Wahoo Time Craig Schutte

Craig with his WahooA quick trip to Milibangalala in Mozambique for 5 days (15th to 20th Sep) was just what the doctor ordered. The weather was unpredictably windy but no too bad. This had little effect on the 12 guys on tour who were launching sortie after sortie using the total armament of rock surf, fishing ski, ski boats and spear fishing to conquer their dreams of catching the big one.

My dream started about 2 months ago off mtwalumi KZN South Coast when I was behind back line spearing off my ski and missed the opportunity of putting my spear into one of three massive Wahoo. A school boy error meant that for the time being my Wahoo was going to remain a dream.

Until Mili and Neptune decided that an unlucky 31kg Wahoo broad sided me 10m down off one of the most awesome pinnacles I've ever dived. Thanks to my top men Colin, Jean and Ant who found the pinnacle when the shallow water alarm went off 8km out to sea. The pinnacle came up to 5.6 meters.

The spot was once again found with me on the boat this time, as I was diving about 100 meters away, was a miracle in its own right. The boat had no GPS.

Getting into the Zone

"The depth meter was changing fast from 31 meters to 25, to 15, to 10 to 5.6 meters.”Got Spot" Ant shouted and over I went. The water was awesome with about 20 meters viz. My first visual was the pinnacle, the size of a large snooker table. Around the pinnacle was a cloud of salad fish, a massive shoal that some what resembled an aerial view of Table Mountain with vast cloud cover surrounding it about half way down. The shoal was circling round and round the pinnacle. An absolutely awesome sight.

My flashers were unraveling and I watched as the weighted squid mimic drove a hole through the shoaling salad fish. By this time my 1.2 meter Rob Allan Rail Gun was loaded. With the shortened 20 gauge rubber straining, held by the nylon wish bone, hooked onto my 7mm spear, I was ready.

Wahoo Territory

I knew something was going to happen. Almost on mental queue, the once circular shoal of salad fish cleaved before my eyes. As if an axe had been wedged into it. From below and presumably hunting the salad fish a single Wahoo had come in. On first sight of the Wahoo, I took a huge breath and tipped over allowing my leg weight to silently glide me into the depths... through the bait fish and eventually onto the level and into the zone.

Fining consistently hard to get into range with my gun tucked back, the Wahoo S'ed twice. On the second S to the right, I knew I was in range and at that specific moment I mechanically stretched out my right shooting arm at the same time taking aim. Everything felt right and in balance - like a good golf shot. I pulled the trigger.

Cheetah of the Ocean

Baaam!!! I saw the spear go in solid and in the same instant the Wahoo thrusted off with alacrity. Obviously confused, it breached the surface in a large splash of confusion. With rope still in hand I knew the game had just started, anticipating the scream of rope through my clenched fist as its thrashing tail found purchasing hold in the water.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.... was the sound of the 25 meter rope through my gloved hand and seconds later the solid thud of the buoy hitting the back of my hand.

This fish was green. I kept thinking, and knew, I had hit him hard. In a split second decision I decided to hold on to the buoy. This I did combined with fining as hard as I could to lessen the pressure. What seemed like an eternity of being dragged ended after two massive runs. The pure strength and speed of this fish is an experience I will never forget.

Unwelcome Visitors

Retrieving back the 25 meters of line I eventually caught sight of the Wahoo, who by this time had all but expired. Before I got to him two massive grouper were already onto him. It seemed they did not know what to do, as the Wahoo was quite large and probably seemed a bit too much for them.

Swimming down to subdue the fish is still to me one of the most exciting and exhilarating experiences. The first grip around the tail tells you a story on its own. This is a machine. Sliding my left hand into his gills I swam my first Wahoo to the surface and to the side of the boat. 31Kg and some small change later combined with the absolute satisfaction of living my dream I knew he who dreams and dares, wins."