Aliwal Shoal Report February 2007 - Basie Ackerman

Dirty Water

The first week this month the river water caused mayhem, as the current turned ns out to sea, bringing all the dirty water out, and needless to say not too much fish action. Viz was dirty on top and ranging 6-8m on the bottom. Then the current swung onshore, and added some effluent into the mix. It goes without saying that we all raced out there to go and dive in that slop.

Scottburgh Deep though was unaffected with 26degrees and 25m viz. Some nice size cuda came out, as well as a Black Marlin of 105 kg caught by a commercial fisherman. Heard Gyula shot one of 51kg’s on the Shoal a couple of days later. Nothing wrong with that.

Dangerous Waves

Then the west, with some meat on it, delivered swell, with even bigger meat on it. Aliwal was cooking. Surf wise. I recorded 4-5m swell on the sounder, with waves breaking all along the Shoal. Very impressive, viewing that 200m in from the Inside Edge. In all my years on the Shoal I’ve never witnessed a bigger wave than one particular one - , about 5m high, 100m in length, curling top to bottom on the Pinnacles. Usually these big waves just crumble; this one looked like a dumper in the shore break. It bowled, with a lip about a metre thick, with such force that the foam shot up at least 7m into the air. The white water reached me 200m away sitting in 28m of water. The power of the ocean is absolutely awesome. Henceforth, and with good reason, the viz achieved a mere crappy 6m.

Some Action

During the last week of the month though, conditions were excellent. 30m viz, light ns current, 27 degrees. You would think with water like that, the gamies will be everywhere. Think again. Unbelievably sterile, as it so often happens, in these conditions. Even so, Brent Addison and Co landed some nice Iggies in the 20 kg range and some Sangoras off Scottburgh Deep area.

Good news though is that some shoals of cuda were spotted by Gerhard Vosloo & co, and they also managed to land 4 decent fish. Apparently there were a couple of crocs hiding in these shoals as well. This makes sense, as there has been a lot of Bonito feeding on the surface lately, and fisherman reporting catches of big cuda when trawling through these shoals.  So next time you see a shoal of bonnies feeding on the surface……

All and all not a good month, but then again February isn’t the best time for the Aliwal anyway.

In the meantime we are still holding our breath for “cuda season” this side. With the eternal optimism that all spearo’s inherently have, hopefully my March report will bring better news.