Monthly Spearfishing Report November 2008

Conditions

With some of the big rivers on the south coast flowing strongly the inshore seas from Umgababa down to Port Edward are brown from all the river water. The north coast has faired much better with some clean water north of Tinley and the Umdloti Salt Rock stretch also having diveable water. Sea temperatures still in the low twenties but starting to warm-up with sharks board recording 23 celsius by month end on the north coast. It is now getting light around 04:30 and with the start of the summer gamefish run it is worthwhile making an early start. The southerly winds coming up from the Cape are starting to taper off and apart from the odd isolated storm we should hopefully soon have settled weather and seas.

Fish-Wise

The early season cuda have arrived and some good catches have been made by fishermen inshore of Aliwal Shoal. They have been using mackerel for bait and some fish up to sixteen kilograms have been caught. Some big shoals of tropicals on Landers and 18 fathoms but most of the fish are very small and not worth shooting. The odd kob still being landed and the Nebo wreck probably worth a look and Coopers Light. The pre-season run of cuda also evident on the north coast with spearos landing some of these fine eating fish. A thirty-five kilogram cuda was taken on the La mercy stretch by a ski fisherman during the month and will take some beating. Good catches of Queen mackerel coming out on the north coast with some fish making the eight kilogram mark.

Southern Mozambique

Ponta do Ouro has been working well when the wind does not blow too hard. Some big cuda on the inside reefs along with wahoo and sailfish. The Pinnacles are full of sharks and it is impossible to land a fish here under these circumstances.

Garrick Run

The garrick run has been very poor this year not only along the KZN coast but also for the Transkei coast. It is worrying to see so few fish migrating up the coast as by all accounts they come up here to spawn. Closed seasons during peak spawning times would be a good way to protect the stocks as they do for the shad here in Natal.

Protea banks

Not much happening here with the fishermen battling to get good catches with mostly small yellowfin tuna making up catches. The problem is the strong north south current running at three knots bringing in very cold water down to sixteen degrees on the bottom. This is keeping the sharks off the bottom as well so not a good spot to dive at present.

Aliwal Shoal

Basie is away for a month or two helping with the making of a movie where boats are involved and he is skippering for the film makers. I have been out to Aliwal a couple of times recently and it is a very hit or miss affair. Lots of dirty water inshore going out past the shoal making for undiveable conditions. The right current can bring in clean water very quickly and it has been very fishy under these circumstances with some big cuda and yellowfin tuna about plus some big ignoblis kingfish. Plenty of sharks about and with the chumming operators out daily you need to keep a good watch if you are diving in marginal viz.

Number 1 Reef

A 51kg sailfish was taken here recently by a spearo with lots of big tropicals making up catches. Some of the containers inshore and north of No1 are also worth a look with some grunter and kob about. Normally cleans up after a west and can be influenced by the harbour on spring lows depending on the current.

World Spearfishing Championships

The 2008 Worlds are now history with our guys proving they can take on the best and win all being equal. But as in most international sports politics plays a big role and things are not always as they seem. With the lessons learnt in 2008 South Africa should be a strong contender for a top place in the 2010 World spearfishing Championships.

Safe diving, John.