Aliwal Shoal Report December 2007 - Basie Ackerman

General conditions

Christmas passed the Shoal by.

While all over the world there was a spirit of giving, that spirit obviously was not present (no pun intended) on the Shoal. Probably tried to get there from up north but was pushed back by the persistent unrelenting reverse current. I can’t recall a summer where we have had so much reverse current. This is a time of light easterlies with blue Mozambique Channel water pushing in on a north south current. Ja right.

On a couple of days, where the south north current was actually pushing onshore, the potential was there if only it’d swung a couple of degrees more towards the north, and we all waited with bated breath.   Didn’t happen.

We had a north south current on 6 days in total, but only two of those were diveable. The others were obliterated by dirty river water being pushed out from the saturated inshore waters. The legacy of all that November rain.  So the visibility ranged from mud – yes mud - to 25 metres. The average was 10-12metres though.

Temperatures settled in the 24-25 degree Celsius mark, although there were a few dips down to 22 degrees, with some thermo clines on certain days.

Fish

The 5th was a perfect day with a north south current and 20 metres visibility. John Little and crew managed some fish, and if my useless memory serves me correctly, they got cuda, a nice Wahoo and either lost or saw a Sailfish. But don’t quote me.

The only other semi-productive day was the 12th, once again in the right current, (I sound like a broken record) where we landed 5 small Wahoo (8-12kgs) and a Kaakap of 6 kgs. Reports of someone duffing a Black Marlin of +-150 kgs also reached my pointed elflike ears but to save possible ridicule on how it was duffed, I won’t mention any names.

I’ve heard reports of other spearo’s getting the odd small Wahoo, and a few tuna and Fulvoguttatis with an odd Sangora. Not that the Sangora or Wahoo was funny looking.

Emil Pirzenthal, the Kingfish King, landed a couple of Ignobilis again, but not nearly as many as the previous years. For some reason they have not arrived in the numbers they usually do. He nevertheless got three nice ones of 42, 37 and 36 kgs and a few smaller ones during the month.

There seems to be a slow start of the cuda ”run”, as a few shoal- size cuda has been landed both by spearo’s and fishermen. Not wild, but a start.

Loads and loads of sharks around, schools of Blacktips and Hammerheads and that big Tiger still lurking off Cathedral.

It is a pity about the effluent from Sappi Saiccor (again) and the dirty river water affecting the Shoal, as the surrounding areas directly to the north reported days of 25metre visibility with 27 degree water and lots of Dorado and Cuda.  Scottburgh to the south also reported good steady cuda catches.

So the fish were there, just not on the Shoal.

Good hunting,
Basie Ackermann