Aliwal Shoal Report April 2008 - Basie Ackermann

General conditions

The offshores have arrived and made for very pleasant surface conditions. A lot of light, variable winds during the day, but also the first real winter front marching past round about mid month. That brought some serious swell, a distinct drop in temperature, and also the smell of mothballs as everyone had to pull out those packed away jerseys.  Water temperature is also down to 23 degrees average. Good visibility most of the month, reaching 30metres at times, averaging 15m.

Current was mostly reverse – no surprise there- with only a couple of days of north south in the beginning of the month and then again on the 25th – 27th.  Unfortunately Sappi Saiicor and their pitch black effluent – no surprise there, just immense irritation and annoyance - ruined otherwise perfect conditions on those three days.  There was a thick wide “highway” of this crap from about one kilometer inside the shoal to about 800m off the outside edge, stretching all the way to the pipe several kilometers to the north and as far south as the eye can see. 4-5m visibility. Superb! The rest of the ocean was a healthy 25metres+, but if Sappi’s spin doctors are to be believed, they do not pollute the ocean. Ok.

This summer has definitely been the one with the least amount of north south current, being predominantly reverse. With winter and the fronts approaching, I can’t see anything changing there. It is a pity, as May is peak month for Wahoo, but only in a north south, or a direct onshore current.

Fish

A bit disappointing compared to March.  Wrong conditions most of the time.  Some big fish did come out though on the few days with the right conditions. Emil Pirzenthal’s 19 year old son Travis landed his first “decent” fish, an iggy of 30kg. Following in dad’s fin strokes.

On the 10th we managed two small Wahoo in the 10-12kg range, and Alistair Louw landed a beaut of 33 kgs.  Nice fish Aloe. Bit of a friendly competition between myself and Aloe, and I must admit I sweated a bit all the way to the scales, as my biggest Wahoo so far was about the same size. Fortunately - for me – it was just 2.5kg short. One bag of Huletts sugar.  The game continues, Mr Louw!

Jugs Holtzman had a good day on the 30th, with good visibility and a straight onshore current across the Shoal. They landed a small Wahoo on rod, and speared 2 others of the same size.  Then Jugs landed a nice Wahoo of 32 kgs, and was also very unlucky in losing an approximately 100kg Marlin due to a bungee breaking.  So the big Wahoo are around.

The crew on “Scuba Steve” shot 5 shoal cuda on the 12th, off the inside edge, but that was about it as far as cuda were concerned.

Other than that it was very quiet, and we can only hope May brings us more fish friendly currents.  Maybe, maybe not. (Yes I know – that was weak!)

Happy hunting.
Basie Ackermann