Wahoo Winter Gamefish Competition 2004

Biggest Turnout

The 26th Annual Wahoo Diving Clubs Winter Gamefish Competition was held at Cape Vidal over the weekend 5/6 June 2004. The competition had its biggest turnout ever, with well over 100 contestants signing-on on the Friday evening, for a weekend of spearfishing comradie and good fun. Chris West and his team did a fantastic job of organizing the whole show and credit must go to these volunteers for the smooth running of the event.

Traditional Down the Hatch

The traditional welcoming induction to the competition was as novel as ever and enjoyed by most of the contestants. The party went on until 02:30am with some of the die-hards not making the early launch the next morning.

Early reports

Reports from spearos that dived on the Friday were of a ripping north south current, fair visibility of 8m+ and some gamefish about with some cuda and natal snoek landed.

Strong Winds

The northeast blew well into the night and had hardly abated before a northwesterly started up. First light showed a bumpy sea with white horses littering the horizon, whipped up by the strong offshore wind.

Simple Launch

Despite the strong wind and bumpy sea, the launch was relatively simple and no boats had any problems on the high tide. A big bank has built up as you come into the bay and this caused some problems on the low tide for boats entering the bay to beach. One or two boats nearly went over here but luckily everyone escaped without any major incidents despite a few racing hearts.

Leven Point

Leven Point, 20km north of the launch was the chosen spot by most skippers and it was a bumpy 50-minute ride to get to the favoured spearing grounds. With a decent 8m+ on the deep reef and a moderate north south current, things looked very good. Despite the good conditions, most spearos battled to find the fish and only the lucky few managed reasonable catches.

Cuda on the Bottom

The early birds at Leven Point found the cuda on the bottom in 15 to 18m and you needed to be down to see the fish. This action did not last for long and only Gary Gillon and crew had any success here before things went dead. The Natal snoek put in a brief appearance on the shallow ledge around 08:30am and then disappeared for what most spearos thought was the rest of the day. Only one boat remained and were lucky enough to have the snoek come on again in the early afternoon.

Tiger Shark Trouble

With the visibility down to a murky 5m on the shallow reef, conditions were ideal for shooting snoek but unfortunately all the activity attracted the attentions of a very inquisitive tiger shark. Despite moving further up the reef the tiger was soon in attendance once again and it was impossible to dive under such conditions and the spearos decided to leave it for another day.

Deep Oscar

The spearos out on Deep Oscar had excellent conditions with almost top to bottom visibility and a current that enabled the divers to chum. However, few fish were landed here, with only the odd Kaakap (jobfish) seen and only one boated.

Whale Sharks

The odd whale shark was passing through the area inshore and some spearos were lucky enough to bag the queenfish that swim with these spectacular fish. One enterprising spearo weighed-in a bag of shad that he shot from a shoal that were hanging about on the point, shad being classed as gamefish.

Prizes Galore

The winning fish was a 37kg sailfish shot by Jason Duncan, a worthy winner. Second biggest fish went to Darrell Hattingh with a 15kg prodigal (cobia) followed closely by Jethro McCarthy with a chanos chanos of 14kg. Biggest boat diving bag went to John Little with 6 fish and the shore diving prize went to Chris Coates. The full list of prizewinners is at the bottom of the page.

Sponsors

The sponsors really came to the party with well over thirty thousand Rands worth of prizes to compete for. Shane Breedt of Freedivers and Rob Allen of the Dive Factory both donated guns, fins and a full range of spearfishing accessories. Cuan Cronje of Lizzard Wetsuits donated two customized wetsuits. Jentan marine donated an Eagle echo sounder and Bruce Challenor of Superlite Kayaks donated a fully customized fishing ski to be made to the prizewinner’s height and weight. Johan Jacobs together with Shane Breedt donated the latest in shark repellant devices, a shark pod from Seachange Technologies. This prize was only to be awarded to a fish that was within 70% of the South African record for that species. A resort in Mozambique donated a holiday valued at R9000 and so the list goes on. A big thanks to all the sponsors who helped to make the competition the great success that it was.

