According to my friend Chito in Butuan City, this fish is seasonal and can be caught in nets of on tackle.  It spawns in estuaries and is highly valued for its delicious meat.  It can fetch up to 500.oo php per kilo in some places.  Its oil is also apparently used in some musk perfume.

Category Archives: Jaguar Cichlid

Jaguar Guapote (Parachromis managuensis )

Common Name:   Jaguar Cichlid, Guapote, Wild Tilapia,

Local Name:  Dugong (Tagalog);  

Max Size:  55 cm

Biodiversity: Freshwater,

Depth:  1 – 10 m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:  none

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Shrimp, small fish worms and lures

IUCN Red List Status:  Not Evaluated (NE)

These introduced cichlids can be found in lake Taal and in the ponds of the Wack Wack golf course and possibly other places as well.  They are typically small and aggressive and are fun little fish to fish for.  There are much like Crappies in the US and can be caught using worms or small lures.  These fish apparently can reach almost a kilo. They are known locally around Lake Taal as Dugong.

Category Archives: Jobfish (Maya Maya)

Ruby Snapper ( Etelis coruscans )

deep water snapper

Banjie’s Huge Snapper

Common Name:   Flame Snapper, Longtail Snapper, Longtailed Deepwater Snapper

Local Name:   Maya-maya, Tikwi (Tagalog);  Sagisihon (Cebuano)

Max Size:  120 cm

Biodiversity: Marine, Reef Associated, Deep-Water

Depth:  90 – 400 m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:  None

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Fish, Squid

IUCN Red List Status:  Not Evaluated (NE)

The Ruby Snapper is one the prized fish found in deep water around the country.  These fish can be difficult to catch mainly because of the great depths at which they are found.  Anglers fishing for Ruby Snapper and other deepwater species often use electric reels to aid in the retreival of line.  Dropping a heavy weight down over 200m takes a long time to reel in and is tiring even when there is no fish on the other end.  Braided line is a must when fishing in deep water, called Deep Dropping.

The 27kg monster pictured above was caught very deep with a special winch reel.  They used a whole squid as bait and it took quite a while to bring the monster in.

Green Jobfish ( Aprion virescens )

3kg Jobfish speared off Punta Engano, Mactan

3kg Jobfish speared off Punta Engano, Mactan

Common Name:   Snapper, Jobfish, Aprion

Local Name:  Maya Maya  (Tagalog), Malaguno, Sagisihon, (Cebuano)

Max Size:  112 cm (15.4 kgs)

Biodiversity: Marine, Reef Associated

Depth:  1 – 180 m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:  15 inches

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Shrimp, small fish and crustaceans; Jigs

IUCN Red List Status:  Not Evaluated (NE)

The Green Jobfish belongs to the family of Jobfish and Snapper and is common around the Philippine Islands.  This fish is a predator feeding on small fish, squid and anything else that it can catch around reefs.  The can be found quite deep however it is also common to catch these fish on shallow reefs.

These fish have thick torpedo shaped bodies with a white flaky flesh.  It has a slight fishy smell and taste making it less desirable than its relative Snapper species, but delicious enough to be considered good table fare.   Green Jobfish are easy to identify because of their olive green color with blue highlights along with their neatly printed large scales.

Jobfish are often taken bottom fishing, jigging and also spearfishing.  As seen below in one of the pictures, they can also be occasionally taken trolling in shallower water.

Green Jobfish Speared off Mactan Island

Green Jobfish Speared off Mactan Island


aprion virescens

Rod’s Jobfish caught while trolling!

Rusty Jobfish ( Aphareus rutilans )

Rusty Jobfish

Common Name: Jobfish, Snapper

Local Name: Maya Maya, Bisugo

Max Size:  110 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.

Category Archives: Knife Fish

Clown Knife Fish ( Chitala ornata)


laguna lake invasive species

The Invasive Knife Fish


Common Name:    Featherback

Local Name:  ??? (Tagalog);  ??? (Cebuano)

Max Size:  122 cm

Biodiversity:  Freshwater

Depth:  0 – 19 m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:  none

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Shrimp, small fish

IUCN Red List Status:  Least Concern (LC)

Laguna Lake fishing

This is a species of fish that was introduced to the country via the aquarium trade from the Thai peninsula (or possibly from South Asia).  Being a voracious feeder preying on smaller fish, this fast grow species is quite exciting as a gamefish.  Through unknown circumstances these fish ended up in one of the country’s largest lakes, Laguna Lake, and has established itself quite well.  These fish can be caught now all over the lake on a variety of lures and live bait.  One of the local favorite baits for catching large knife fish is live Ayungin, or Silver Perch.  This fish are know to fed primarily at night, however they can be caught during the day as well. Knife Fish over 5kgs have been caught in Laguna Lake.

Local fishermen in Laguna who raise tilapia and bangus in fish pens or others who fish the lake with nets complain that this species is depleting the native populations of smaller species.  This has led to what has been known as the “Knife Fish Invasion” which the local media and various individuals affected condemn.  They claim this species is near worthless as a food fish and that it destroy the native fish populations.  Despite this outcry I remain slightly skeptical of the claims that this fish will wipe out native species.  Many people forget that such species as Tilapia, Snakeheads and African Hito are not native.

Sonny caught these nice Knife Fish in Sta. Cruz while fishing in Laguna Lake using live fish as bait.Chitala chitala

knife fish laguna

Category Archives: Lady Fish (Bid Bid)

Wolf Herring ( Chirocentrus sp. )

Chirocentrus dorab

Wolf Herring Caught Trolling In Pagbilao

Common Name:  Wolf Herring

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

Max Size:   146 cm (40+kgs)

Biodiversity: Saltwater, 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

Ladyfish ( Elops sp. )



Common Name: Ladyfish

Local Name: Bidbid

Max Size:  100 cm (3.7 kgs)

Biodiversity: Marine, Brackish, Endemic

Depth: Surface  – ?? meters

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:  None

Recommended Bait/Lures:   Cut Bait (Shrimp and fish), lures

IUCN Red List Status:  (LC) Least Concern

This is another species found in the Philippines specifically along the coastline  where estuaries and mangrove swamps are.  These aggressive predators are often mistaken for Milkfish (Bangus) because of their almost identical body shape and color.  The fry of these fish look almost identical to Milkfish fry and so they are often mistakenly stocked in Milkfish ponds where they become a damaging pest.

Ladyfish can be taken on a variety of baits and lures.  They are quite aggressive and often leap from the water when hooked to try to escape.  They have large soft mouths which can make landing them quite frustrating.  They often will strike and and run and manage to unhook themselves before you can land them.

mangrove predator

Ladyfish on a soft plastic

I have not listed a specific species for the Ladyfish here because there are apparently seven different species of this fish which share many similarities.  I prefer to just call these Philippine Ladyfish.

If you have caught Ladyfish here in the Philippines or if you have any other helpful information regarding this fish then please contact us.

D Pond Cebu

17″ Ladyfish

pond fishing cebu


Philippine Record:

ron-cortez-bidbid3         ron-cortez-bidbid2         ron-cortez-bidbid1


Angler:  Ron Cortez

Location: D’Cove Pavilion and Fishpond;  Tagalag, Valenzuela

Date:  December 17, 2016

Weight: 3.7 kilograms

Length: 36 inches

Bait:  cut shrimp

Setup: Ultra Light (6lbs)

Published on : 22/05/2017 by Puerto Parrot

Fair use disclaimer

Some material is coming of the internet. If applicable, the link to the original page is added. If you own the work and feel that it shouldn't be posted on this website, please Contact us or visit our copyright and privacy page. Thank you.

There are no comments.