Updated: Jul 25, 2019
And so this trip disproves a lot of things about doing fishing scientifically... or maybe we simply did not get that lucky.
My drone buddies Atty. Kristoffer de Jesus, Jonard Santos and Erick de Leon all made it on time at my place as planned, 4:30AM. Kristoffer was the first to arrive with his Mini Cooper, a hybrid car as he claimed, since his car's alternator is almost non-functional already (same as my Smartcar). Kris connected his car's battery to a battery charger when we left my place around 5AM. Erick brought a car too and met up with Jonard around 3:30AM and passed by Mercury Drug in Bayani Road to buy SPAM (our plan B) before meeting up at my place. I was awake 3AM and the boat was out of the garage around 4:30AM.
For this fishing trip, what I brought with me as standard equipment are the following:
1. two sets of dive mask with snorkels (In case we need to check the boat underwater or remove something from the prop) and a pair of fins
2. four sets of rod and reel plus tackle box full of fishing stuffs (lures, hooks, weights, swivels, leader line)
3. portable grill
4. butane burner
5. a can of butane
6. butane torch (for lighting up charcoal the fast, easy and non-toxic way)
7. electric BBQ blower (high tech way of fanning the charcoal when lit)
8. Korean Grill
10. three(3) pairs of kitchen thongs, two for cooking, one metal for moving charcoal around the grill
11. kitchen knife
12. kitchen scissors (for cutting up the pork belly)
13. kitchen brush applicator (for adding marinade onto the pork belly when the meat is almost cooked... brushing the marinade too early will easily burn the meat on the grill)
14. a bottle of teriyaki sauce marinade (S&R)
15. Salt and Pepper (after washing pork belly with water, generously rub lots of salt and pepper into the meat before putting on the grill)
16. disposable spork (spoon and fork in one)
17. disposable plates
18. plate holders
19. drinking cups
20. garbage bags
21. dishwashing soap and metal mesh (for cleaning the grill)
22. sea anchor
23. Lucky Fish Finder (Lazada)
24. Landing Net
25. two(2) coolers (one for drinks and one for any fish that we get to catch)
The route we took going to Nasugbu is via Airport NAIA Expressway then onto CAVITEX and to General Trias, Tanza, Naic then to Ternate and pass through Kaybiang Tunnel. Stops we made were at NAIC Petron, then we had breakfast at McDo Naic (Since I was pulling a trailer boat, I parked in front of BDO which was still closed at that time), then 711 Maragondon to buy ice, but there were no ICE available.. ended up at Ternate Alfamart where we bought drinks as well. There was a makeshift meat store at the right side of Alfamart where we were able to buy PORK BELLY and dried shrimp which we thought would make good bait (but did not work very well since it crumbled like cookies when placed on our hooks).
Upon reaching Tali Beach Main Gate, we met up with Atty. Johnny de Castro's caretaker Francis and he assisted us in launching the boat at the Tali Beach Marina. We were out on the water around 9:35AM. We dropped-off Francis at the beach house and headed towards the fishing spot near Twin Islands.
We were jumping from one fishing spot to another.. trying different drop-offs until 1PM... WALA, ZERO. We were not able to catch anything, despite the constant beeping and showing of FISH ICONS on the fish finder.
We were able to chat with a local fisherman whom we approached near Twin Islands and consulted with him the type of bait he uses. He showed the bait which looked like a very thin and small shrimp with hairy tail... and then the fisherman showed us the Giant Trevally he caught which Kristoffer bought for Php200. This became our PLAN C. Pork Belly + SPAM + Talakitok. :D
Feeling super hungry and disappointed that we were not able to catch any fish, despite the high fish activity forecast and moving from one drop-off to another using iOS APP NAVIONICS, we went back to the beach house to prep, grill and have our lunch. Jonard and Erick were the ones in charge of cooking this time since Kris has been coughing and sneezing... Kris decided to get wasted and bought half a dozen San Mig light.
Around 3:45PM, after enjoying a very hearty meal of Pork Belly + Spam and Talakitok, off we went to Hamilo Coast, Pico de Loro to take some photos of ourselves in front of the cove and then went to Santelmo Cove to try and see if we'll be luckier in catching any fish there since it's where the Fish Sanctuary is. So we aimed to cheat a bit, tried to be sneaky and fish near the corded area... We were fishing around 37ft depth... and guess what, JONARD landed one!! A super small fish which we missed taking a photo of since it slipped off his hands--it was very slimy! Then our hooks simultaneously got snagged to what could be corals or rocks on the seabed so we decided to move to the northern side of the cove... same problem, our hooks got snagged again and decided to just pack up and do some kick ass drone chase shots of the speedboat.
