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Lucky angler who caught giant cat fish favorite in Baguio Day fish catching event

A BIG ONE. Frugal Thursday saw Dino Pascual, right back, back, posing with fishing enthusiast at the Burnham Lake Drive last August 11. When the lake decided to be stingy to nearly a dozen anglers, only Dino came out super lucky as he caught a one meter, almost 4-kilogram catfish. Pascual’s feat makes him the marked man of the second fishing competition on Baguio Day, September 1. RS photo

A man who caught a mammoth of a cat fish earlier this month will be the marked man when some 30 anglers try their luck Thursday on catching the biggest fish at the Burnham Lake for the Baguio Day Fishing Competition.

Dino Pascual will be the favorite as he goes to lure another big one in the event that is a follow up to the inaugural fish catching tournament last June 12.

Dino earlier this month made a big splash when he netted a 33 inch, 3.94 kilo cat fish, the biggest ever find at the lake since recreational fishing was started six months ago.

He will be among the 31 fishing enthusiast who literally “hook, line and sinker” catch as big as the one he caught during a “frugal” Thursday, August 11, at the lake.

Dino was the only fisher among nearly a dozen who showed up that day and he hopes to the same on a Thursday, three weeks after his lucky, now a throwback, Thursday.

“Not one, not even me had a catch that morning. It was only him and he caught a really big one, something that has eluded me for months now,” said recently retired Rafael Serrano, who was the first to be granted a fishing permit in the city and recently the recreational sport consultant appointed by mayor Benjamin Magalong.

A new angler, South African Nadzimandze Phinda will also try to catch the big one on September 1. The South African was seen by Serrano reading the fish catching event promotional poster at the view deck recently and was urged to try his hand at catching one, found it to his liking and decided to join the event.

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 the mayor 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.

Serrano said 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 most,” 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 coronavirus 19 and the longest to stay hospitalized.

Last February, Magalong told the Ciry Environment and Parks Management Office 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 undergoing a surgical procedure last January.

Serrano fishes almost 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. Same Japanese man will be fishing come competition day, adding again to its international flavor.

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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