Spear Fishing info

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Philippines Spear Fishing

 

Spear Fishing Philippines Underwater Adventure Sport

Spear fishing in the Philippines is, in most places, prohibited. Mostly because the areas where you might want to spear fish are havens for scuba divers (high risk of injury) and or because the areas are marine sanctuaries (the fish have absolute priority).

Spear fishing is one of the oldest types of fishing in the World, and no less so than in the Philippines. Spear fishing was the best method available for ancient peoples to catch larger fish that were found within their realms. As the Spanish discovered, when they first arrived in the Philippines, a fisherman (on the smaller islands most were fishermen) would spend less than one hour a day to land sufficient fish to feed their family and have enough left to trade for vegetables from those who harvested from the forest.

Traditional spears were generally hand-held, sharpened bamboo or, perhaps with a embedded shark tooth in the tip. The prey were the larger reef fish, such as grouper and snapper. We have witnessed such tactics in the modern day, in the estuaries and reefs off Camarines Norte, where even young trevally (talakitok) can be caught in relatively shallow water, off the beach, with a bamboo spear, and using no snorkeling or diving equipment.

Spear Fishing Locations In The Philippines

It is not easy to say how many paces are available for spear fishing because, as mentioned previously, spear fishing is prohibited in most locations. However, organized spear fishing is possible off San Fernando, Sibuyan Island, and off San Jose, Panay Island – the main reason being that scuba diving is not prominent yet in these locations.

San Fernando, Sibuyan Island

Off San Fernando organized spear fishing is possible at night, using supplied spear guns (some bought and some manufactured locally) but the rule here is, you must eat everything you catch. No scuba gear is allowed, you must hold your breath and catch what you can while you are still alive – to give the fish a fighting chance of survival.

In a way the Sibuyan method is somehow appropriate, insomuch as the larger, more desirable fish typically take time to get used to your presence in their realm and, therefore, the air in your lungs is almost exhausted by the time they lose their fear and venture close enough to be caught. It is almost like turning the clock back a few thousand years and pitting your wits against your prey so that you can enjoy breakfast instead of the reverse.


San Jose, Panay Island

In San Jose, on the West coast of Panay Island, spear fishing has fewer rules.

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Renting Spear Fishing Equipment & Guides In The Philippines

Every stand of bamboo is a potential spear for fishing, ergo spear fishing gear is freely available in almost every corner of the Philippines. If you want to rent modern spear fishing gear then the best place is in San Fernando, Sibuyan, where you can rent one of thirteen spear guns from the resident spear fisherman of stature in the community.

A spear fishing guide is also available in San Fernando but remember, you must eat what you catch for breakfast, else you will not be allowed to fish again.

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