Monthly Spearfishing Report May 2009

Conditions

Wind-wise a settled month with none of the major winter fronts marching up the coast. This is despite Cape Town experiencing some strong winds and high seas that had emergency services on high alert. The odd rough day out at sea but mostly settled seas along the KZN coast but a big swell spoiling inshore conditions and making shore diving difficult. As is the norm for May now there was the odd big thunder storm causing rivers to open and the resultant dirty inshore seas. Winter has arrived in KZN with cold nights and dark before 18:00 and only getting light after 06:00. We are very lucky to live in a country where winter midday temps do not drop much below the mid twenties celsius.

Fish-Wise

Some big cuda coming out up and down the coast with some fish over thirty kilograms being caught. Lots of cold water about on the bottom that keeps the reef fish up off the bottom and the fish that do not do this are hard to find under these conditions. The wahoo have been loose out at Aliwal but Basie will have more detail in his report. Still plenty of Natal snoek on both the north and south coasts but a lot of these fish are small with only the odd big fish seen. Ifafa has been producing some garrick with one of twenty kilograms landed which is a very good fish.
Sardine Run
With all the big gamefish being seen it bodes well for the sardine run that is of course if we have one. A lot will depend on the inshore sea temperatures with 18c seeming to be the magical number above which the sardines do not appear in any numbers on the KZN coast. With sea temperatures sitting between 21c and 22c and still about a month to go before the main shoals arrive things are looking good for now. The hot-line number for last year was 0822849495.

Rip-Off Artists

Nick Collins has just returned from a trip to the Andaman Islands and warns of some serious rip-off artists operating spearfishing safaris there. The trip that was promised never materialized and he had to organise his own boat hire and still pay for the hire of another boat as they had his dive gear and would not return it until this was done. This second boat was hired by the trip organisers but they were nowhere to be found when the boat owner needed his payment. Always check the credentials of any charter operator by asking for contact details of previous clients.

Spearfishing Nationals

There definitely need to be some organisational changes done to the Nationals format to keep the competitive side of the sport alive and well. With new rules at every nationals and no real enforcement of the rules some spearos are deciding to leave the competitive side of spearfishing which is to the detriment of this minority sport. This is the challenge that faces the incoming committee and I am sure they will come up with a format that can take the sport forward.

Safe diving, John.