Monthly Spearfishing Report July 2007

Monthly Report – July 2007

Conditions

The large fronts passing over the Cape have been mostly heading off out to sea and not really affecting the Natal coastal weather that much. Did get some large swell though courtesy of these fronts that made for churned up inshore conditions along our coast but there has been some good water on both the north and south coast despite this. Some patches of very cold water to be found on the bottom down to 15 degrees celsius in some places and few fish encountered under these conditions.

Fishwise

The odd early season cracker (silver steenbras) being seen by divers on the south coast and some garrick coming out at Ifafa when conditions are right. Still some big queen mackerel on the north coast but the cuda action seems to have gone quiet. Some big grunter up to 7kg being seen on the north coast and the daga salmon being heard but few landed to date.

Ecologically Friendly

Any form of taking from the environment where only a muscle powered device is used such as a speargun or bow and arrow poses very little threat to the ecosystems that we hunt in. This is especially true as you choose your target and there is no wasteful taking. Once you introduce todays modern methods of taking especially in the oceans where your average long-line will have many thousands of baited hooks then you know ecosystems are under serious pressure. By-catch in most of todays modern fishing fleets is huge and any system that allows such wanton waste not to mention the ethical issues involved here where creatures are being killed for no reason needs to realize that some drastic changes must be implemented and more eco-friendly methods practiced.  

Mozambique News

The Pomene/Inhambane-Barra stretches of coast have had some very clean water with hardly any current out deep which has made for excellent diving conditions. Plenty of cuda being landed with lots of kingfish about aswell.

World Records

Here is the link to the official world record site for spearfishing. Has some interesting stories and explains in detail how to claim a record and all the do’s and don’ts. If you are not making your own chum from a fish you have shot then any other form of chumming would not allow you to claim a world record. Seems like an unreasonable rule to me. A big tuna record was refused because the fish was shot just outside a net holding small fish. What happens if you come across a floating log and shoot a world record wahoo. Don’t really see the difference. The wahoo is attracted to the log because there might be food there same as the tuna was attracted to the net. I wonder where fads and the sardine run would fit in their classification and if fads are not allowed how far away do you have to be from one. All seems like a lot of grey areas here.  http://www.freedive.net/ibsrc/

Wahoo Winter Gamefish Competition

Will be up at this comp and staying on at Cape Vidal for an extra week to hunt the big return cuda but will have a write-up on the competition on the site once I get back. There has been a lot of action up at Leven Point during the month but it is all dependent on the current with a south-north current making the area very dead. Outlook for the comp is a bit dicey as there is a prediction for some big fronts during that week-end but hopefully the weather guys have got it wrong.

Durban Undersea Club Open Competition

This comp was scheduled for the 14 July but owing to poor sea conditions was postponed to 15 July. Do not have the results but the sea was pretty dead that day even though conditions for diving were good but obviously did not suit the fish for some reason.

Sardine Run

Most of the action has been on the Transkei coast with Waterfall Bluff and southwards to past Port St Johns having lots of sardine activity. Once again the run has been disappointing along the Natal coast with the sardines only showing on the odd day in June.

Euro-Africa Zone Qualifier

The South African Spearfishing Team of Angelo Spada, Gletwyn Rubidge, Gyula Plagani and Mark Jackson leave on Tuesday 10 July for Cadiz in Spain where this event is being held. Two days will be dived from the 19 to 22 July with 26 countries taking part. South Africa needs to place in the top 12 to qualify for the World spearfishing Championships scheduled for Venezuela in 2008. Good spearing guys. Kevin Daly, who I speared with in South Africa for a year, is diving for the British spearfishing team. Kevin was born and raised here but has been living in England for two years so qualifies to dive for the British team. Latest unconfirmed results is that the South African team placed ninth overall which should definitely gain them a spot in the World Championships in 2008.

Feeding the Tiger Sharks

With three licensed operators feeding these sharks in the eelskin and deep cracker area spearfishermen are having some hairy encounters with these sharks. I have been diving the Aliwal Shoal and Deep Scottburgh area for twenty years now. In the late eighties and early nineties you did not see a lot of tiger sharks on the shoal and they seemed to be seasonal with May/June/July being peak months. Now for some reason they are seen the whole year through and their numbers seem to be increasing. You would think that large sharks like these would battle to find enough food in such a small area given that there are at least ten regular visitors when the operators chum for these sharks. Sharks are amazing creatures having survived many millions of years to become top end predators, I wonder what the long term implications are of using chum to have close contact with sharks.

Diving Death

It is with regret that we hear of the death of Johan Erasmus. Johan was spearfishing off the main beach at Amanzimtoti when lifeguards pulled his lifeless body from just behind backline. Our condolences go to his family and friends.

Safe diving, John.