Winter Gamefish Competition

As there are big changes scheduled to take place at Cape Vidal, there is some doubt as to whether the competition will be held here next year. This is still up for debate, but what ever happens, I am sure that the Wahoo Diving Club will continue to run the Winter Gamefish Competition. It might need to be moved to another location but it certainly will not die due to lack of interest. This year saw some of the entrants from the very first competition held, taking part again. With this type of support I see the competition running for many years to come.

Safe diving,
John.

NAME OF COMPETITOR SHORE OR BOAT DIVE FISH WEIGHT SKIPPER
Jason Duncan Boat Dive Sailfish 37.5kg Tinus Snyman
    Yellowtail Kingfish 2.34kg  
Darrell Hattingh Boat Dive Prodigalson 15.08kg Richard Bruno
    Cuda 6.19kg  
Jethro McCarthy Boat Dive Chanos Chanos 14.68kg Jethro Mccarthy
    Snoek 2.66kg  
Ben Grobbelar Boat Dive Ignoblis Kingfish 10.08kg John Grobbelar
    Snoek 5.50kg  
    Cuda 3.71kg  
Gary Gillon Boat Dive Cuda 9.27kg Gary Gillon
    Cuda 6.01kg  
    Cuda 3.81kg  
    Cuda 3.75kg  
Paul Henderson Shore Dive Springer 7.97kg  
John Little Boat Dive Snoek 7.85kg Jimmy Neal
    Snoek 5.89kg  
    Snoek 5.74kg  
    Snoek 4.51kg  
    Snoek 4.21kg  
    Cuda 3.00kg  
Kevin Daly Boat Dive Cuda 7.78kg Tim Theunissen
Cuan Cronje Boat Dive Snoek 7.42kg Cuan Cronje
Nick McClurg Boat Dive Snoek 7.26kg Jethro McCarthy
    Snoek 6.25kg  
Martin Overy Boat Dive Snoek 7.10kg Martin Overy
    Snoek 5.35kg  
Chris Coates Shore Dive Snoek 6.74kg  
    Snoek 6.03kg  
    Snoek 5.74kg  
    Snoek 5.25kg  
    Snoek 5.20kg  
Sean Strydom Boat Dive Queenfish 6.72kg Cuan Cronje
Philip Lamoral Boat dive Yellowtail Kingfish 6.40kg Jimmy Neal
Chad Roberts Shore Dive Snoek 6.39kg  
    Snoek 5.30kg  
Graham Carlisle Boat Dive Snoek 6.36kg Jethro McCarthy
Dave Coetzee Boat Dive Snoek 6.09kg Jimmy Neal
Enrico Galassi Shore Dive Snoek 6.02kg  
    Snoek 5.81kg  
    Snoek 5.67kg  
Owen Farmery Boat Dive Snoek 5.88kg Craig Mostert
    Cuda 4.05kg  
Tinus Snyman Boat Dive Cuda 5.74kg Tinus Snyman
Craig Heslop Boat Dive Cuda 5.61kg Tim Theunissen
Tim Theunissen Boat Dive Cuda 5.60kg Tim Theunissen
    Cuda 5.54kg  
    Cuda 4.70kg  
    Cuda 4.62kg  
Martinus Venter Shore Dive Snoek 5.51kg  
    Cuda 3.90kg  
Greg Bissert Shore Dive Snoek 5.45kg  
Len Debeer Boat Dive Kaakap 5.10kg Johan Jacobs
Don Ryan Shore Dive Snoek 5.03kg  
Colin Grey Boat Dive Snoek 4.87kg Terry Dean
Adrian Patt Boat Dive Cuda 4.47kg John grobbelar
Ryan Hansen Boat Dive Cuda 4.21kg Ryan Hansen
Craig Mostert Boat Dive Cuda 3.44kg Craig Mostert
Hans Shiffler Boat Dive Cuda 3.23kg Gary Gillon
Roger Powell Boat Dive Snoek 3.02kg Anthony Smallberger
Jack Mays Shore Dive Shad x 3 1.53kg  
Deon Botha Shore Dive Seapike 0.84kg  
    Shad x 3 0.42kg