St. Peter & His Fish

2011/10/23 St. Peter & His Fish

If I were to look for one man who can become the patron saint for fishermen, I would always go to the oldest fishing champion: St. Peter, the primary Jewish apostle of Jesus who holds a “key” to tell what practice is good or bad.

(Statue of St. Peter with his fish near the Sea of Galilee

Originally being a commercial fisherman on the Sea of Galilee, Simon-Peter that time was so good at his art that impressed Jesus into telling him “from now on you will catch men”.  On later account, record states that he caught 153 fish in one run to feed the entire party.

As a side fact, Peter managed to pay for the temple tax with silver coins he found in the mouth of fish he caught by angling. I don’t recall anyone else who made superb practical value out of his arts in fishing, but Peter.

So, what was the game St. Peter’s was after the most?

(Illustration linked from

It is commonly said by locals to be tilapia. Considering its habitat, probability is considerably high. So, if you want to prove yourself to come closer to the greatest angler of all time, you ought to make pilgrimage to this fish.

How to Fly Fish for Tilapia

You can find tilapia in stream and bog of Hawaii and Southern Japan. Since they have been imported to all over the world for making good dinner, I’m quite sure you can find them almost all temperate countries.

They show curiosity to variety of things, so dry fly or hare’s ear nymph would do. I had experience casting #10 Elk Hair Caddis to school of tilapia in the bog of Hawaii and fish were attacking it like piranhas.


In some countries, tilapia is farmed fish for fun just like trout.

Near Tokyo?

Let’s see where to find this holy fish.
One sure location for Tilapia is in the rivers on Chichijima in Ogasawara Archipelago. You see plenty of them in the brackish water much like their cousin in Hawaii.

Various source say that tilapia can be fished in Yamanashi Prefecture next to Tokyo near the town of Isawa where people used to farm tilapia with warm exhaust from spas that drain into near by river and bogs.

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