Aliwal Shoal Report December 2009 - Basie Ackermann

General conditions

“Rain rain go away come back another day Barney’s friends all want to play, rain rain go away. “

If it wasn’t that fat purple monster blaring it out at me from my 2.3 year old’s favourite DVD, then it was the constant dripping on my pip whenever I went outdoors this month, that drove the point home. WET.

The weather has really been on its head with lots of rain, low cloud cover and less sun. The wind also contributed and couldn’t stop changing direction. One day east, next day west, then east, then west and so on. And not the summery type light winds, no no. Give it horns - let me see how many people I can irritate and annoy today. The only normal player was the sea – we had the Mozambique water move in on the 3rd with a north south current, 23 degree Celsius water temperature and visibility of 12metres.

23 degree, 12 metres you ask? Mozambique water? Maybe you’re not asking this, but now that you’ve read that sentence – you are, whether you want to or not. Remember, our previous two months we’ve had crap (can I say crap in this report?) visibility and sub twenty degrees water temperatures. The change was a promise of things to come, and on the 4th it did. 30metre visibility, north south current and 24 degrees. Thank you. Immediately the fishing started to improve. The sea state was mostly small, so boating was a pleasure, bar the perpetual pelting on the pip.

Fish

As soon as the water conditions improved, so did the catches. Having said that, the catches did not accurately reflect the good conditions. For most of the month it was clean, warm and right current, but the fish were obviously still busy dodging Japanese trawlers in Mozambique. A few Dorado, Yellowfin Tuna and small Wahoo came out. A very surprising visitor though was the Brusher. Quite a few shot off the outside and numerous sightings. All in the 5-8kg range. Strange to get them this late and this deep. Poensies yes, but not the White cracker.

The Ignobilis have also been around, with some good sizes of 25-35kgs being landed. Mostly by that Iggie inbred Emil Pirzenthal. During the course of the month, catches of Dorado and small Wahoo increased, and some Kaakap, Seapike and Sangoras also ended up on someone’s plate. Right at month end bigger shoals of small Wahoo were seen, 40-50strong, and more Dorado were boated. The cuda however are lying side by side on a bed of ice inside the hatches of a fleet of Japanese trawlers. Rest in Peace. Just on a more serious note, be careful. Not that I care about you per se, but our sport does not need any more bad publicity. Our sport is an inherently dangerous one, and we must not become complacent. At the beginning of the month Moo Fraser’s old man Mike and a friend had a healthy swim of about 11 kilometres and 4 hours from Landers to Widenham, after their top man lost them due to a strong current. Fortunately this current was onshore and helped them in the right direction. I know they were on a Scuba dive, but it is important not to have Colin Clueless as your top man. (This is a fictional person, so stop phoning your lawyer.) I recall a similar swim for Jaco Blighnaut and Jethro McCarthy off High Point a couple of years back. Secondly a good friend of mine and a very experienced skipper got ridden over by a boat three days ago. He was training some guys, when the trainee punched a wave and all three were thrown off. Boat at full throttle and full lock circling them and running him over. For a few critical hours his life hung in the balance, as he was badly lacerated on his arm and head. He had numerous skull fractures and had bleeding on the brain. The possibility of brain damage and the loss of one eye was a real threat. He also had secondary drowning. He was operated on and they are optimistic that he will be alright, but as at present he is still heavily sedated. Only God pulled him through that. Boats are dangerous, in the surf and out at sea. Stay sharp.

That’s it. Wasted enough of your time. Off you go.

Enjoy our Oceans,
Basie