Updated: Mar 25, 2019
This blog entry is about my personal experience in launching and retrieving my speedboat at a sandy beach, fishing during full moon, my guaranteed rig and setup for newbies to catch their very first saltwater fish, fishing spots where we caught fish around Ternate, Cavite, the cove where we anchored our speedboat and had our picnic and why owning a cheap fish finder can save your speedboat and help you find fish.
Launching speedboat from a sandy beach
I was late. I arrived around 5:30AM, with speedboat in tow, at the place I discovered a week earlier in Tanza, Cavite, where we can safely launch my speedboat, leave the trailer and SUV. This beach property in Capipisa, Tanza, owned by the local government and managed by the local barangay, is our jump off point to reach Puerto Azul and Caylabne Bay fishing grounds.
Around 5:45AM I started backing up my speedboat trailer up to the shoreline. And after loading our stuffs on the speedboat, we disconnected and prepped the trailer (installed the boat plug, removed the trailer's tail lights and side blinkers) and started pushing it out onto the water. It was low tide that morning so it took seven guys to push it all the way until the boat started to float off the trailer. I think it was a good 100m out from the shoreline. The nice thing about the beach is it wasn't rocky. All 5 of us were on the speedboat around 6:05AM.
Caylabne Bay fishing spot
First stop, Caylabne Bay. For me, Caylabne Bay is an ideal target spot. Unlike Puerto Azul, access to this bay is limited to members and friends of members of Caylabne Bay Resort. So it's safe to assume that this area has not been over fished yet. Wherein Puerto Azul, it's constantly being fished by local anglers and Korean nationals. Upon arrival at Caylabne Bay, my Lucky Fish Finder (yes, that's the brand) lit up and showed a lot of fish passing under the speedboat. Depth was around 31 feet. King, Obito and Tune were the first ones to cast. Arnold decided to just relax for a few minutes and munch on the snacks brought by King and Tune. I also opted to just watch them fish and relax, enjoy the scenery and the sunny weather. As Arnold would usually say in our chat group, "The boating trip and picnic itself is enough enjoyment already. Fishing and catching fish is an added bonus."
Full Moon = No Fish /No Catch?
15 minutes gone by, still no catch. So we were starting to believe what people usually say: "when it's FULL MOON, no fish /no catch". Then suddenly this happened:
And then after that, it was Master Arnold's turn to catch one.
Then King again...
My very first catch for 2019!
I can really feel that this is the day and THE SPOT where I'll be catching my very first fish for 2019. After assembling my rod and reel, Arnold helped me with the rig setup. Tune was so kind enough to give me two size #8 hooks and together with one of my 1/2 ounce sinkers, Arnold made me a Paternoster Fishing Rig. The bait I used for one of the hooks is a small artificial shrimp bait I bought from Lazada (bionic shrimp) and on the other hook, a slice of fresh shrimp also courtesy of Tune. Since the Lucky Fish Finder was showing groups of fish passing under the speedboat, I did not see the need to cast very far so I just released my line on the side of the boat. And just few seconds later, Viola! Fish ON! Wooohooo!!! The small Lapu-Lapu I caught went for the artificial shrimp bait! Please be warned when fishing with this rig, it is normal for the rig to get stuck on corals or rocks found on the seabed. When this happens, most likely than not, you just caught yourself a Lapu-Lapu fish! The usual behavior of the Lapu-Lapu fish is to bite and drag the line under rock formations or corals. Should this happen to you, don't pull hard on the line when it seemed like stuck. Let it sit for a while and hope for the best that the fish will swim out for you to be able to reel it in.
Obito was not catching any fish yet so he suggested we backtrack to Puerto Azul and look for mamaws (bigger fishes) in the area. So around 10:30AM, off we went and anchored near a rocky part of the cove with a depth of 12 feet. But it was really windy that day and the waters were a bit rough plus the fish finder wasn't detecting any big groups of fish under the speedboat.
