Monthly Spearfishing Report February 2007

Monthly Report – February 2007

Conditions

The hottest month for Durban residents with temperatures in the low thirties centigrade and high humidity making for uncomfortable weather. Sea temperatures are around 27c along most of the coast and this means plenty of gamefish action together with lots of shark activity. The cyclone Favio off Inhambane, Mozambique does not seem to have had much effect along our coast and the weather pattern has been fairly settled for a February with a number of good diving days.

Fishwise

The story of the month must be the 158kg black marlin landed on a shore dive at Salt Rock. Well done to Mark Griffith on this phenomenal feat. Andrew Henwood managed a 125kg black marlin spearing at Number 1 reef off Durban and Gyulia Plaganyi landed a 51kg black marlin out at Aliwal Shoal. This year there is a bumper run of these fish along the whole East African coast with no obvious reason why it should be so. Just holding thumbs that it will be a regular occurrence in future years. Cuda action on the north coast seems to have slowed down a bit but the Bluff has been working well on the odd day but some big inquisitive Zambezi sharks making life difficult for spearfishermen. Deep Scottburgh holding good shoals of bottoms on all the well structured spots and exciting spearing these reefs with all the fish about. Lots of whale shark activity out deep as these gentle giants migrate along our coast.

Commercial Diving

A lot of the regular spearfishermen along the Natal coast have become commercial divers working mostly in the Gulf of Mexico or off Oman. Two guys I know well, Gary and Ryan, have become saturation divers. These guys get paid a lot of money for the dangerous work and the extremely hard life that they have to endure whilst working. Gary was recently in the chamber where they live during diving for 33 days. They were working at 170 meters so were pressurized to 16 gravities. You have to be mentally tough to endure this type of work and I take my hat off to these guys. Hopefully earn a bundle and retire in style after a few years.

Mozambique News

I was up in Inhambane for the first 10 days of the month and conditions were near perfect with very calm weather and amazing gamefish action when the tides were right. Got some footage of a free swimming black marlin on my video camera that I hope to be able to put up on the site soon. Roads are in very good condition all the way from the border to Inhambane apart from the first 100km going from XaiXai towards Inhambane. This section has some bad potholes and it is better to travel during the day over this section and perhaps make it a rule to only travel during daylight in Mozambique. This is definitely the clever option mainly due to broken down vehicles left on the road and large trucks and buses hogging the road.

Competition News

Hibiscus Underwater Club is holding their Team Challenge on the 24 March with R30 000 worth of prizes. The Marlin Classic is being held on the 28 April with a R7500 cash prize for the biggest gamefish landed other than a garrick. The Pietermaritzburg Underwater Club is hosting The Bluewater Gamefish Challenge at Sodwana Bay on the 9 June with a R15000 cash first prize to the lucky spearo who scores the most points. The Wahoo Diving Club is hosting The Winter Gamefish Comp up at Cape Vidal on the 28 July. This is always a very well attended competition. So lots of comps to look forward to with the Marlin Classic unfortunately clashing with the Spearfishing Nationals down in the Wilderness area starting on the 29 April so divers going to Nationals will be unable to attend this one.

What the Future Holds

There are a number of countries in the World where spearfishing is banned. Seychelles, Mauritius, Oman, Red Sea to name a few that I know of. It is not inconceivable that more places will ban spearfishing. Being a minority group we do not have a strong voice as do fishermen for example. So are easy targets for people in the public eye looking to make a statement without causing too many waves and also having to justify their reasons for the ban in the first place. Hunters using rifles and guns would almost have certainly had their sport banned had they not been the powerful group that they are. Spearfishing is not a team sport, more man versus the ocean elements making spearfishermen very individualistic and on the whole disinclined from joining unions, clubs etc. If we want to protect our sport for the future it is important that every spearfisherman belongs to some form of recognized group so that your voice can be counted.

Spearfishingsa

Guy and I are proud to say that spearfishingsa has been up and running for 6 years this February. We average over 600 000 hits per month which equates to 20 000 people visiting our site each month. For both of us it has been great fun and hopefully all of our readers have enjoyed the ride aswell and will continue to do so.

Safe diving, John.