Fishing the Philippines 7 S-S

Category Archives: Silver Perch (Ayungin)

Silver Perch ( Leiopotherapon plumbeus )


ayungin fish

Common Name:   Silver Perch, 

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

Max Size:  16 cm

Biodiversity:  Freshwater

Depth:  1 – ?? m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:  none

Recommended Bait/Lures:  worms, small shrimp, masa

IUCN Red List Status:  Not Evaluated (NE)

Ayungin are one of the native species found in the Philippines. It is too bad that these little guys only grow to around 6 inches.  They are quite aggressive little fighters.  These fish were the national hero Jose Rizal’s favorite fish.  Despite their small size they are utilized and even prized as a food fish.

Ayungin can be caught on hook and line and make fun little fish for kids to catch.  To catch these little guys you need a small hook.  Their mouths are quite small.  They are also swim in schools in the middle of the water column often round floating weeds and structures. The experienced fishermen can catch a bag of these in an afternoon and make a good meal for dinner.

These fish can be raised in ponds for aquaculture. They are a very hardy fish and can be trained to  feed on floating pellets.

tadlac lake ayungin laguna

Tadlac Lake in Laguna which is full of Ayungin

Category Archives: Snakehead (Haruan)

Gudgeon ( Eleotris sp. )

sleeper fish

Aeds Gudgeon on a lure.

Common Name:   Gudgeon, Sleeper, 

Local Name:     (Tagalog),  Cadurog, Palog, Lagnas  (Cebuano)

Max Size:   cm

Biodiversity: Marine, Brackish, Freshwater

Depth:  0 – ?? m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:  None

Recommended Bait:  Shrimp, worms and crustaceans;

IUCN Red List Status

This is a fish of the genus Eleotris which are known as Sleepers or Gudgeons. Similar to Gobies and Snakeheads, Sleepers often sit motionless on the riverbed waiting for prey to pass by.  They a generally quite small and of little value to sport fishermen however they can grow to impressive sizes of over 1 ft in length.  Anglers are most likely to encounter these fish when fishing in rivers and estuaries with bait or small lures.

Because of the diversity within this genus of fish we have simply listed the genus.

lagnas fish

Note the thick body of the Gudgeon

Black Snakehead ( Channa melasoma )

snakehead fishing philippines

Black Snakehead

Common Name: Snakehead, Mudfish

Local Name: Dalag, Haruan (Tagalog), Haruan, Haluan(Cebuano)

Max Size:  30 cm ( 1 kgs )

Biodiversity: Freshwater,  Endemic

Depth: 1 – 10m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:  10 inches

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Shrimp, Minnows, Frog lures, Spinnerbaits, and more

IUCN Red List Status:  Least Concern (LC)

Here is a Black Snakehead caught in Taal Lake by Buboy.  This species is quite rare here in the Philippines compared to its cousin the Striped Snakehead.  It can be differentiated from its cousin by the lack of a white underbelly.  The Black Snakehead can be found throughout South East Asia from Thailand over to the Philippines and Malaysia.  This species is reported to grow up to 30 cm.   This fish was caught on a medium running crank bait.

black snakehead

Below is a picture of the fish’s mouth:

Black Dalag

Giant Snakehead ( Channa micropeltes )

toman fishing philippines


Common Name: Snakehead, Toman,

Local Name: Toman (Tagalog), Toman (Cebuano)

Max Size:  130 cm ( 20 kgs )

Biodiversity: Freshwater,  Introduced

Depth:  1 – ?? m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:  15 inches

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Fish, Frog lures, Spinnerbaits, and more

IUCN Red List Status:  Least Concern (LC)

This is the largest species of Snakehead which has been imported via the aquarium trade to the Philippines from the Thai Peninsula. The Giant Snakehead or Toman is know to grow up to 1 meter in length and almost 20 kilos in weight.  These fish have been released into various lakes, ponds and waterways here in the Philippines as a gamefish and are thriving.  They are fished for with spinnerbaits, frogs, crank baits and more.  The main destinations for these fish are Lakeshore, a small lake in Mexico, Pampanga and also the Aulo Dam near Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija.  These fish can also be found in various other ponds and bodies of water around the country.


Here is another photo of Sonny with a nice 1kg Toman caught in a pond in Laguna:

Giant Snakehead Laguna

Sonny’s Giant Snakehead

Striped Snakehead ( Channa striata )

snakehead philippines

Our Artist’s Drawing of the Striped Snakehead

Common Name:   Snakehead, Mudfish

Local Name:   Dalag, Haruan (Tagalog);  Haluan, Haruan (Cebuano)

Max Size:  100 cm (3 kgs)

Biodiversity:  Freshwater

Depth:  0 – 10 m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:  10 inches

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Shrimp, Minnows, Frog lures, Spinnerbaits, and more

IUCN Red List Status:  Least Concern (LC)

Snakehead fishing philippines

Sonny’s Snakehead (1.7 kgs) caught in Caliraya Reservoir

This is one of the more prevelent gamefish in the Philippines.  I have caught them in lakes Caliraya and Sampaloc, but I have seen them in almost every lake, river and pond I have been to.  Fish for them as you would bass.  I have caught them on bass worms, live minnows.  I have seen them caught on crankbaits, spinners, spinnerbaits, frogs, and more.  In Tagalog they are called Dalag. The one in the picture above was caught by Sonny on a Spinnerbait in Lake Caliraya and weighed 1.7kgs.

