Monthly Spearfishing Report January 2008

Monthly Report – January 2008

Conditions

Not as settled wind wise for what is normally one of the calmer months along the Natal coast. North-east winds up to speed on a number of days during the first half of the month and together with a lot of river water, not too many diving days. Things settled down for the second half of the month and the north coast had diveable conditions for a number of days with lots of spearos making the most of the good conditions. The south coast also providing divers with some good water but not a lot of gamefish activity as yet. Water temperatures in the middle to upper twenties centigrade making for perfect gamefish conditions.

Fish-wise

The large amount of fresh water mixing in with the inshore seas seems to be chasing a lot of the reef fish further out. Most spots showing less reef fish than is normal with deep Umdloti and Scottburgh having fewer fish on the hot spots than in December. The ski- fishermen getting a lot of snoek off the Umdloti-Umhlanga stretch but a lot of these fish are very small. Fishermen still landing a fair amount of cuda with spearos also getting their fair share especially on the north coast during the second part of the month. Lots of shoal size cuda taken on the Sheffield-Salt Rock stretch with the odd big fish landed and some days divers beaching with good bags all over the 10kg range.  

Mozambique

Lots of gamefish action in this part of the world with cuda and ignoblis kingfish making up the bulk of catches. Plenty of shark activity even on the shallow inshore reefs and some divers making use of shark pods whilst shore diving. Well done to Pete Schoeries on his 80kg black marlin, nice fish to have under your belt when you are still relatively new to the sport. South-easterly winds blowing for much of this period which are the prevailing winds in the southern part of Mozambique but are not ideal winds for diving as they cause upwellings.

Shark Pods

A lot of local divers investing in the latest model as the shark populations seem to be increasing dramatically and some questionable behaviour being exhibited by the odd shark. Some Cape divers claim that the pods are an attraction to big great white sharks as the electric field put out by these devices attracts the shark. With the shield covering a distance of roughly 8m the shark would have to be in your vicinity before it felt the shield and extensive testing has proven that the shield is an effective deterrent against sharks.

Cape Vidal

The action very dependent on the current and water temperatures with a small drop in temperature making the fish wary and hard to shoot. Some class fish being landed with Craig Harpers 24kg beaut the pick of the bunch. This fish was taken over the sand just off the shallow ledge down towards blue bushes. Lots of shark activity as soon as you venture into 20m+ with the point having some big duskies and greys that are very interested.

Nationals 2008 – Sodwana Bay

This year the South African annual spearfishing championships are being held at Sodwana Bay, Zululand from the 18 to 23 May. Only gamefish are allowed to be taken in this area and it will make for an extremely interesting championship with divers hunting for ten different species of gamefish. With the event being dived over four days fitness is going to play a big part in the results and only those divers that can maintain over all four days will do well.

New Scoring System for Trials

With the new points system favouring gamefish it is interesting to note that the top spearos still manage to remain in the top placings. So the luck factor that most spearos talk about perhaps does not play as big a part as one would think.

Safe diving, John.