Monthly Spearfishing Report December 2003

Monthly Report — December 2003

Typical December

Weather conditions have been what you would expect for this time of year, but the rainfall has been less than normal. There are still plenty of fronts passing through the Cape and the resultant south westerlies that reach the KwaZulu-Natal coast have been cleaning the water up on the odd occasion, with some rivers affecting the inshore conditions. The cyclone over Madagascar during this period did not affect our weather and the seas have been mostly settled with few rough days. This time of year it is a better option to dive the offshore reefs such as Aliwal Shoal and No1 with a better chance of finding diveable water than on the inshore reefs. With summer upon us the gamefish runs should soon be in full swing and there are already reports of plenty of gamefish about.

Gamefish Action

Aliwal Shoal has come alive on the odd day and some good fish have been boated. Jaco Blignaut managed to land a sailfish that he shot with his reel-gun. The same day he managed an ignoblis of 36kg and two cuda. Some wahoo have also been taken with a good drift in a north-south current starting about 400m up from the pinnacle and drifting down onto it. There are plenty of reef fish about on the Deep Scottburgh reefs and as the water temps become more stable reef fish should move onto most of the inshore reefs along the coast. Plenty of shark activity out at Aliwal Shoal and this is always a good sign for gamefish. The North coast has been providing divers with some natal snoek action and still reports of the odd garrick coming out here. The odd good sized natal stumpnose being shot on the rocky points. Salt Rock might be a good bet, as you should get the odd big cuda passing through on the drop-off together with other gamefish during this period.

Pemba Trip

The Pemba trip was fantastic and there is a full write-up on the trip elsewhere on the site. We managed 3 dogtooth tuna in the 30 to 40kg range and had amazing conditions with 50m viz and mostly calm weather. The drop-offs we dived were unreal going from 18m to 50m and then dropping to 300m+. Plenty of big ignoblis about plus a host of other gamefish. There is another trip planned for late January.

Sellers Beware

A local diver was recently caught with 250kg of east coast rock lobster. He was arrested at a shell ultra city outside Pretoria. As you are only allowed eight rock lobster at any one time he was sentenced to a fine of R60000.00 or two years in jail after pleading guilty to the offence of poaching. R50000.00 of the fine was conditionally suspended. It is easy to spot the difference between the east coast rock lobster and the commercial west coast rock lobster if you know your lobster. The east coast rock lobster is not for sale and as stated earlier you are only allowed eight at any one time.

Why is the Sky Blue?

Wondered why the sky and sea are blue? Well read on and all will be revealed. Blue light gets scattered around much more than all the other colours in light, causing the sky to appear blue. That is the simple explanation. To explain it you need to get a bit more technical. Light is made up of electromagnetic waves. The distance between 2 crests in this wave are called the wavelengths. The amount of light scattered for any given colour depends on the wavelength of that colour. All the colors in white light have different wavelengths. Red light has the longest wavelength. The wavelength of blue light is about half that of red light. This difference in wavelength causes blue light to be scattered nearly ten times more than red light when light waves try to go through oxygen and nitrogen molecules. The blue light is scattered in all directions because of this collision. This scattering of blue light is what makes the sky appear blue. The other colours with longer wavelengths are scattered aswell but blue's shorter wavelength causes it to be scattered the most. The shorter the wavelength of the color, the more that color gets scattered by the atmosphere. Violet, having the shortest wavelength of all colours is scattered the most. However, our eyes are much more sensitive to see blue than violet, therefore we see the sky as blue. The seas are blue because pure, clear water has a very light blue colour.

Diving Death

It is with sadness that we learnt of the death of Sheldon Jee at Sodwana Bay recently. He possibly suffered a shallow water blackout and was then scavenged by a tiger shark that was seen in the area. We have a few more facts available, although the cause of his death will never be known for sure. The group of divers had dived the area the previous day and got some fish. They were chumming on the day and there was a lot of fish activity in the area. Sheldon Jee was diving with a chum bag on his person that had some sardines in it. The area they were diving is on the edge of the canyon at Sodwana Bay and is known to harbour a lot of big tiger sharks. If anything can be learnt from this tragic incident it is to be especially careful if you are chumming in an area where sharks are active.

Mozambique News

Lots of reports from this part of the coast with plenty of quality fish being taken. Some 20kg+ cuda have been landed and there are a lot of big ignoblis about. The weather has been relatively settled and with warm water temperatures, anything is possible.

New Boating Regulations

Finally you are allowed to travel up to 5 nautical miles offshore with only one motor. This change in the rules has been on the cards for many years and was frustrating for the boat owners with one motor being restricted to one nautical mile offshore. To qualify for this category you need to have a `D` after your registration number and need some extra flares and space blankets. This puts most of the popular offshore reefs within reach of one motor boats.

Wahoo Diving Club

Wahoo Diving club recently held their A.G.M where Shane Strong was elected as the chairman for the coming year. It was also decided that the club location would stay where it is and not move to the Kings Park underwater hockey premises. The Wahoo Club is a spearfishing club solely centered on the sport of spearfishing and it is worthwhile joining if this is your chosen sport. The club is situated diagonally across the road from the putt-putt at Blue Lagoon and is open on a Wednesday night from 20:00.

Happy New Year

Guy and Myself would like to wish all visitors to spearfishingsa a happy and prosperous New Year.

Safe diving, John.