Monthly Spearfishing Report October 2002

October 2002

All Quiet on the Eastern Front

Not a good month for diving here in Kwazulu Natal with a lot of windy days making for churned up inshore conditions. I counted eight westerly fronts pushing in from the Cape and with the attendant north easterly winds associated with these fronts, there were few calm days. Lots of upwelling caused by these strong winds so even when diveable water is found, the temperature is way down and there are few fish to be had. Garrick are still about as are the Brusher(white musselcracker), so diving in marginal visibility can still produce some exciting dives. Not much action out at Aliwal Shoal with churned up conditions making for poor visibility and unsettled seas keeping most divers away. No news from Cape Vidal but this can be a good month up there fish wise if the wind lets you launch.

JellyFish Herald Good Cuda Run

In the past, jellyfish were always a welcome sight to the south pier anglers. These seasoned fishermen knew from previous years that good runs of jellyfish, so to speak, always heralded a good cuda run. These guys spent their days watching the sea and its habits and these conclusions were drawn from many years of experience. With the large amounts of jellyfish around this year, we should be in for a bumper run, if their theory holds true.

Jolly Rubino Set to Stay

The threat of environmental pollution is over, now all that remains is an eyesore to some and an item of interest to others. The wreck of the Jolly Rubino will be tidied up and any salvageable parts removed. The hull will be left intact where it lies.

Two New Parks in Mozambique

The Mozambican Government has recently extended the Bazaruto Archipelago National Park from 600 sq km to almost 1400 sq km. The Quirimbas National Park in the far north of the country has also been established comprising 1500 sq km of marine protected areas and 6000 sq km of land area. To look at these parks go to www.worldwildlife.org/expeditions/mozambique. Creating these reserves safeguards the environment but they need to be patrolled. A recent picture in the Getaway magazine of a large foreign longliner brazenly going about its business in the Bazaruto Archipelago highlights the need for this.

Foreign Fish Quotas a thing of the Past for S.A

The Government is no longer granting fishing permits to foreign vessels wanting to fish in our territorial waters. The 12 permits issued to Taiwanese vessels expire at the end of the year and are not being renewed. Japan has 55 permits that are being phased out over a sixth month period. Lets hope the Government sticks to its guns over this issue. But again, without proper patrolling of our territorial waters, there must be a number of foreign vessels fishing illegally as the rich rewards outweigh the small risks involved of being caught.

Sport Dominated by a Single Diver

As can be seen from the history below, Tommy Botha dominated the sport over a 19 year period which is quite amazing. In the past 42 years, Western Province won the Nationals 22 times, Natal 13 times and Border twice. There is a 12% possibility of Nationals not being dived due mainly to bad weather.

History of the South African Spearfishing Nationals

Year Location Top Province Top Placed Individual Biggest Fish Shot
1961 Durban Natal Not recorded Sandshark 60.9kg
1962 Umgazana Border Not recorded Poenskop 14.5kg
1963 Salt Rock Bad weather - no dive Not dived  
1964 Cape Point Western Province W. Pengelly Roman 3.6kg
1965 Plettenberg Bay Western Province Brian Clark Red Steenbras 36.4kg
1966 Durban Natal Brian Clark Kob 23.9kg
1967 Ponta Tofu Western Province Brian Clark Kingfish 31.4kg
1968 False Bay Western Province Brian Clark Yellowtail 15.9kg
1969 Coffee Bay Western Province Brian Clark Kob 20.2kg
1970 Port Elizabeth Western Province Brian Clark Yellowtail 14.1kg
1971 False Bay Western Province Laurie Plumridge Red Stumpnose 3.6kg
1972 Ponta Malangane Western Province Jannie Smit Coral Trout 14.5kg
1973 Durban Natal David Maltby Cuda 15.5kg
1974 Port Elizabeth Western Province Peter Marx Yellowtail 18.5kg
1975 False Bay Western Province John Hughes Roman 3.5kg
1976 Lake Kariba Natal Peter Dexter Vundu 26.4kg
1977 Sodwana Natal Peter Dexter  
1978 Coffee Bay Natal Anthony Benjamin  
1979 Port Elizabeth Western Province Tommy Botha  
1980 Struisbaai Western Province Tommy Botha  
1981 Plettenberg Bay Western Province Tommy Botha  
1982 Cape St Francis Bad weather - no dive Not dived  
1983 Durban Western Province Tommy Botha  
1984 Glengariff Western Province Philip De Bruin  
1985 Port Elizabeth Border Tommy Botha  
1986 Struisbaai Western Province Tommy Botha  
1987 Knysna Natal Tommy Botha  
1988 Durban Western Province Colin Walker Tiger Rockcod 15.0kg
1989 Kenton on Sea Western Province Tommy Botha  
1990 Port Elizabeth Western Province Tommy Botha Bank Steenbras 9.2kg
1991 Plettenberg Bay Western Province Philip De Bruin Poenskop 15.5kg
1992 Scottsburgh Natal John Girzda Kob 15.0kg
1993 Stilbaai Western Province Charl Blignaut Musselcracker 10.0kg
1994 Struisbaai Western Province Bertie Meyer Bank Steenbras 6.5kg
1995 Port Elizabeth Natal Tommy Botha Musselcracker 10.3kg
1996 Hole in the Wall Natal Len De Beer  
1997 Durban Natal Tommy Botha  
1998 Stilbaai Natal B James Vine Poenskop 13.5kg
1999 Hole in the Wall Natal B Jaco Blignaut  
2000 Cape St Francis Bad weather - no dive Not dived  
2001 Bird Island Insufficient divers Not dived  
2002 Hole in the Wall Bad weather - no dive Not dived  

Change to Springbok side

Due to work commitments, Ant Dunne was unable to go to the World Champs and Ryan Bermester has filled in for him. I am really rooting for our side and feel that we have a chance for a good placing. I hope to have a full write-up in the next report.

Hopes for November

Another iffy month for diving with strong winds and the possibility of some big rain storms. A good month for garrick on the south coast and the giant yellowtail are also around. This 38kg monster was shot in New Zealand and is enough to get any divers heart racing.

38kg giant yellowtail shot by Haydn in New Zealand

There is the possibility of some early season cuda action on the north coast with Sheffield being a good spot to dive. Safe diving, john.