Back at the beach house we decided to relax and chillax some more, snapped a few sunset photos, had our dinner and took turns taking a shower before heading back to the Marina to retrieve the boat and head back home. We got back in Fort Bonifacio around 10:30PM with just one stop at a 711 store in Bacoor.
I posted our photos on FB that night and also checked with some angler FB groups and consulted with them for explanation why we did not have much luck fishing today despite the scientific approach and basing our schedule on tide movements and ideal moon phase... The overall feedback I got was the sea temperature... too cold for fishes to be active. BOOM!
Overall, another fun-filled day out at sea with buddies. To be out at the beach and out boating, not thinking about work is priceless. As the saying goes.. "A bad day of fishing still beats a good day at the office." The journey itself, the boating and the picnic at the beach is fun enough already. The fishing is just the bonus activity. We aim to do this, at the very least, once a month and limit our expenses /pocket money /budget to Php2,000.00 per person per trip, even less if we'll do shore fishing /lake fishing wherein we don't need to chip in for speedboat fuel, only for SUV fuel... and then use an inflatable or a kayak instead.
So what's our takeaway from this trip?
1. The current sea temperature is too cold for Sports Fishing... Temperature ranged from as low as 24°C around 6AM to as high as 30°C around 3PM. Local fishermen have better luck since the fishing spots they go to are many kilometers away from the shore (Western side of Fortune Island, which is about 22 Km away from Tali Beach; fishing spot is approximately 150m from cliff jumping spot). Fortune Island is a bit risky to take my boat to with open bow past 9AM. Boats with an open bow can be really dangerous /very risky when facing more than 5 foot waves. So the ideal time to go fishing at Fortune Island is to be on the fishing spot 5AM. And by 9AM tops we should be heading back to the beach house. Going boating this early guarantees the sea is still flat, no thermals and no wind situation which equates to no waves.
Aside from local fishermen fishing at the right spots, they also have this technique called "PASABOG" of fish scraps that goes with the weights they drop at the end of their long line full of lures.
The "PASABOG" is the local fishermen's secret weapon to attract a lot of fish to go closer to their lines. After dropping the weights and as the tip of their line reaches the seabed, they almost immediately retrieve the line full of hooks very swiftly, like jigging, which big fishes love to chase when they see the shinny hairy tails of their lures.
2. Driving through towns will make the trip feel like the destination is too far when in fact Nasugbu is just 100km away vs. Anilao 140km+ one way... we couldn't go faster than 80kph due to so many uneducated tricycles drivers in the province of Cavite and slow moving vehicles (baby buses and jeeps doing sudden stops to pick up passengers --- so be vewy vewy careful).
3. The very ideal time to travel through Cavite to Nasugbu is around 5 to 6AM to avoid the heavy rush hour traffic in TANZA... This means you have to leave Metro Manila by 4:30AM. Driving back home should be around 8PM onwards would be ideal too, especially during weekdays. A perfect place to have dinner, by the way, is Lolo Claro's in NAIC. You can find the place using Waze.
4. I think tide tables and moon phases work, but the sea temperature should also be taken into consideration. I have not figured this one out yet on how to tell if the sea temp is too low for the sea to be productive but if at night we experience temperatures in Metro Manila falling below 24°C then thats one sign. And maybe using Accuweather forecast for Nasugbu as basis wherein for that day it read 24°C around 6AM and with a peak of 30°C around 3PM should be a tell tale sign of a no go for fishing. So what should be the ideal temperature then that is ideal for fishing?
5. The Korean Grill placed on a butane burner only works well for cooking thinly sliced meat and fish... we still ended up using the charcoal griller for completely cooking the pork bellies and applying marinade on the meat when it's cooked already.
What's our next game plan?
We might try lake fishing (Bunot Lake in San Pablo or Lumot Lake in Cavinti, Laguna) next trip since I've done three saltwater fishing in total, first one with my Photographer Buddies, and two trips with my Drone Buddies with not much luck. Then after which we'll try to do camping overnight at the beach house in Nasugbu, then head out to Fortune Island the following day as early as 4:30AM to try our luck fishing like how the locals do their thing. For this I need to attach a pair of LED spotlights (available on LAZADA) on my boat to augment the clip-on battery-powered LED lights I currently use whenever I head back to the marina to retrieve the boat at night.