Monthly Spearfishing Report April 2006

Monthly Report – May 2006

Conditions

The month started off badly with a couple of big winter fronts passing through making for undiveable seas and rough conditions. Big westerlies like this are sure to bring clean water with them and should make for excellent conditions once the seas have settled down. It looks like we are in for an early cold winter which should suit the sardines and hopefully produce a bumper run. With all the cuda that have been around this year the sardine run could have some serious action and most spearos are already looking forward to it. Mid-month conditions were excellent on the north coast and middle south coast with some very clean water moving in making for great diving conditions. Big westerly fronts up from the Cape towards the end of the month made for dangerous seas and ended the couple of good days that were had. Snow on the southern berg with some roads closed due to snow falls following the second lot of big westerly fronts that passed through.

Fish-Wise

Still cuda and snoek coming out on the north and south coast with some commercial boats getting a lot of cuda out deep off Umdloti. Craig Harper bagged some nice cuda up to 17kg on the La Mercy stretch just before the second big front arrived. Patches of yellow peril to be found spoiling conditions along some stretches of the coast. Jaco Blignaut shot some pending new South African record fish out on Protea Banks this month. Will try and get more info with some pictures if possible up on the site of these fish. Still plenty of reef fish about when conditions are right.

Weather Sites

www.wavescape.co.za. Sent to us by Basie Ackermann who uses the sea as a business and rates this site as very reliable for weather predictions in the Natal area.  The number for reports on the Natal south coast is 082 231 1608. This report is supplied by the South African weather office and can help you get a good idea of the expected weather conditions.

Over Fishing

Any thoughts that the vastness of the oceans would protect them from mans destructive practices was definitely a case of wishful thinking. In the 1960’s, fish protein accounted for 4.6% of all animal protein consumed by humans. By the end of the 20th century fish protein had risen to 16% of consumed animal protein. To meet this growing demand for the one thing that is still wild in our diets, most commercial fisheries have been and are fished beyond their sustainable limit. Added to the oceans woes are: pollution from a number of different sources, bycatch waste from most major fisheries accounting for a large percentage of the actual catch, and habitat destruction due to bad farming practices together with extensive coastal developments. That the oceans are in serious trouble is pretty obvious.

Frightening Stuff

Democratic Alliance Spokesperson on Office of The Premier, Health, Public Accounts, RDP and Corporate Services, Athol Trollip, has advocated the banning of all recreational diving along the Eastern Cape coast. The reason being that the perlemoen poaching is so out of control that he sees this as an effective means of stopping the poaching that is so rife in this area.

Mozambique News

Paul Malan was recently up at Pomene and sent us this report.

The road from the border post at Komatipoort to Xai-Xai is excellent, but from there to Masinga you have a couple of places where there are more potholes than tar. WBHO is working on stretches of that road and apparently it is much better than in December 2005 - it was my first ever trip to Mozambique and my first cuda (king mackerel).
At Masinga you turn off to Pomene (58km) on a dirt road which takes about 2hr30min.
From Masinga to the border is about 9hr30min, so in total 12hrs.
At Pomene we stayed at one of the private plots 4km before you get to Pomene Lodge, but if you do not know anybody there you will have to book a baracca at Pomene Lodge.

Cape Vidal News

Garrick and Jarvis Morris were at Cape Vidal mid month and had some great spearing with plenty of shoal size cuda about and some big wahoo lurking on the deep ledges. Garrick managed to bag a wahoo of 24kg. All the action was on Saturday before the big west arrived up there, with shoals of 50 strong cuda passing through. No shark activity to speak of apart from one big zambie generally minding his own business with one fish lost to him. Sunday Leven was dead in true Cape Vidal style.

Sardine Run News

The sardines normally arrive on the Natal coast late May/early June. There have been some very late runs with the sardines only arriving at the end of June. But with no sign of them yet anywhere along the entire coast, some of the sardine watchers are starting to wonder what is happening. These little fish can move up the coast very quickly if water temperatures and currents are right, so hopefully we will get some news of them soon.

World Spearfishing Championship

Set to take place in Portugal around September. Probably cold water with lots of fish in the white water and shallows. Might give our chaps a better chance as scouting, which the big bucs teams will be doing right now, might not play as big a factor as is normally the case. With a lot of the top spearos paid to do well as they are on a monthly salary, the competition is very stiff in Worlds. Apparently rules are ten fish per species with a minimum weight of 500 grams so you are looking at quantity as opposed to quality fish. Hoping for one of our divers to be placed in the top ten.

Safe diving, John.