Monthly Spearfishing Report February 2009

Conditions

Small south-westerly fronts coming up from the Cape causing southerly winds to dominate the weather pattern for much of the month which is unusual for this time of year. Quite a lot of rain during the month causing many river mouths to open and even when diveable water is found the sediment content making for marginal visibility. Owing to the southerly fronts dominating the weather the average temperatures not has hot or humid as they can be for February which is traditionally the hottest month along the KZN coast. Some big surf sent our way during the month courtesy of the weather system sitting south of Madagascar out in the Indian Ocean that looked very intense on the weather sites.

Fish-Wise

The odd cuda coming out at Salt Rock but certainly no fireworks as yet. Reports of a ski-fisherman landing a 27kg beaut in the Zinkwazi area which is a real class fish. The queen mackerel running thick in the Umhlanga/Umdloti area with some big fish landed up to eight kilograms. Most of the inshore reefs not holding many fish due to the cold water lurking about on the bottom.

Ear Problems

Here is an interesting site where you can watch an hour long lecture on ear clearing techniques by a well known ear specialist based in the States. www.divingdoc.com . Seems as though the eustachian tube operations are very risky and if complications arise it would mean no more diving and ear problems for the rest of your life.  

Sodwana Bay

Plenty of gamefish action with water temps around 27 degrees celsius and fairly settled weather conditions. Marlin still on the bite with fishermen catching a number of these fish during the month and cuda and kingfish making up catches.

Sinking of Barges – Cape Vidal

The cement barges that were scuttled off Cape Vidal have turned into a political hot potato with plenty of finger pointing and told you so’s. Looks like someone bungled big but is not prepared to acknowledge his mistake and is trying to spread the blame around. Even in the proclamation of the barges being off-limits to all users they have bungled as it is open to shore based angling and diving which means we as spearfishermen can still dive on the barges so long as it is from the shore. I certainly plan to go and have a look when the occasion arrives and conditions are right.

National Spearfishing Championships

Hosted by Southern KZN they are set for the 3rd to 8th May 2009. Areas are: Port Edward to Ramsgate, Ramsgate to Port Shepstone and Port Shepstone to Hibberdene. The Port Edward to Ramsgate area is little dived by most spearfishermen and will be a challenging area for most contestants. The reserve area is once again Deep Scottburgh and hopefully it will not have to be used but with all the river water about on the lower south coast it is a distinct possibility. Lets have a bit more enthusiasm from the travelling provinces as KZN teams always make the effort when the tables are turned but the Cape boys seem shy to reciprocate.

Great White Shark

There are now regular sightings of a white in the Aliwal area by the scuba divers. Looks as though this guy has settled into the area for awhile and might have a different attitude when struggling fish are involved as opposed to wide eyes and bubbles from scuba divers. A white was seen on shallow Leven recently when spearos where shooting snoek and one was found dead entangled in the rope of a fad off Umhlanga after attempting to eat the buoy.

Sydney Harbour Shark Attack

Specialist Royal Australian Naval clearance diver Paul Degelder was attacked by a shark in Sydney Harbour recently whilst on a training exercise. The attack took place at 07:00 and he was bitten on the thigh and hand. He was on the surface when the attack took place and he managed to punch the shark which ended the attack. He is in a serious but stable condition after undergoing surgery to his thigh and hand.

South African Underwater Fishing Federation

Certainly not an easy job getting the South African spearfishing scene in order and not much thanks given for all the hard work put in by these guys who are all volunteers. Spearfishing will always be a minority sport in this country but as most of us know once the bug has bitten it is normally a life-long affair. All credit to Brent Addison and his team for getting things in order and take a bow for all the hard work and effort put in.

Safe diving, John.