Catching a fish: 'The feeling is worth a thousand words'
Although Peter Perez manages equipment on land, his passion has fins and is found under the sea.
Perez, the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas Supervisory Base Support Vehicles and Equipment manager, has been with NAVFAC Marianas since its beginning, serving in the civil service for a total of 28 years and is currently a Contracting officer representative, providing program management and assessment oversight for the base operating support contract BSVE services.
Perez, who was born and raised in Tumon, learned to fish from his father, who taught him rod and reel, spearfishing and the patience required for both methods.
“I brought food to the table,” he said. “I quickly became everyone’s favorite nephew and almost always gave more fish away.”
Fishing has always been a competitive sport in the Perez family and this Perez continues to carry on that tradition to present day. Perez fishes competitively among the community and in off-island tournaments and consistently spends time fishing twice a week, filling his weekends and holidays with fresh catch.
“I spend countless hours planning, preparing and executing my fishing plan,” he said. “When you actually catch a fish, the feeling is worth a thousand words. When you throw a net and surround a school of fish, when you cast and hit your mark, seeing and feeling the fish bite your lure is an amazing accomplishment.”
Like his father before him, Perez also passed his knowledge onto his three children who have competed against him in fishing derbies.
“My three children Daniel, James and Christina know how to fish and they respect the ocean,” he said. “They continue the traditional fishing practices and I hope some day they will teach their children.”
Perez offers sound advice and tips for first-time fishers; especially knowing the tide schedule and listening to weather advisory reports as a start.
Safety is an especially important thing to remember when fishing. Perez said the safety of his fishing partners, himself and his boat crew is not negotiable. Before going out to fish, he suggests checking your equipment, swing gear, and ensuring all emergency contact numbers are accurate. He also recommends extra dive lights, a first aid kit, and offers other advice to be completely prepared.
“Just like work, you plan, prepare and execute,” he said. “Consult with fellow fishermen; know the moon phases and never fish alone. Always fish with a partner, prepare a safety plan and bring a camera to capture the moments because everyone has a fishing story.”