Monthly Spearfishing Report May 2007

Monthly Report – May 2007

Conditions

The Indian summer that we were experiencing for the first half of May was just that and the big cold fronts that followed sent cold icy weather over much of the country. Some green water hanging around at the beginning of the month with otherwise settled sea conditions. This all changed with the mid-month big westerly front that swept in over the whole country and caused rough seas along much of the South African coast. Once the seas have settled there will be some clean water about as this is always the case after a big front. The lower south coast had very good conditions for the last week of the month with top to bottom visibility from Mtwalume down to Port Edward and warm water.

Fish-wise

Still plenty of cuda about on the north coast and lots of gamefish action out at Aliwal. Another huge black marlin of 240kg landed by Tim Sluis-Cremer at Aliwal proofing once again that this must be one of the premier gamefish spots when the action turns on. The snoek are active on the north coast with plenty of action along the Umhlanga-Umdloti stretch. The first garrick of the season have arrived with Darrell Hattingh landing one out of a big shoal in the Hibberdene area so point divers should be in for some fun. Some cuda were taken at Mtwalume with good bags of bottoms in the Shelly area and some snoek activity at Ifafa.

Aliwal Shoal Charter

Alistair of Extreme Spearfishing Encounters has started up a charter business especially for spearfishermen wanting to spear the Aliwal Shoal area. He operates an 8m supa duck and has a lot of experience in this area. He can be contacted on 0732130581 for more info.

Transkei

Was at Hole-in-the-Wall on the Transkei coast during the second week of May and had excellent conditions with small surf and relatively clean water. Had a group of Russian spearos that had competed in Nationals where the conditions were disappointing for them so the Transkei trip made up for this. Some days the current was raging but the spearing was excellent with black and white mussel cracker providing some exciting diving. The garrick were thick on Mpolompo Point but mostly on the small side. Not many yellowtail about but definitely a spot to concentrate on only shooting class fish.

Nationals 2007

Nationals has come and gone and by most spearos accounts was disappointing in that only one day was dived owing to bad conditions. Scouting on the Sedgefield Banks was amazing with some really class fish about but unfortunately was undiveable on the day owing to bad viz and a big swell running making for dangerous conditions.

Name Change

The South African Free-Diving Association has changed it’s name to South African Underwater Fishing Federation(SAUFF). This is to bring it into line with other World bodies and is perhaps more user friendly.

BlueWater Gamefish Challenge

Entries for this competition are now full with a waiting list of guys hoping for cancellations. Unfortunately the Nature Conservation Services limited the numbers to 60 divers and with a cash prize of R15000.00 to the winner, a lot of interest has been shown. The competition is geared towards a sustainable use of our oceans with one fish per species allowed to be weighed and only gamefish. Some of the proceeds from the competition are going to shark-life, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending the over exploitation of sharks in our oceans.

Hibiscus Underwater Club Crayfish Competition

The Annual crayfish competition was held during May with 40 divers signing-on. Prize for the biggest crayfish went to Darrell Hattingh with a beauty of 1.05kg with Carl Werner weighing the biggest bag of 4.50kg. Dyter Bosiger swam out at Mtwalume and managed to put his spear into a marlin that towed him around for some distance before he lost his gun. Corrie Versluis and buddy also had some excitement being buzzed by a large great white shark in the same area.

Sardine Run

The sardine run was a non-event along the Natal coast last year with the water temperatures never getting below the magical 18c mark and the sardines disappeared out into the deep off the Transkei coast. Water temperatures along the Natal coast were in the low twenties mid May so they will need to drop considerably before there is any chance of a sardine run. Traditionally the run always started early June and carried on into July.

Safe diving, John.