Fishing the Capones and Camara Islands

boatmen gearing up early morning at pundaquit

boatmen gearing up early morning at pundaquit

Capones and Camara Islands are small Islets located in the area of Pundaquit town in San Antonio, Zambales. A mere 45 min. bus ride from Subic or a 3-hour from Manila (Victory Liner station in Monumento)

JL, Randy and I, already went there a month or two ago. We came there almost after a storm, ended up soaking wet, and caught a few small snappers, groupers but none were notable sized. I caught two papakols around a kg each but I wasn’t able to take a pic. I think it’s still in the freezer though, might be a worth to bring it out and take a pic.

The Bus Ride

We only know of two Victory Bus Stations that ply the Olongapo-Zambales route.  The last trip of Victory Pasay is 11:00pm,  which was too early for me.  However, Victory Monumento’s last trip was 12:00am, perfect! I left Pasig (my house) around 10:45pm, on route to Monumento via EDSA. Upon exiting the Cubao Ilalim, I looked at the Victory Liner station to see if I can find a hint of their routes. I did notice a signboard that says Olongapo, Subic, Iba, Sta. Cruz. They do ply the zambales route, but the question is what time are the trips. I’ll give them a call next time to check the schedule. It might save me a P100 taxi fare next time.

I got to Victory Monumento around a little past 11pm.  And just as before, no more tickets are being sold at the ticket counter.   It’s chance passenger time.  I lined up at the chance passenger area and I was the 4th in line. I seemed that the bus has more than 4 extra seats so I wasn’t worrying.  After a short while, they allowed the chance passengers to get in, and  I took a seat #17.  The bus backed up and there was a man who got in the last minute and he was looking at the bus numbers on the windows and stop at my row.  I said to myself, uh oh, then I heard a voice say. “Boss, ako yung #17″  and he showed me a ticket.   Oh well, I stood up and gave the seat to the guy but I was praying that I won’t be standing up until Olongapo.  I asked the conductor who was first so alight the bus. He mentioned that there were two going down at San Fernando, Pampanga.  San Fernando is only 45 minutes away and I guess I can stand for that long.   And as it goes, I got a seat at San Fernando and doze off until Castillejos, Zambales.  I just love taking a nap in buses.  :)

I arrived at San Anotonio, Zambales around 2:30am  with a grumbling stomach.  A short walk towards the side of the town hall brought me to a small carinderia serving lugaw ang mami.  I ordered mami for myself and took a seat.  There were a group at the other table, a gay with her two papas glancing towards me.  One of them asked if I was going fishing and I replied, yeah I am. According to him, the bites may be fewer since the water in the area is relatively clear.  Not a good sign.  I continued the chit-chat until I finished my mami, bid farewell to my newly found acquaintances and hailed a tricycle to Canoe Island Resort, where Alan and JL were already staying the night before.

Canoe Island Resort – Pundaquit, Zambales

Canoe Island Resort is one of the better places to stay in Pundaquit, Zambales.  It can be considered as a Class A resort in the area with  beach front cottages for P1,500 a night and pool side cottages for P1,800 a night.  It has a bar and restaurant where meals are decently priced (around, P200 for a complete meal) or you can buy meat, seafood, vegetables from the market and have them cook it for you for only P100.   Alterntively, they have a place where you can bring uling ( charcoal )  and make ihaw-ihaw and probably even cook rice, soups and other viands. Here are a few pics for your to enjoy.

If you will be arriving at Canoe Island Resort at that time of day, make sure that you mention it to the staff since they lock the gates a little after midnight.  I was trying to call JL and Alan but it seems that their phones didn’t have any signal.  I had a flash light with me and continued to flash it on the cottages, hoping that the gatekeeper will notice me.  A few minutes after, Mang Boy, the gatekeeper and he opened the gate.  I introduced myself as a friend of JL, a regular of Canoe Island Resort.  He is known by almost all of the staff so a name drop would definitely give you a key to the closed door. It was only  3:30 am, still too early to wake up the guys so I took a liberty of unloading my stuffs on one of the huts, lied down and took a short nap.  Its a great feeling to take a nap in a nipa hut with a bamboo papag and gentle beeze to keep you cool.  I think it was after an hour when I was awoke by the sound of a door opened.  JL got up and looked for me.  I grabed his attention and told me that we were leaving by 5:30am.

It was 5:00 am, Alan and his kids were up, JL was up, and after a quick breakfast of GloBake Siopao, coffee and sprite we were off. ( One siopao, a cup of coffee and a gulp of sprite wasn’t really enough for me. Too bad there were only 5 siopaos available that day. )

Since this was a supposedly “Family Outing” to start with, we only planned to do bottom fishing.  Alan decided to leave early so he’ll just be fishing  for half a day. Same goes for me.  I’m not really fond of bottom fishing but just to scratch my itch and wet my line, I’m giving it a go. hehehhe. 

Hooking up a whole shrimp didnt’ get any strike.   We were only able to catch fish when we peeled the shrimp and cut it in small pieces and hook it up on #6 hooks.  There were alot of bites that day but the fishes are small. We were able to catch goat fishes, red groupers and papakols.   Being the “trying hard” responsible angler that I am, I released all of my catches back to the sea and give them chance to grow more.

Dynamite Fishing

In the course of our fishing, we heard several blasts from afar. I have read that there are still a few who practice dynamite fishing,  but I never realized that in Pundaquit, they do it in the middle of the day! Our boatman, Mang Boy, affirmed that was indeed a Dynamite going off, and the practice is still rampant in the Pundaquit Area.  This is such a sad fact to an otherwise great destination.  If only the authorities gave a little bit more effort in protecting the environment… No use complaining though, I think a couple of anglers can make a diffence.  ( do I hear another project.. )

There wasn’t any notable catch that day so we decided to head back shore early since the noon day sun was already scorging.

Fisherman’s Tale

I rode with Alan back to Manila and left around 1:00pm.  JL and Amy stayed for some island hopping. During my first visit at Pundaquit, I had a chance to do some chit-chats with a local bangkero, Romeo.   I’ve been telling JL to hire Romeo before but of course his preference was with his boatman, Julius.  This time,  JL’s bangkero wasn’t and it was Romeo who brought them Island hopping.  JL was impressed on how Romeo handled the boat and was even more impressed on how Romeo wanted to share his fishing spots with us.  Apparently, the tanigue season is almost in and big ones can be caught around an area,  an hour from Pundaquit.

Hmm… That may call for a round 3.  But this time, I’ll go trolling.. :)

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ATTENTION!!!

I’m moving this website to it’s own domain. Please click on the link below to continue reading about fishing in the Philippines.

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http://www.philippinefishing.info

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~ by fishingphilippines on September 9, 2008.

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