Ipon Season

Ipon bought at the market in Bangar, La Union

Sinigang Nga Ipon

Kilawen Nga Ipon

They said that ipon they catch in Bangar is a smaller fish that the ipon they catch in Tagudin which make the Bangar Ipon more suitable for “kilawen”. However they said that ipon in Tagudin is a little more tasty because it has a little bit of a sweet flavor ideal for making “sinigang”, “liningta”/“paksiw” or “tamales” wrapped in banana leaves and “boggoong nga ipon”. In the Tagudin area, they said the best ipon is from the waters of Pudoc.

This kind of small seasonal fish is only found in the waters of Ilocos and parts of Cagayan and to this time the Ilocanos are still not sure where the fish originates. Ipon season usually starts sometime in September up to the months of December and January. Usually the sign when there is ipon is when there are group of birds (“kankannaway”) flying over the ocean. There are a lot of theories about where it originates and what kind of fish it will become when it reaches maturity but to this time this fish remains a mystery. The Ilocanos always have an appetite for this kind of fish. Even if it gets too pricy at the market at P300-400 a kilo, people would kill just to have their share of ipon for their lunch and dinner. “Basta makaraman la iti ipon kontenton”.

I think the Philippine government should make an effort to study the behavior of this fish and where it originates in order to preserve the species. There is definitely an overfishing of ipon as evidenced by the declining catch every year. I believe ipon fishing should be regulated until such time when we know how to improve and increase the population of this fish.