Gamefishing and sport fishing are terms used interchangeably to describe the art of recreational fishing where the primary reward is the challenge of finding and catching the fish rather than the culinary or financial value of the fish. Gamefishing in the Philippines is starting to gain a wider audience, especially among people looking to find new travel adventures. Prime gamefishing locations in the Philippines include Mactan Island in Cebu, Camiguin Island, Subic Bay, Siargao, Lake Caliraya, and many other wondrous sites.
Gamefishing in the Philippines
Not only is the Philippines an archipelago made up of 7,107 islands, it also lies along the pelagic route of some of the world’s most sought-after game fishes. This makes the Philippines one of gamefishing’s last great frontiers. The warm waters of the Philippines incorporate almost 2,000,000 sq km (772,000 sq mi) of fishing grounds, ranking it 12th in the world in terms of fish production. These grounds are inhabited by about 2,400 fish species, including many game fish such as giant tuna, tanguigue (Spanish mackerel), king mackerel, great barracuda, swordfish, and marlin.
Best Times to Go
Prime times for gamefishing are from March to April. However, do take note that this also depends on the location as they have different seasons and weather conditions.
With more than 7,000 islands, there is no doubt that there are numerous hotspots for gamefishing. Several notable ones are:
Calatagan is the nearest gamefishing spot to the metro. It only takes a few hours to get there. Local fishes include giant trevally and African pompano (garapeche).
Hardcore gamefishers dock their yachts in Subic to for a fantastic fishing experience, with species such as giant trevally, sailfish, wahoo, king mackerel, and barracuda. Best times for gamefishing in Subic are between October to June.
Lake Lumot, Caliraya, Laguna and Pantabangan Lake, Nueva Ecija
These two lakes are home to largemouth bass fishing. Freshwater fishing in these areas is available year round.
Mactan Island, Cebu
Despite commercial fishing on local stocks, the Cebu area can still provide satisfying, and sometimes downright adventurous, fishing. However, gamefishers presently experience a 50% chance of catching fish.
Local fish you could expect to catch in Mactan Island include trevally (mamsa), Spanish mackerel (tanguigue), different varieties of tuna (including bonito, yellow fin, bigeye, and dogtooth), barracuda, dorado, and wahoo. Billfish are less plentiful but include sailfish, marlin, spearfish, and broadbill swordfish. Reef fishing, mainly at night, can produce varieties of grouper, coral trout, wrasse, parrotfish, and many other species. Fishing of squid at night can also be very productive.
Camiguin Island, Cagayan de Oro
Camiguin Island is blessed with many big-game fishing opportunities. Game fishing in Camiguin is best between December and August. Local fish such as great trevally, barracuda, and wahoo are found year round. Sailfish can be spotted from March to June, and Tuna from July to October.
Palaui Islands, Sta. Ana, Cagayan de Oro
The first and oldest fishing club in the Philippines is located here, and the club maintains the Don Andres Soriano Sportfishing Camp inside the Philippine Navy headquarters in Barangay San Vicente, Sta. Ana, Cagayan de Oro.
The fishing camp serves as a takeoff point for anglers traveling to Susay Rock, which is about two to three hours away by motorized banca. Anglers intending to try out the fishing grounds of Camiguin Island can also use the fishing camp as their base, but travel time will take about four hours.
Siargao Islands, Surigao
It looks like the island of Siargao is not only famous for its famous Cloud 9 wave. Gamefishing is also a big thing in the bountiful seas of Siargao.
With species such as marlin, tuna, grouper, even crabs, squid, rays, and octopuses, avid gamefishers and spearfishers are not disappointed with their bounty. In fact, gamefishing competitions are held every August along the city’s coastal waters.
Fishing in Davao is a wondrous experience, specializing in offshore fishing for pelagic tuna ,billfish, wahoo, dorado, and king mackerels.
- At all times at the dock and at sea, the Skipper has absolute control and direction of the boat and all activities on it and his orders must be followed. Failure to do so is dangerous for the boat, its crew and passengers and may result in cancellation of your charter, without refund, and/or civil action and criminal charges.
- You are responsible for replacing any gear that you break or lose.
- Guests may drink, but drunkenness is prohibited.
- Practice fishing courtesy and common sense. This will help ensure a fun charter for everyone. Obnoxious or dangerous behavior may give reason for the Skipper to ask you to stop fishing. (You may continue on for the boat ride.)
- You may keep all fish that you catch personally.
- Cleaning fish will be done at the dock on the boat, and not at sea.
- Please be reminded that there are no guarantees that we will catch any fishes.
- If you are late and you missed the trip. No refund. Period.
- A trash can will always be readily available. Do not throw trash into the ocean.
- Charters that are unable to go out because of bad weather or high seas will be postponed and rescheduled.
- There are no refunds for any reason. Once you have paid, your funds are committed.
- If you are prone to seasickness, we recommend you take a commercial motion sickness remedy at least 45 minutes prior to casting off, or as the medicine’s instructions may indicate. If you become sick, please throw up over the side of the boat into the ocean. We will not be returning to shore for those who become.
- Always wear a proper sun block. An SPF factor of at least 50 is recommended.