Da’ok students learn about deep-sea fishing

Former lieutenant governor Diego Benavente, who is a fishing enthusiast, demonstrates how to prepare trolling bait for Da’ok Academy students over the weekend. (Erwin Encinares)

Several Da’ok Academy students learned the basics of deep-sea fishing over the weekend during the second week of a pilot program called “Tasi to Table.”

A partnership between the Saipan Fishermen Association and Public School System’s Da’ok Academy, the second week of the fishing program taught about 10 members of the school’s fishing club how to tie trolling lures as well as orient them on the type of equipment used in deep-sea fishing.

Convening at a former Public School System building on Capital Hill, members of Team Benavente—named after former lieutenant governor Diego Benavente—and the team’s other members, Department of Labor Secretary Victoria “Vicky” Guerrero and Scott Schular, presented to club members how to properly mix and match lures to their baits and what specific colors catch the eyes of the deep-sea fish.

“We talked about the species that we go after in deep-sea fishing, which is out in the open ocean,” Diego Benavente said in a later interview. That includes skipjack tuna, wahoo, mahi, yellowfin tuna, and even the elusive blue marlin.

“We talked about where to find these fish, what is the best time to go out there, what lures we would use, boat speed, and one thing I like to cover is how to bring the fish onto the boat safely to take home,” he added.

“Our experience today is to get to know the children since it is our first time meeting with them and give them an idea of what we do,” Schular told Saipan Tribune. “We also told them of the dangers of the kind of fishing we do, as well as its benefits.”

The students are excited to apply what they’ve learned by the end of the five-week program.

“…When they gave us this opportunity [to fish in the open sea], I was [amazed]. …They are giving us this opportunity? I want to try it!” Da’ok fishing club president Alvaughnna Pua said. “I am excited to find out what kind of fish we can catch out there.”

As for her takeaways from the course so far, she said, “I learned different things about our reefs, our fishes, and even [boating] safety.”

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.
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