Cape Spearing by Johan Jacobs - Jan 2006

johan jacobs with a 53kg tuna shot off cape pointWhilst on holiday in the Cape, I managed 3 spearfishing trips. The first with my mate Tommie Kruger on the Struisbaai banks saw us struggling most of the day with little fish around. It was my brother Pieter's first proper spearfishing trip, and after shooting his first fish ever, an 11.5kg yellowtail, we told him that if we had to go home with no more fish, we would have to split his fish 4 ways. Luckily we ran into shoals of yellowtail on the Wafra late afternoon, and shot 10 fish, with the heaviest being 12kg. I also managed an 11kg cracker (brusher), which was not a bad fish for the Wafra.

The second trip was on "Magoofter", with skipper Patrick, out to the tuna grounds off Cape Point. With the combined experience of the skipper and mates Tommie Kruger & Johan Coetzee with these fish, they made it embarrassingly easy for me to shoot some yellowfin tuna. It seemed as if we missed the big fish by 2-3 weeks, but there were still plenty of tuna around. I shot 2 of 53kg each from the surface, whilst Johan Coetzee got one of 50kg, and also caught one of similar size on the rod. At 64 years of age, Johan is an excellent example for all of us, showing what can be done when you keep yourself in shape. Tommie, having shot tuna of up to 80kg, eventually jumped in just to get some "old diver" out of his wetsuit and also shot one of 50kg. My boet Pieter also shot a fish of +/-50kg on his 2nd spearfishing outing ever. This trip was initially arranged as a Christmas gift for my dad, who did not waste any time to catch 3 tuna, of which the biggest was 51.5kg. All-in-all 5 fish shot and 8 fish caught. After catching one on the rod, would I much rather shoot them in future.

The 3rd trip was with James Lawson-Smith to the 12-mile banks off Struisbaai. With an upside down sea, and 28km to go, hopefully it would be worth the trip. The discomfort was however worth it as we had crystal water on the 12-mile banks, seeing sand from reef from the surface in 30-35m of water. The fish were however fairly skittish and we ended with 10 fish between 3 divers, but got some excellent underwater footage. On 1 spot there was a shoal of more than 1000 galjoen on a pinnacle. The 12-mile would see me regularly if I stayed in the Cape.

All good stories however end, and this e-mail would not have been written on a Sunday if the sea was diveable. Zululand will hopefully deliver some fish next weekend.

Cheers, Johan