Sodwana Bay Trip by Warren Bennett 11-14 December 2004

High Hopes

Warren Bennett with a 10kg kaakap taken on rod at the Canyon, Sodwana BayWe left Durban at around 7am on Saturday the 11th December 2004 and arrived at Sodwana Bay around lunchtime. We headed straight down to the beach to find the surf pounding at a solid 6ft, SW howling at around 25knts and the water temps down. All hopes of an afternoon dive/fish were ended abruptly.

Poor Weather

The SW continued to blow through the night, which was not exactly ideal. The next morning we arrived at the beach at around 4:30am, and despite heavy seas decided to launch as the wind had calmed down to around 15knts. The surf was cooking off the point, with the waves breaking on quarter mile and a second sandbank just north of the launch creating an extremely long run to get out. After negotiating the tricky conditions we were on our way to 5-mile canyon.

Bad Viz

Much to my disappointment the viz was down to a mere 8m on the canyon. The crew consisted of Alain Kahn, an experienced ski-boat fisherman and two other fishermen plus myself. As I was the only spearo on board I decided to fish instead of dive. After 3 hours of trawling around and just a few small kaakap we decided to head for 9 mile in the hope of better water in which I could dive and hopefully shoot supper.

9 Mile Reef

9 Mile wasn't much better with the surf breaking at around 6ft on the pinnacle and the viz only 8-10m or so at best. I jumped in and swam around the drop off's looking for some nice size kaakaap, and maybe a Cuda or Kingy. Much to my disappointment the only gamefish around was a shoal of small 2-3kg Queenfish, a few small 2-4kg Kingies and the ever-present small 1-3kg Kaakap. Having dived around for an hour and the wind picking up we decided to call it a day and returned back to the lodge.

Bad to Worse

The next morning was even worse, the NE had picked up in the night and now the sea was even bigger. Being desperate to catch some fish we launched anyway. This time concentrating on fishing with the baits down at around 20m hoping to pick up some of those bus Kaakap you see on the Canyon. This proved to be the right plan as we managed some nice fish. With all the boats coming back empty handed and the water temps dropping way off the usual temps for this time of year we decided to give the next day a miss.

Last Day

Day four was just as bad and no fishing or diving took place on our part and the only fish that came out was a 6kg Cuda taken at Island Rock. The best fish of the trip was a +/-10kg Kaakaap that provided some excitement.