Game Fishing in The Philippines

Looking for Game Fishing in the Philippines? Despite having hundreds of thousands of square kilometres of ocean in which to go fishing, the Philippines does not have an over abundance of large game fish except at certain times of the year. You can catch large grouper, snapper and yellow-fin pretty much all year round; record weight marlin, sailfish and swordfish tend to be seasonal. There are a few notable sport fishing areas where, at the right time of year, game fishing in the Philippines can be as rewarding as off the Florida Keys or Hawaii. If you are looking for the larger game fish on a sport fishing vacation then San Vicente (Santa Ana, Cagayan) and Pilar (Siargao, Surigao del Norte) are your best choices.

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Game fishing boats for rent can be found in almost every beach resort location and fall into two categories: Philippine style outrigger boats (banka); and, conventional motor launches. Your choice of which fishing boat to rent may depend upon your game fishing objective and the availability of boats for rent in a given area. In general, the local banka boat is less suited to the task because it has so many uprights and crossbeams to support the outriggers and the canopy that, in a serious duel with a blue marlin or a sail fish, the angler's movement may be restricted. Having said that, local fishermen have been seen catching blue marlin longer than their own boats, using just hand-lines.

Most game fishing boats for rent, of the conventional type, are reasonably priced but (usually) high fuel costs near the best fishing areas keep the prices close to international equivalents.

Local knowledge helps a lot to maximise your catch, so ask around your beach resort or the game fishing tackle shops (mostly in Manila) for the best places to go fishing. However, the waters are not as bountiful as when the Spanish colonialists first arrived, when it was possible "for a fisherman to spend an hour or less to catch sufficient fish for his family for a day and have enough left over to trade for rice and vegetables".

Take note that there are a number of no-fishing areas and zones around the Philippines, where it is forbidden for anglers to cast a lure. Fortunately for game fishing enthusiasts, the no-fishing areas and zones are few compared to the expanse of water available.

The Best Game Fishing In The Northern Philippines

Without doubt the best game fishing will be found off the North coast of Luzon, from Pagudpud (Ilocos Norte) to San Vicente (Santa Ana, Cagayan), during the months of November to May. The Philippine International Billfish Tournament is held, at the Philippine Game Fishing Foundation Sport Fishing Camp with direct access to the waters off San Vicente (Santa Ana, Cagayan), each May. The Philippine International Billfish Tournament attracts anglers from around the World. The Sport Fishing Camp, now operated by the Philippine Game Fishing Federation, caters for the tournaments in San Vicente with accommodation and fleet of game fishing boats for hire. If you are looking to charter or hire a sport fishing boat to catch some of the best game fish in the North, there is sport fishing charter available in San Vicente, Santa Ana, from Rikk's Fishing and Marine.

All down the West coast of Luzon there are game fishing areas, good for blue marlin, sailfish, dorado, trevally, yellow fin, Spanish mackerel (locally = Tanigue), wahoo; even in polluted Manila Bay it is possible to catch Spanish mackerel, within a mile or two of Manila City. Off the Batangas coast, near Laiya, is a popular game fishing location with a good range of pelagic fish.

Caliraya Lake, south of Manila, was stocked with black bass by the U.S. Colonials during the 1930s, and even today offers some fine sport fishing. Pantabangan dam and the Misaway Spillway (Nueva Ecija) also provide good bass fishing and sport fish.

Sport fishing for game fish such as grouper and snapper is readily available in Puerto Galera, where quality fishing gear is available and fishing is aboard motor launches.
br>Farther South on the island of Mindoro sport fishing is possible from outrigger boats in Bulalacao and in addition to grouper and snapper you can expect to hook in to trevally, yellow fin, Spanish mackerel. The challenge in Bulalacao is that, apart from bottom fishing with hand lines, you will need to bring your own fishing gear . . . baits are readily available.

The Best Game Fishing in The Central Philippines

Where is the best game fishing in the central Philippines is a tough question to answer. There are so many places where it is possible to catch a wide range of game fish including, blue marlin, sailfish, dorado, trevally, yellow fin, Spanish mackerel. The best places to fish are generally near the San Bernardino Strait and the Surigao Strait, including much of the East coast of Samar. Southern Palawan also provides good game fishing near the Balabac Islands.

Every year in February, as part of the Iloilo Paraw Regatta festivities, a game fishing competition is organised in the waters off Iloilo and across to Guimaras Island, where competitive anglers rent fishing bankas for an overnight game fishing experience.

The Best Game Fishing in The Southern Philippines

Much of the best game fishing in the southern Philippines can be found on the East and South coasts of Mindanao, with probable catches of blue marlin, sailfish, dorado, trevally, yellow fin, Spanish mackerel (locally = Tanigue), wahoo; other larger tunas are frequently caught offshore around southern Mindanao.

Every year, in late April or early May, Siargao Island hosts the Siargao International Game Fishing Tournament, which takes anglers out towards the Philippine Trench to test their angling skills against blue marlin, sail fish, dorado and other large pelagic fish. The Siargao International Game Fishing Tournament currently restricts anglers to renting local fishing bankas to ply the sport of game fishing.

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