Besides surfing, Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte is also known for world-class game fishing.
The island of Siargao in northeastern Mindanao has long been synonymous for surfing. Along with those big waves, the Pacific Ocean also brings in big fish. Every summer, the town of Pilar – known for the Magpupungko rock formation and tidal pools – organizes an international game fishing tournament to celebrate the bounty of the ocean. Organized by One Corporate Events in collaboration with the Department of Tourism – Region 13 and local government units, the 7th Siargao International Gamefishing Tournament was held last April 24 to 28, 2014.
Anglers are teamed with local fishermen, who also get the chance to win prizes
Around 75 local and foreign anglers participated in this year’s event. Teamed up with a local fishermen, who also get the chance to win cash prizes, each participant would set out very early early in the morning on outrigger boats and return in the late afternoon. The most interesting part of the event was watching the anglers return to the pier to have their catch weighed and hung out to display on the floating stage. It was my first time to see huge game fish like sailfish, wahoo and barracuda! Winners were chosen based on the total catch weight in four categories: Biggest Billfish, Biggest Talakitok (Trevally), Biggest Wahoo/Tangigue (Mackerel) and Biggest Dorado (Dolphinfish). The biggest catch of this year’s tournament was a 36.85 kg sailfish caught by Australian angler Glen Pascoe.
Checking out the catch…
But from a spectator’s perspective, I think much has to be improved with the tournament to make it as enjoyable as it was to the participating anglers as to the general public. Besides viewing the daily catch in the afternoon, there’s nothing much for tourists to see or do during the game fishing event. Given that the town of Pilar is quite a drive away from the tourist centers of Cloud Nine, General Luna and Dapa, the event organizers should come up with ways to attract more tourists such as street dancing and cultural performances, or perhaps get them involved by trying out fishing themselves.
Welcome to my website! I’m travel writer, photographer and online influencer Edgar Alan Zeta-Yap from the Philippines. Join me as I hike, dive, fly, eat and do pretty much anything in between across 7,641 islands and beyond. Need to reach me? Please write me an email.