I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know a thing about sea fishing, or fishing in general, other than what I’ve seen in person or on TV (or in the movies). Actually, that’s not completely true because 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, so I can honestly claim that I don’t know anything about fishing and I’m not really lying either. I don’t think memories from 30+ years ago count as experience, especially since I was so young.
Fishing for Food
Fish is such an integral part of 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. I have to assume that it happens because people are eating fresh water fish as regularly as they’re eating salt water fish.
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 from the street vendors.
I’ve seen nets filled with fish being pulled toward one of the beaches and I’ve seen people using nets from banka boats (boats with the outboard planks for stabilization), but I have yet to see anyone pole fishing. What good is it to be in possession of bass fishing tips if no one fishes for bass? I don’t even know if the fresh water lakes in the Philippines even contain bass.
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. What good is it to know how to fly fish or practice angling if no one else is doing it?
I spent many of my youthful days watching my father sit on the end of a pier in Hawaii, fly fishing and sitting. 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, 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 Hawaii location and caught cod (the kind with teeth) on a regular basis. I fished for the food (along with my younger brother) and most of the fish eaten in our home for a period of time was what we caught and not what my father caught (when he caught something).
Uninterested in Fishing
In my teen years, it interested me for one reason only: 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. My favorite fish is smoked fish like fresh tuna (any kind of tuna). I eat tuna torta frequently along with a plate of rice. I will eat almost any kind of fish, but there are some things I just won’t eat. Squid, octopus, oysters and strange-looking fish will never make it to my plate.
Yes, I’ll leave the fishing to the fishermen. I don’t intend to ever fish again unless the fishermen of the Philippines decide to stop for some reason. In that case, at least I think I can remember how to fish.