Monthly Spearfishing Report November 2007

Monthly Report – November 2007

Conditions

The heavy rains at the beginning of the month put paid to any chance of an inshore dive with brown murky water right up and down the natal coast. The big north-easterlies together with some big south-westerly fronts did not help matters and conditions were generally poor. Conditions did come right mid-month with diveable water on both the north and middle south coast. This is a normal weather pattern for this time of year with the summer rains causing most rivers to open and still plenty of wind about.

Fishwise

The early season run of cuda has seen spearos on the Umdloti stretch bagging some of these fine gamefish. Selection reef at Umdloti has been producing good bags of natal snoek. Craig Bermeisters class 20kg garrick taken at Tinely river mouth shows there are still garrick about. Fishermen are getting dorado at No1 and reports from Richards Bay are of a lot of these fish about out deep. The marlin competition held at Sodwana Bay recently saw 25 fish tagged and released on the first day with a 250kg black marlin brought to the scales. Spearos here recently report plenty of wahoo up to the 20kg mark but not much cuda action. The run of ignoblis kingfish in southern Mozambique is reportedly the best ever which bodes well for the Natal run of these great fish.North Pier Durban

Great White Sharks

Darrell Hattingh reports the sightings of two whites on the lower south coast, one by a spearo diving in poor 3 to 4 meter visibility whilst hunting the backline. The shark had already given him the once over before he sighted the tail end of the estimated 5m white.

World First

Natal Sharks Board together with some Australian scientists plan to breed ragged-tooth sharks in artificial plastic wombs. Raggies do not breed well in captivity and cannibalism within the uterus is another problem. If the experiment succeeds the embryonic lab reared sharks will be used in Australia to boost locally threatened populations along the east coast of Australia.

Yellowfin Tuna

A carcass from a recently caught yellowfin tuna weighed-in at 105kg after a shark had had his share. The estimated weight of the tuna was 120 to 130kg. Hopefully we will have a new spearfishing world record one of these days from the Cape tuna grounds. The rough sea conditions in this area caused by the large amount of southerly blows coming through have only allowed the larger tuna boats to venture out.

Sailfish Food

The stomach contents of a recently speared 50kg sailfish contained 3 trigger fish. Having speared these fish when there are a lot of gamefish about I have always thought that their diet would consist of gamefish. Perhaps the slower swimming triggers are a much easier prey. Dogtooth tuna seem to favour fulvie kingfish but coral bommies that are home to shoals of surgeons are always likely spots to find them cruising about so this could be their favoured food too.

North pier

The north pier break-water is disappearing at a rate with big mechanical diggers making short work of what must have taken many months of hard work over 100 years ago. Originally named Milne’s Pier, it was built in 1894 roughly the same time as the south pier. Initially the piers were the same length but the north pier was shortened by over a 100 metres to stop dangerous currents that swept across the entrance when they were the same length. Already there is a big shelf as you put your boat in at Vetchies which is very different from the normally gradual sloping sand and one wonders what changes the new placement of the pier will make to the topography of the area

Safe diving, John.