Monthly Spearfishing Report June 2003

What is New!

German scientists have produced a prototype of a new speargun. The gun has a range of 30m and is 100% accurate. It has a laser sight and is powered by helium gas. The gun has a loading chamber that holds 9 spears for when you run into a shoal of gamefish. The Parks Board has been approached for initial trials to take place at Leadmans shoal. Got you there paddy!

Conditions

As Junes go, not the best as far as diving is concerned. Some calm days but still a number of north easterlies and some rough seas making conditions very changeable. Were some good days viz wise but to few to make it a good month. No big winter fronts as yet with the westerlies that have passed through being small systems.

Fish Wise

The divers working the points in search of garrick and geelbek plus the odd daga have not been having much success with only the occasional fish coming out. Hopefully this will change when the sardine run sorts it self out and these little fish decide to come onto our coast followed by all the larger gamefish that feast on them. Fish of the month goes to Johan Jacobs 17kg+ yellowbelly rockcod shot on a wreck on the north coast (photo in the Gallery). This beats the old record that stood for many years, by a large margin.

Competitions

The Nationals have at last been dived with the past 3 being cancelled, two due to weather and one to venue choice. Day one was dived in good conditions with good bags of fish being weighed-in. Day two was chosen when a strong southerly wind was blowing that turned the sea ugly and the time was shortened to 4 hours due to dangerous seas. Jaco Blignaut once again proved to be the diver to beat and won his third nationals in a row. John Girdza was unlucky falling sick on the second day whilst still managing to place 3rd overall.

PMB Underwater Club held their annual crayfish competition on the first weekend of the month. Day one had good viz and fair seas along the whole coast and some good bags were weighed. Day two had very big surf along the lower south coast and together with strong inshore currents, divers battled a bit. The full results are: Biggest crayfish – John Little, Biggest bag – Dave Coetzee, Biggest intact – Mark Wayne, Biggest gamefish – Jarvis Morris. A prize is awarded to each entrant and the crayfish (lobster) are used at a big prize giving evening with 100 tickets being sold for the seafood spread that includes mussels, fish and crayfish. The Dive Factory sponsored the event and were very generous donating over R2500 worth of prizes. A good fun event and worthy of making note of for next year.

Aliwal Shoal

Aliwal has really cooked this month with some excellent fish being shot. The Vaalies really showed the locals how to do it and Len Turners story elsewhere on the site gives the full details. Some excellent bags of gamefish have been landed with Dorado, Tuna, Wahoo, Cuda and sailfish making up the catches.

Sardine News

The sardines are late this year with some big shoals on the Transkei coast but hardly any action on the KwaZulu-Natal coast. This could be due to warmer sea temperatures than normal for this time of year. Sardines are a cold-water fish and only extend their range up the east coast when the sea temperatures drop. When they encounter warmer water as they normally do once they get past Durban the shoals disappear out to sea. Fish being landed on the lower south coast have sardines in their guts so there must be pockets of sardines out to sea, but no inshore shoals for the netters. Lots of sharks with the big shoals together with some whale activity and of course the birds in their thousands. The whales are mostly Humpbacks, some with their calves in tow. By the 25th of the month there was a lot of bird activity just south of the Port Edward River so things look promising.

Transkei News

Ant Dunne, Tim Theunissen and Ryan Van Der Merwe dived this coast for a few days from the 12 June. Conditions were excellent with 20m viz on one of the days and loads of fish activity. Best fish of the trip was a 23kg black musselcracker landed by Ant who managed another 2 of these elusive fish. Some 5kg+ Bankies landed with Ryan and Tim both landing some brusher. The launch site north of the Ocean View Hotel is good but the road down to it can be very tricky in the wet and is best not tackled under wet conditions.

Mozambique

Reports from Inhambane area are of big catches of cuda being taken by the local fishermen using drift baits. I will be up there in July and will have a full write-up on conditions in the July report. Southern Mozambique just north of Kosi Bay has been quiet with most of the game fish traveling south in search of sardines.

Cape News

Cape divers have been getting a lot of yellowfin tuna 20 to 30 miles off Cape Point. The viz around the cape itself has been fair with good numbers of yellowtail being landed. The sea temperatures are not as low as they can be for this time of year.

Angola

Some divers have been venturing up to this part of Africa now that the fighting has stopped in this country. It is very expensive here and boat hire and accommodation costs are very high. The best viz for this time of year is about 50 foot with plankton messing the viz up. Fish shot are kob, big seapike, tropicals and rockcod. The water has already cooled down by this time of year and the marlin that the chaps were hoping to shoot had departed. If you are planning a trip to this part of Africa get some local info before going.

Looking Ahead

With the sardines being late July could be very good for the big cuda that have so far been rather scarce. Once the sardines arrive in force there should be a number of different gamefish with them. This will be especially true if there are only isolated pockets as opposed to many. This will keep the gamefish more concentrated. Keep up-to-date with the latest on the sardines by phoning 0822849495. Safe diving, John.