Monthly Spearfishing Report August 2007

Monthly Report – August 2007

Conditions

A windy start to the beginning of the month with fresh north-easterly winds followed by strong south-westerly winds. The unsettled weather continued for much of the month with a number of fronts coming up from the Cape. The upper north coast, Salt Rock to Zinkwazi, had some excellent water towards the end of the month with 20m visibility and very settled seas. Big shoals of bronze bream all over the place in the clean water but not much other fish action. As movement of water in the southern hemisphere is left from direction of flow, westerly winds generally warm the water up and north-easterlies bring in cold water as the warm current movers further off-shore and is replaced by colder water.

Fishwise

Most of the action is with bottom fish as the cuda run is now over on the Natal coast. Natal snoek being taken on the north coast with the Tinley area being a good bet. Have noticed a lot of sand movement on some of the inshore reefs with the Shelly beach area having a lot of the 17m and shallower reefs very sanded up. This has covered up a lot of the caves with only the top of the reefs protruding and most of these spots are not holding fish like they used to. Deep Scottburgh probably one of the better options after a westerly front.

Cape Vidal – Leven Point

The spot to be if conditions are right which means a north-south current and stable water temperatures. Some big wahoo patrolling the area together with the odd crocodile cuda and large snoek. The beacon marking the beginning of the sanctuary has been washed down and is now lying on the beach so if you are not familiar with the area have a chat with the marine officer before riding the 20+km up to Leven Point. GPS marks for shallow Leven in line with the beacon are S27 55.881 E32 35.930 this is on WGS 84 system.

Wahoo Winter Gamefish Competition

Great to see all the old faces whom you thought had stopped diving only to re-appear each year at the winter gamefish comp. Only about 10 fish weighed-in for the comp along with some garfish which to me do not count. Conditions were fairly rough with the paddle-ski guys unable to launch owing to big surf and no shore divers taking the risk either. Most of the action was at Leven point but once again the winning fish was shot off Vidal point by Terry Dean. He managed a 100+kg black marlin and there is quite a story to this fish with one guy losing it and his buddy managing to place a holding shot. Some of the boats that stayed up at Leven Point too long in the rough seas had to contend with some very scary conditions back to the launch at Vidal.

Record Cuda

A 40.7kg cuda was recently landed by a shore angler fishing on the Transkei coast. This size fish was caught using a live shad and would be any spearos dream fish.

South Pier

The south pier breakwater at the entrance to the Port of Durban has been closed to anglers. This was effective from mid-night on 30 July and shall remain closed until further notice. Although bad news for anglers, this is great news for spearos who can now once again dive this area. The shady characters fishing from the south pier were inclined to be very aggressive towards any spearfisherman coming within range of their cast or brick throwing abilities so it made good sense to stay well clear of this area.

Dungeons

This big wave break off the Sentinel in Hout bay produces some of the biggest surfing waves in the world. Last year a monstrous 65 footer was ridden here by Greg Long to take the prize for the biggest wave ridden in 2006.

National Spearfishing Championships

Nationals dates are from Sunday 18 May to Friday 23 May 2008. Lots of interest generated by a gamefish only Nationals and with clean warm water, should be something to look forward to.

Yellowfin Tuna off Cape Point

Some early season tuna already putting in an appearance on the tuna grounds off Cape Point. Experienced tuna fishermen are predicting a good run with the large amounts of westerly fronts this season an early indicator of a favourable run. Quite an opportunity for us as spearfishermen to have these tuna grounds right on our doorstep with the chance of landing one of these amazing fish not some distant dream.

Aliwal Shoal Reserve

The reserve boundaries out on the Shoal are the 25m isobath. Any area under 25m in this location is part of the reserve and you are not allowed to fish or spearfish in it. Marine and Coastal management now have a big duck patrolling the area on a regular basis so divers drifting out here for gamefish must ensure that they do not inadvertently drift into the reserve.

Safe diving, John.