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Lucky angler nets giant cat fish at Burnham Lake

A BIG ONE. Dino Pascual shows off his catch Thursday morning, a one meter, almost 4-kilogram catfish that was the envy of nearly a dozen anglers at the Burnham Lake viewdeck. Pascual’s feat was even better as his fellow anglers did not catch one including Rafael Serrano, organizer of the second fishing competition on Baguio Day, September 1. RS photo

Thursday was a bad day for all anglers at the Burnham Lake. But not forDino Pascual.

While everybody went home empty handed, Pascual had the biggest catch ever at the new fishing destination here – the Burnham Lake.

This is no ordinary fish but a behemoth cat fish that measures 33 inches and weighed 3.94 kilos.

Pascual caught the giant fish that eluded anglers including the city’s first to be issued with fishing permit, Rafael Serrano Thursday morning.

It was one of the rare events when anglers of about a dozen came together Thursday morning with Serrano hoping to catch fellow New York denizen Norwayne Seo-as at the lake’s view deck that morning and who will be going back to the US on the third week of the month.

Nearly a dozen anglers were present at the viewdeck including a family of six, who got their permit at the City Environment and Parks Management Office, all of whom, however, failed to get a catch except Pascual who showed his catch and later shared the giant fish with his fellow anglers for a pictorials.

“All of us did not catch anything even me, but only him,” said Serrano, who was at the verge of catching a similar fish several times but all eluded him.

During the Saleng Fish Catching Tournament last June 12, Korean national Kim Dae Hyun also failed to catch a big one and instead settled for third place in the biggest catch and behind 14-year old Bruce Cacas and six year old Aliyah Triss Cupatan.

Pascual, however, released the fish after the pictorials as he now sets his eye on the second fishing competition on September 1 and organized this time by Serrano with mayor Benjamin Magalong as his main supporter.

Serrano was the tournament director in the Saleng Fishing Tournament organized by the Media for Sports Development in behalf of the CEPMO last June.

“We will start early and finish by five. Participants can fish in an hour with 10 per batch,” Serrano explained.

The September 1 event will see a winner per batch who will advance to the finals and the top three winners will get a trophy and cash prize, said Serrano.

“This will be big, we expect at least 50 fishers at the least,” said Serrano, who retired early after a 45-day stay at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center in March 2020, one of the firsts infected with the virus and the longest to stay hospitalized.

Last February, Magalong told the CEPMO to grant Serrano a fishing permit in an effort to make it as a recreation for a city hard hit by the virus with more than 800 deaths after more than 42,000 infections.

Serrano was also granted permit after the tragedy of losing his 51 year old wife, Nadia, who died while under going the knife last January.

Serrano fishes practically every early morning and has attracted others to take up the sport.

After Serrano, who took the sport for years now and does it during weekends, more than a dozen locals, including a Japanese, have been granted permits after paying the annual fee of PHP 2,500.

Last month, Magalong Serrano was appointed as recreational sports consultant by mayor Benjamin Magalong with annual pay of PhP1.00.

The June 12 fishing competition was the first ever event of such kind at the lake. It was the fourth and last sports event under the four month long festival that was spread during the first two weekends of June. Pigeon Lobien

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