Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 21 Sep 2019 12am







    Saturday, September 21, 2019-2:50:42P.M.






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SFA discusses spear fishing, other topics with students

IN preparation for the Mini Derby to be held tomorrow with the students, Saipan Fishermen’s Association hosted its third week sharing their tips and experience on bottom, casting rigging and talaya last Saturday held at the Head Start conference room in Capital Hill.

Spearheaded by George Moses, JD Tenorio and Alex Castro Jr, the topic focused around the methods of rigging deep drop lines and shallow bottom lines with hooks, swivels and sinkers.

Click to enlarge
SFA’s George Moses demonstrates shallow bottom rigging.
The students examine the equipment for shallow bottom rigging. Contributed photos

Guest speakers from Division of Fish and Wildlife Mike Tenorio and Manny Sablan joined in to present their passion about spear fishing.

“Our resources are limited therefore leave some fish for tomorrow,” stated JD Tenorio. “Be good stewards for our resources, when seeing trash on the beach, in the water or anywhere, let’s help keep our islands beautiful,” he added.

As the students listen in, the SFA members spoke on deep drop fishing, shallow bottom and spear fishing tips. Actual reels, types of hooks, lines, weights, etc. are shared with the students.

The students were eager to hear about protected areas as well the current trash being seen at these areas. SFA members elaborated on the issue affecting our fishery.

“We all need to do our part to protect our environment, future generations might not have a ace to fish if we are not protecting our environment,” says George “one-drop” Moses.

The government that has been protecting the CNMI’s fishing areas is worth what is being seen today. There are more fish seen at these areas. “It is imperative that we as the public also take a proactive approach to supporting the enforcement of it,” shared JD Tenorio.

Former congressman Joseph Deleon Guerrero also shared his history of the earliest known throw nets that, during the Greek times, gladiators would use these types of net during fights.

There are different types of nets used. They are categorized by the size of the holes and its length. Long, thin, lighter, heavier, small holes, bigger holes determine the variety of nets that can be purchased. “Depending on what you are after, the nets should match what you are targeting,” says Guerrero. His largest net is 16’ radius and would open up in diameter at 32’. Techniques would matter based on the nets.

Basic parts of the net are the top (swivel), the body, and the weights. Shoreline nets differ from reef nets, but each type has a technique. “Throwing the net is actually easy, catching it has more technique to it,” added Guerrero.

From Mr. Guerrero’s experiences, he states that there are factors of fishing using throw nets: understanding tidal movement, the suns glare for viewing, the wind as it would carry the net, and the habitat of the fish; their feeding grounds, how they swim, anticipating their movement. “Always try and use the element of surprise. When the fish see you, they swim away quickly. The element of surprise towards the fish will get you a better catch,” he stated.

As they moved on to the spear fishing methods and safety, Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Manny Sablan and Mike Tenorio shared experiences about spear fishing in the Marianas Pond. “Shallow bottom blackouts are a serious thing. Be careful of going out and be sure to trust the people you are fishing with,” stated Manny Sablan.

Another important factor is to watch for the tide. Mike Tenorio explains the importance of watching this as the weather changes. “It’s imperative that you respect the ocean and never go alone.” said Tenorio.

The tips shared came along with the horrifying stories told that had the students listening intensely. Realizing that though it may seem fun, many do not understand the dangers of spear fishing.