Monthly Spearfishing Report December 2002

December 2002

Summer - Just starting to Produce

Despite the warm weather our summer season is only now starting to produce regular sightings of game fish. Isolated catches of Cuda (generally no more than one or two) and the odd Wahoo are common for this time of year. What have been slow starters are the Queen Mackerel that shoal along our coastline and large Ignobilis Kingfish commonly found in rough churned up water but more easy sighted on wrecks and pinnacles. Just after Christmas I saw a shoal of these fish off Deep Cracker near Aliwal 20-25 strong mostly around 7kg fish but some of them looked close to 20kgs. Number One, 3 km off Durban, has had some very clean days this month and fortunately the sharks that frequent this area have been scarce. Scarce perhaps because the fish have been scarce, no doubt the sharks have better places to be.

Keep a look out for Spadies now as we should start finding these fish in good numbers. Ski boat fisherman up at Ballito have had good catches of redfish a sure sign of warmer water moving into the North Coast, not so for the Lower Natal South Coast which has had cold water on the bottom more days than not. Landers has produced some Cape Yellowtail over 10kgs as well as some 5kg to 8kg Sangoras. I also saw two 12kg Yellowtail Kingfish taken off the Bluff just before Christmas.

Spearing down the South Coast

The Umgababa to Rocky Bay including Aliwal Shoal has been a relatively reliable venue. This vast yet extensive, very diverse and exciting area is a wonderful place to dive and Natal spearos are very fortunate to live so nearby one of this countries best diving sites. Andy Norton and crew, the nemesis to this areas game fish have reported greater than usual numbers of Wahoo and Cuda, although mostly shoal size. Colin Townsend shot a 37kg Prodigal Son off Aliwals North East Pinnacle larger than the existing record but 1.5kg smaller than the pending record shot by local Springbok/Protea diver Ryan Burmester last month off Durban.

Good fish landed in Zululand

Andy Norton also shot a pending new S.A. record Chanos chanos of 24kg at deep Leven, Cape Vidal and another of 17kg. He has also recently been voted in as Wahoo Diving Club’s new chairman, congratulations Andy.

The other spearos I have heard from agree that the 2003 game fish season looks set to be very good indeed. Let’s hope that more of the older 3 to 4 year old Cuda find their way through the maze of longliners.

Not to dwell on the point but critics of sportsmen and woman who harvest the sea by means of holding our breath and using a spear gun need to open their eyes to the selective manner and limited areas in which we can pursue our prey. I invite anyone to come and try spearfishing. I know you will be thrilled by the whole experience but you will also learn how difficult it is to even get near different species. No would-be spearo should count on getting their first fish for at least their first 10 trips. Lastly I would like to remind spearos wishing to take part in this years Natal Trials to phone me Richard Bruno on 083 2895587 BEFORE Wednesday 29 January. Trials start on Saturday 1 February and it is imperative that you acquaint yourself with the rules available on this website.

Happy New Year and safe diving

Richard