Las-Las ( Traditional Chum Rig )

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Las-Las is the Visayan name for a technique used for deep sea fishing.  It is used to create a chum ball around the bait which is set at the desired depth.  It is used for many kinds of fishing from smaller fish around reefs or for large pelagics such as tuna.

The fishermen use a hand-line with a weight (usually a rock) and a short leader line tied off the main line.  The bait is set on the hook and then wrapped with a banana leaf along with other pieces of fish (chum).  Once the bait and chum are wrapped the main line is wrapped around the banana leaf in order to hold is shut.  It is wrapped around six times and secured with a slip knot.

The weight and bait/chum wrap are then dropped to the desired depth.  Once the bait reaches its destination the fishermen yanks firmly on the main line to release the slip knot.  The bait and chum are released in a small cloud which attracts the fish to take the bait.

Fishermen use a variety of materials today for the chum wrap.  The traditional banana leaves can be substituted with canvas, or another fabric which can then be re-used.  One tuna fisherman I interviewed said that this is a popular technique used by fishermen who fish for tuna out around the Payaw (Fish Aggregation Devices).  He said that the trick when doing this is getting the bait to the right depth.  Too shallow and the small tuna take the bait; too deep and the bait is below the fish.

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