The perfect cove to anchor close to shore and have our picnic
After an hour of casting, we decided that it was time to look for a cove to have our picnic. The cove we discovered that was perfect for our purpose is two coves east of Puerto Azul. Another way to find it is to look for the next cove to the left (when facing the sea) of Ternate Beach Resort. As of this writing, I could not find any labels on Google Earth and Google Maps that show the name of the cove. The GPS coordinates is 14.281061°, 120.693214°. It is a wide cove, almost similar to Masasa in Tingloy Island, with a long stretch of sandy beach area, with no people around and lots of trees lined up along the entire beach, plenty of covering for us to cook under and enjoy our lunch. Speedboat was safe to anchor near shore, hindi mabato. Best part is, there were no flies. Perfect!
Libones Fishing Spot
Around 2PM, after having a hearty meal of grilled Pork Belly (courtesy of Arnold), skinless Langonisa (brought by me), fried chicken, boneless bangus and plain rice (all three courtesy of King), ice-cold sodas (courtesy of Tune) we packed up, cleaned up well and headed for Libones Island. Wind was pretty much blowing from the east. The forecast I read earlier stated it will be gusting 19 kph. Whenever it's windy, expect big waves at shallow areas... and this became a major concern when we passed by Caylabne Bay. No wonder the waves were swelling to what it seemed like a meter to a meter and half rolling waves; the depth at that area is just around 12 feet! Downwind, it was a breeze for the boat to ride on the waves. But when heading back home, this might prove to be a bit scary --recalling my bad experience a month ago when we went to Fortune Island on a 30 footer speedboat. Hoping that the waves will die down later, we continued on to Patungan Cove, and from there we headed towards Libones Island and went around it to find a quiet spot away from the waves.
Everyone was on a roll and happy, catching a few more fish that afternoon, but not as big as what we call mamaw. King and Obito tried trolling earlier but no luck. At around 4:30PM I decided that it was time for us to leave since it may take us an hour to head back home upwind. In order for us to avoid the big rolling waves off Caylabne Bay, from the tip of Libones Island, I headed 2 km way out onto much deeper waters. And my hunch was right, the waves were much manageable and we were averaging 30 kph. This also made us avoid the shallow parts of Tanza-Ternate coastline, where we almost got stuck earlier as we were headed to Caylabne Bay. An hour later, around 5:30PM, we were back in Capipisa, Tanza beach, with ample sunlight to spare to get the boat back on the trailer. The following video illustrates how we got the speedboat back on the trailer and out of the water.
Key Takeaways from this trip
1. Catch and Release - Since most of the fish we caught were too small for consumption, we released them back into the wild after each photo op.
2. The myth about "Full Moon = No Fish /No Catch", has been disproved, big time.
3. Launching and retrieving your speedboat at a sandy beach is possible, even without a boat ramp. All you need is just to find 7 guys to help you push the trailer onto the water, especially during low tide, and equip yourself with a very long rope (about 68 feet /20 meters) for pulling the trailer out of the water without exposing your SUV to the risk of getting its wheels trapped in the sand.
4. Invest on a fish finder. It proved valuable in avoiding shallow waters and finding good fishing spots. The Lucky Fish Finder, even though it's a cheap technology compared to those built by Garmin, served perfectly as a depth indicator with the warning alarm set to 3ft. This trip made me appreciate its depth finding function so much.
5. In the Tanza-Ternate coastline, if you're just a few meters offshore and experiencing big waves, try heading out away from the coastline, about 2 km out minimum. But wait, this is not universal. In Nasugbu it's different. Waters are less rough inside the coves so when we travel from Tali Beach to the fish sanctuary near Pico de Loro, I go cove hugging.
6. Subscribe to Navionics. If you have no access to a fish finder /depth finder, the contours on the Navionics app can serve as guide on the depth of the water you're passing through /plan to pass through. This will help you avoid hitting rocks, running aground and ruining your speedboat's props