Category Archives: Snapper (Maya Maya)

Two-Spot Banded Snapper ( Lutjanus biguttatus )

lutjanus biguttatus

Two-Spot Banded Snapper caught in Cebu

Common Name:    Snapper, Scribbled Wrasse,

Local Names:  Bambangon, Pargito, Maya-Maya (Tagalog); Awnan, Malaponti, (Cebuano)

Max Size:  25 cm 

Biodiversity:  Marine, Reef-Associated,

Depth:  3 – 36 m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit: 10 none

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Shrimp, Fish,

IUCN Red List Status:  Not Evaluated (NE)

This is a somewhat uncommon species of small snapper found around reefs and sea slopes of the country.  It is easily identified by its eye catching color, its white band running nose to tail, and its two small spots located just under the dorsal fin.  These fish feed mainly on small fish and crustaceans and are most likely to be caught while fishing around reefs using small lures and live or dead small fish or shrimp. Smaller hooks would be required to catch these fish because their small mouth size. These fish both school in large numbers and also swim solitary.

Cocoa Snapper ( Paracaesio stonei )

coco snapper

Common Name:   Snapper, Deepwater Snapper, Stones Fusilier

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

Max Size:  50 cm

Biodiversity: Marine, Bathydemersal, Deep-Water

Depth:  200 – 300+ m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:  None

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Fish, Squid

IUCN Red List Status:  Not Evaluated (NE)

These fish are found in extremely deep water and are therefore quite difficult for most anglers to catch.  To catch these fish specialized deep sea tackle is need such as PE braided line, heavy lead weights, lights, and electric reels.

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.

Maori Sea-Perch ( Lutjanus rivulatus )

Maori Sea Perch caught in Subic Bay

Maori Sea Perch caught in Subic Bay

Common Name:   Snapper, Rubberlip Snapper, Sea Perch,

Local Name:  Maya Maya, Bambangon  (Tagalog), Maya-Maya, Kilawan (Cebuano)

Max Size:  80 cm ( 11 kgs )

Biodiversity: Marine, Reef-Associated

Depth:  10 – 100 m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:  10 inches

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Shrimp, small fish and crustaceans

IUCN Red List Status:  Not Evaluated (NE)

Photo courtesy of Andrew Leighton

Photo courtesy of Andrew Leighton

Note the pattern on the face

Note the pattern on the face

Freshwater Snapper ( Lutjanus fuscescens )

lutjanus fuscescens

Spotted Sea Bass


Common Name:   Snapper, Spotted Sea Bass,

Local Name:  Maya Maya, Pargo  (Tagalog), Tandungan, Mangagat (Cebuano)

Max Size:  100 cm

Biodiversity: Brackish, Freshwater

Depth:  1 – ?? m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:  None

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

IUCN Red List Status:  Not Evaluated (NE)

This is a another snapper species from the Lutjanidae family that is found in the Philippine waters.  This particular species if quite a bit more rare than the Mangrove Snapper and is reportedly only caught in estuaries and rivers. They are distinguished from other snapper species by their olive green to brown color with a whitish underbelly.  They also have large bands on their sides and a large dark blotch towards their tails.   According to reports these are abundant in Mindanao around Dipolog City.  They reportedly can reach up to 25kgs.

This species of snapper seems to be unique to South East Asia as it is only reportedly be documented in the Philippines, Indonesia, New Guinea, New Caledonia and the Solomon Islands and China. That makes this a great species for anglers to target who are looking for rare or unique fish.

lutjanus fuscescenslutjanus fuscescens


Fishing Dipolog

Mark Omilig 7.5kg Freshwater Snapper





Philippine Rod and Reel Record:

Angler:   Luigi Beja

Location:   Cagayan De Oro, Mindanao

Date:   December 31, 2016

Weight:   13 Kilograms





Black Snapper ( Lutjanus goldiei )


Nice Black Snapper caught in Mindanao

Common Name:   Snapper, Nuguini Bass, Papuan Snapper, Black Bass

Local Name:  Maya Maya, Pargo  (Tagalog), Ahaan, Pantahan, Mangagat (Cebuano)

Max Size:  100 cm (19.2 kgs)

Biodiversity: Marine, Brackish, Freshwater, Benthopelagic

Depth:  1 – ?? m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:  15 inches

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

IUCN Red List Status:  Not Evaluated (NE)

This species is somewhat rare here in the Philippines.  The more commonly caught snapper when shore fishing are Mangrove Snappers.  The Black Snapper are very similar in look and color to the Mangrove Snapper the main difference however being the black color and yellow trim on the fins.  I have identified this as Lutjanus goldiei however there is a possibility this is another species.

Mark's 3kg Snapper from Dipolog

Mark’s 3kg Snapper from Dipolog


Philippine Rod and Reel Record:

Angler:  Mark Omilig

Location: Dipolog City, Mindanao

Date:  September 24, 2015

Weight: 13 kilograms


Bait:  crab


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

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 Limit:  8 inches

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Shrimp (either live or dead), small fish and crustaceans; small lures

IUCN Red List Status:  Least 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 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.

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.

Published on : 22/05/2017 by Puerto Parrot

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