Monthly Spearfishing Report August 2009

Garrick Morris landing a beaut of 38kgs on one of the north coast wrecksConditions

Not a very good month for spearfishing along the natal coast with the north-easterly winds getting up to speed on a number of days and making for poor visibility and unsettled seas. The westerly systems coming up from the Cape not having the desired effect of cleaning up the inshore seas and mostly three to four meter visibility along much of the coast. Some of the south coast spots experiencing water temps of 17c which is cold for this stretch of coastline. Tinley and northwards can come clean this time of year when more southerly spots are dirty so if you have the petrol always worth the drive.

Fish-Wise

Garrick and snoek making up the bulk of catches for shore divers with most points worth a dive if conditions allow. The garrick seem to be on the move and you have to be pretty sharp to place a decent shot when these strong fish are travelling at speed. Boat divers still finding plenty of action along the south pier to Durban harbour despite all the construction work taking place. This is a prime spot for cracker (silver steenbras) and each season some big fish are landed here. Plenty of daga salmon on the wrecks with Garrick Morris landing a beaut of 38kgs on one of the north coast wrecks. 

Cape Vidal

The place to be if you are into big cuda and wahoo as each year this spot produces some big fish around this period. The last week of July and first ten days of August are the best times but the weather can be windy so it is always a bit of a gamble. This year was no different with Rob Allen and crew getting some twenty kilogram plus cuda and some of the Cape boys landing some good fish.

Mozambique News

Once again the Barra Point area proofing to be a prime spot for targeting big gamefish. Our first day out on the deep pinnacles saw Dave Coetzee losing a big marlin and the next day I followed on the tail of another big fish deciding that a tail shot would be stupid on a fish this big. Interesting to note that the way a marlin swims enables it to see you directly behind it and crossing over the tail does not work on these fish. Craig Burmeister losing a granddaddy of a cuda estimated at well over twenty-five kilograms that took him way off the pinnacles before finally breaking off. The exciting aspect of spearfishing these pinnacles is that they are in deep water and only come up to twenty-seven meters at the shallowest point. You need to be down around the twenty meter mark to have any chance of seeing a fish let alone shooting one and there is always the feeling that something big is about to swim into view. The courting humpback whales were out in force this trip with all of us being approached underwater by these huge mammals and aerial displays being the order of the day. The top man needed to keep a watch out for courting pairs as it would not be fun with a capsized boat twenty kilometres out to sea.

Mozambique Road News

At last construction work is in full swing on the bad stretch of road north of Xai-Xai. This hundred kilometre stretch has always been very dicey with big pot-holes more evident than the road in some places. The Chinese are funding the upgrade with their workers out in force supervising the Mozambican crews and things seem to be happening fast. Once this stretch is re-done it will be good road all the way from Maputo to Inhambane and the trip will be a lot quicker and safer.

Shark Chumming

Saw some underwater pictures recently of one of the dives where sharks are attracted in for scuba divers to see using a chum bucket filled with fish bits. This practise draws a lot of sharks into a small area with as many as thirty sharks milling about. Some of the sharks were displaying aggressive body signs with their backs arched and pectoral fins down. I think a shark smelling food and a shark being present when a fish is fighting on a spear are very different triggers for a shark. The smell brings the shark in but it is not nearly as excited as when a fish is sending out distress signals. So having a shark right next to you when it smells food might be ok, but I have my doubts. But having a shark right next to you when a vibrating fish is involved is clearly asking for trouble.

Safe diving, John.