Aliwal Shoal Report July 2009 - Basie Ackermann

General condition

This one is easy. Nothing to report. Thanks for reading. Now go and do something constructive. Ok, seeing that you are here now, I’ll have to elaborate. Not easy elaborating on nothing, but I’m quite good at drivel. I said drivel, not dribble. Can’t you read? I know everyone is soccer mad now, but focus. Please. Current was, except on two days, reverse, bringing with it - yes – nothing. Water temperature dropped to only 19 degrees on one day, the rest was between 20 and 21 degrees Celsius. Sardines? Nothing. Ok I’m lying. During the first week there was a day when I did notice a huge oil slick on the surface, with that familiar sardine smell, but no birds or Common dolphins. They were off the Shoal in 30metres and obviously running deep. Another skipper also reported seeing Common dolphins and Gannets chasing far out to sea off the Shoal round about the middle of the month, so I think it is safe to say they passed us out deep. Visibility ranged from 4m-20m, mostly hovering in the 12-15m range. Not bad, quite good actually, if you are looking at….nothing. First real big winter front came on the 23rd, 35 knot winds and 5metre swell. The rest of July was pretty mellow, with absolutely perfect conditions from the 6th – 11th. No wind, crystal clean, no swell for 6 whole days. Can only but love this time of year.

Fish

Coming out on the Shoal? Heard of nothing. The bubble blowers did however report a big school of Salmon on North Sands and Amphi on the 1st and 2nd, and also the resident school of Seapike towards Eelskin. The action all happened inshore. In the beginning of the month there were quite a few big cuda around in 10-18m depth. Steve Yelding got a 23kg and a 28kg cuda whilst crayfishing. Alistair Louw shot a 32kg Salmon on a shore dive and Brandon down at Ifafa landed a 35kg Salmon. Garrick were loose inshore as well, with reports of unscrupulous fishermen catching bags of up to 18. Some early season Brusher also seen.

Sardines gave us a one day run on the 28th, when they netted at Pennington and Kelso. We found a pocket off Station and managed 4 cuda between 12-16kg, and a 7 kg Garrick. Saw Tuna, Yellowtail Kingfish and some more bullet cuda and Garrick smashing into the pocket. No sharks, with visibility 2-6m, depending on the churn.

That was the sardine run, and this report. NOW go and do something constructive.
Enjoy our Oceans,
Basie