NOTE: This is a 2012 article, currently being updated for 2017. Budget indicated therein is already outdated.
Juan’s Budget: Approx. Php 500 (Inclusive of cottage, fishing rod, and bait)
Juan’s Duration: Half day or One day
Sport Fishing in the Philippines has been enjoying a modest growth in the past few years. This recreation has had an increase in enthusiasts, both for sport or merely for some family bonding. The Philippines itself obviously has an abundance of fishing spots, most of which are accessible since they are in the same location as the famous beaches.
A few years back, anglers (sport fishers) discovered a fishing spot right inside Metro Manila, in the various ponds in Valenzuela City. Bordering on the province of Bulacan, the advantages of the Valenzuela ponds is the short travel time, and the price rates are quite low. One famous spot are the fish ponds of Kapitan Larry Ramos, located at barangay Coloong.
Depending on your schedule, you could choose to have the activity last the whole day complete with meals, or just for a half day if your intent is just to fish. As of this date, you could rent a cottage from Php 300 to Php 500, or you could just pay a Php 25 entrance fee without any cottage. Fishing rods could be rented for Php 100. Bread bait or worms could be bought for Php 30 and Php 20, respectively. You could also avail of a boat ride, should you wish to fish on other parts of the place, for a mere Php 30. Upon catch, the fish are weighed and priced at farm gate prices, such as the Bangus (Milkfish) which costs only Php 80 per kilo. There is also a grill area for those wanting to enjoy their catch immediately.
The plan to go fishing was a sudden one, when my fraternity brothers and I pondered on what to do for the weekend. The night before, it was raining cats and dogs, which we feared would force us to postpone our trip. But then, the following day the rain clouds cleared and forward we went.
By early afternoon, we rode a bus to Malanday, and were dropped off near Meralco. We then rode the pedicabs for a short trip to Coloong. The travel time was quite short, despite the route being in the national highway instead of the North Luzon Expressway. This was due to the low volume of vehicles on that particular time of the day.
Most of the small roads at barangay Coloong were submerged, particularly since Valenzuela is a low-lying city and in part due to the various river tributaries crossing it. Not to worry, the ponds are completely isolated from the water on the submerged roads.
When going to Kap. Larry’s Pond, it’s best to come prepared. Although the sari-sari store inside the compound offers a few snacks and carbonated drinks, it’s best to bring a packed meal if you plan to spend the rest of the day here, since you might not have the patience to wait for a nice catch and to grill it.
The overall ambiance of the place is serene and very relaxing, as if we weren’t in Metro Manila. The people at the pond were friendly and immediately catered to our needs. The ponds of Kapitan Larry were of the brackish type, meaning they are a mixture of saline and fresh water. Some people say that fish harvested from brackish water taste better than those harvested from fresh water. I have yet to confirm this, though I could truthfully say that the grilled Bangus we had during that day was one of the most delicious I ever tasted.
The cottages were in clean and good condition, and all were equipped with electrical outlets. The grill area was situated at the center and is a firm cement, albeit unpainted, structure.
The restroom is quite decent for a simple place such as this, although there was a lack of running water on both the CR and grill area while we were there. We had to suffice with the stored water in the restroom.
Janitor fish are also abundant in the ponds. Once caught, they are just thrown into the ground, where the brown farm rats would feast on them. Don’t panic though, these are the clean cousins of the urban-based sewer rats.
It’s really quite easy to fish. It would take less than a minute for a novice to learn how to throw the line, to observe the line, and to masterfully pull the catch out of the water.
Although the fishes we caught were only of modest size, we were satisfied as beginners. Kap. Larry’s Pond has a lot more to offer aside from Bangus, such as Apahap, Tilapia, and Ayungin. We were told that one angler once caught a whopping 12 kilo Barramundi (Apahap) at Kap. Larry’s.
Always remember though, that you ought to return young catch to the water. This is to emphasize the value of preserving our resources: that we could get a bigger catch in the future if let the young fish continue its growth. Although the catch and release practice is discouraged in Kap. Larry’s Pond and in some other places, it is slowly gaining ground among anglers since shallow-caught fish have high survival rates upon release.
You can have the option to grill your catch at Kap. Larry’s Pond. Charcoal (Uling) is sold at the sari-sari store. You can then enjoy the rest of the day with your meal coupled with a refreshing carbonated drink, or some liquor. We had both.
Our return trip home took a much longer time, due to the evening traffic that is commonplace in the Metro. We were neither tired nor agitated, since fishing doesn’t take much effort and only requires patience and strategy.
Although a lot of ponds have also already opened up to the public, Kap. Larry’s Pond is still one of the most popular. It has been the venue of the annual sport fishing tournament in Valenzuela, and a favorite talk among the Filipino urban anglers.
Sport Fishing is a great way to relax, to while away the time, to escape from the daily stress of work and obligations, even for just a weekend. It’s not merely to obtain some food, but to experience the thrill and patience of catching a fish on your own.
Kap. Larry’s Pond has also been featured at GMA News TV, check out the video here:
For more information as to how to got to Kap. Larry’s Pond, as well as for more pictures, you can go to their official site here. Kap. Larry’s Pond also has an FB account, check it here. You can also contact them at (02)-293-8521.
You can also check out other ponds in Valenzuela at their official Fishing Site here.