Profile on Spearfisherman Johan Jacobs

Johan JacobsJohan was born part of that small group of people, who perhaps should have had gills, to satisfy an all encompassing desire to spend as much time as possible hunting fish and exploring the unknown ocean environment on a continual basis.

He received his first mask and snorkel, at the age of 7, and first took part in a spearfishing competition at the age of 19. The time between age 7 and 19 was taken up by fishing, and continual exploring different coastal and underwater environments at every possible opportunity.

To obtain the full value that spearfishing can offer, in his view, should it not be experienced as an extreme sport. The successful hunter however develops the ability to blend in with nature, and hunts in a selective manner.

The more you learn about the sea and its creatures, the more you come to realise your own lack of knowledge, inefficiency and inability to fully predict the behaviour of fish under certain conditions.

One of the joys of spearfishing is however to spend time with good friends. Johan has made many friends through spearfishing, and still have the privilege to dive with a variety of individuals with excellent athletic ability.

Sadly this is also a sport where you loose good friends. When a friend looses his life whilst spearfishing, the temporary nature of our stay on earth is again underlined. Specific incidents make you sit back and take stock of where you are and what you want from life.

Success in spearfishing is also a function of the opportunities that you create for yourself. Johan have shot a variety of memorable fish during the past 19 years, since taking part in his first spearfishing competition. Not least of these is a new S.A. record yellowbelly rockcod, of 17.6kg, shot off Richards Bay during the winter of 2003.

Johan’s spearfishing CV looks as follows:

1988 – Member of University of Stellenbosch Spearfishing Team – SAUU

1989 – Captain University of Stellenbosch Spearfishing Team – SAUU

1994 – Captain Natal B Spearfishing Team – National Championships – Struis Bay

1995 – Captain Zululand B Spearfishing Team – National Championships – Port Elizabeth

1996 – Captain Zululand A Spearfishing Team – National Championships – Hole-in-the-Wall (Transkei)

1997 – Captain Zululand A Spearfishing Team – National Championships – Durban

1998 – Captain Zululand A Spearfishing Team – National Championships – Still Bay

2000 – Manager and first reserve – S.A. National Spearfishing Team – World Championship – Tahiti

Johan is the current S.A. Spearfishing Records Officer and serves as a selector of the national team.