I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t much about sea fishing, or fishing in general, other than what I’ve seen in person or on TV (or in the movies). I went fishing with my father and other relatives when I was young (before the age of 18). I really don’t remember doing it all that much myself, so I can honestly claim that I don’t know much at all about fishing. It was all pole fishing and sea fishing was a mystery to me until I saw it being done with my own two eyes.
Sea Fishing for Food
Fish is such a staple in the Filipino diet, it makes sense for me to mention sea fishing at least once. Now, fresh water fishing also takes place in the Philippines, but I’ve never actually seen anyone river fishing. Most of the fresh water fish comes from fish farms or it’s fish caught using cages in the rivers and lakes.
Every morning, street vendors are walking the streets of Olongapo and selling fresh fish from just about any kind of container imaginable. Salt water fish isn’t the only item on the agenda. Squid and octopus (pusit and pugita) and other sea creatures, along with fresh water fish like tilapia and milkfish (bangos), are also available for consumption. Later in the day, dried fish (tuyo and danggit) seems to be more prevalent.
I’ve seen nets filled with fish being pulled toward one of the beaches (I even helped once) and I’ve seen people using nets from bangka boats (outrigger canoes), but I have yet to see anyone pole fishing.
Sea Fishing for Sport and Recreation
I often wonder if fishing for sport and recreation exists in the Philippines. I haven’t heard anyone talking about it and I haven’t seen it.
I spent many of my youthful days watching my father sit on the end of a pier in Hawaii, pole fishing and sitting for hours at time. He obviously wasn’t interested in catching fish because he rarely caught anything. Every once in a while, he’d hook a perch or something and every once in a while he’d catch something he didn’t intend to catch, such as a lobster. He used squid for bait and I have no idea if that was a good idea or not.
I fished off a reef in another Hawaiian spot and caught cod (the kind with teeth) regularly. I fished for the food (along with my younger brother) and most of the fish eaten in our home for a time was what we caught and not what my father caught (if he caught something).
Uninterested in Fishing
In my teen years, fishing interested me for only one reason: I like to eat fish. I don’t like fishing for sport or recreation, so spending hours at a beach or on a river bank doesn’t interest me at all.
Frankly, I’m more interested in spending my time eating fish than wondering about where it comes from or how it got to my plate. I like grilled fish, like barbecued (ihaw) fresh tuna or lapu-lapu. I eat tuna torta with a plate of rice as often as I can. I will eat almost any kind of fish, but there are some sea creatures I just won’t eat. I don’t even want to name them.
Yes, I’ll leave the fishing to the fishermen. I don’t intend to ever fish again, whether it’s sea fishing or other kinds of fishing, unless the fishermen of the Philippines decide to stop for some reason. In that case, at least I think I can at least remember how to fish.