Monthly Spearfishing Report August 2001

August 2001

With 7 westerly winds for the month together with the attendant north easterlies, it has not been a great month for diving here in Kwazulu-Natal. The 3 previous years,98,99,2000, were much more settled wind wise and those augusts turned out to be good for diving. The swell has also been up with the unsettled seas and has made inshore conditions difficult. The rocky bay area has been the first stretch to clean up under these conditions but there has not been much action. Aliwal has had 15-20m on most days but has also been quiet. The wahoo have finally put in an appearance so early visitors to the shoal should check the north east pinnacle area for these fish. The initial brusher run has been lost in all the white water, so to speak, with not many fish being landed as yet. The fishermen on the bluff stretch have bagged some big 15kg fish but the divers have not been as lucky. With the run peaking in october, it is always worth hunting the rocky points for these fish. The large queen mackeral(natal snoek) that were shot along the umgeni-police cottage stretch last year are also scarce with just the odd 5kg fish being taken on this sretch and in the bluff area. Vidal has been producing some good fish with lots of cuda around if you get the right water. The cuda are running on the outside of the deep ledge and the action is early and mostly over by 0930. Some sailfish have also been seen with a 45kg fish being shot on the 26. Not much shark activity with the odd black tip around. It is interesting to note that some of the fishermen who go up there on a regular basis in august, some for 25 years, say this has been the worst august fish wise for a long time. The bay is very sanded-up at vidal and the changing winds keep pushing in patches of cold water which certainly turns the gamefish off. This could be one reason for the scarcity of reef fish. The vidal road is now tarred for the first 20km from the entrance gate with just 10km+ of badly corrugated dirt road to remind you of the old days. There is so much development planned for this area one hopes that money is not over riding the nature conservation issues. Most camp sites have access to a plug point which costs R9.50 a day, so it is worth while taking along an extension cord to reach the plug points.

With the arrival of the warmer weather and longer days, september will hopefully have some decent diving days. Traditionally it is not a good month for diving owing to the windy conditions.