‘More Than Fishing’ tournament encourages camaraderie among fishermen

PACIFICA, CA — A fisherman will tell you, there’s no other feeling in the world than lifting your greatest catch out of the water.

Fil-Am Bernard Kho’s 35-inch, 16-pound striped bass was the winner of the second annual more than fishing tournament held at the sharp park beach in Pacifica recently.

It only took him two hours to land his biggest catch since he started fishing a few years ago.

“That was an adrenalin rush for sure. I was reeling my lure in and then the fish hit —and from there it was — it was just a rush.”

Kho was just one of the many Filipino Americans who joined more than a hundred fishermen in a friendly tournament organized by a kababayan, Jun Quitain.

Quitain said he noticed that fishermen tend to keep to themselves. He remembered struggling to catch fish one day and noticed the fisherman next to him had more luck and skills.
“I came up to him and asked, ‘can you teach me how to fish? Because it seems like you’re catching a lot of fish, and I’m not catching anything. Can you help me out to catch fish? And the guy just turned his back and walked away.”

Quitain did not want that to happen to other fishing beginners, so he became better at fishing. He shared what he learned on YouTube, and soon he had some following.

“We’re here. We want to teach you. We want you to learn how to fish.”

They would meet weekends to fish together, and eventually decided to hold an annual tournament to reach more people.

Beyond getting the best catch, More Than Fishing focuses on camaraderie and building a community among fishermen.

Fishing became a refuge for Brad Balandra, who lost his job a couple of years ago. He said he’s found new confidence among his fishing buddies, and believes there’s more to look forward to.

“I think this is going to get bigger as the years go by. It’s going to be bigger next year,” Balandra said.

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  • Santiago Del Mundo
    4 August 2017 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    Fishing is one of the best sports in a strong sense that it teaches you patience. But that notion is too good to be true in Pacifica. The truth is, if you are not from the area and you are fishing at the Pacifica pier, you are seriously risking yourself into getting beaten up by local “thugs”… The pier us pack to the max, shoulder-to-shoulder. If you get a bite and begin dealing with it, every line you snag could equal the number of person that kick your butt, that’s a fact. So, if you ask for help from any fishermen there, specially Fel-Ams, the usual result is that they’ll turn around with a dirty look…Some Fel-Ams superstition kick-in thay believe someone asking you questions during fishing is a bad luck…