Monthly Spearfishing Report September 2005

Monthly Report – September 2005

Conditions

More settled than August with some fair viz moving in along certain sections of the coast. Weekend divers managing to get their feet wet if they were prepared to travel. Temperatures are all around the 20c mark with patches of colder water about on the bottom. A wet summer predicted by the weather office so boat diving might be the only option once the rains start. Still plenty of big fronts blowing up the coast from the Cape with the attendant strong south westerly winds.

Catches

Deep Scottburgh providing some good spearing with the black musselcrackers moving onto deep cracker and plenty of reef fish about. The odd early cape yellowtail taken but not many gamefish being landed with the prospect of the garrick run coming alive again in November on the lower south coast. The odd snoek being landed in the Tinley area but gamefish hunters are in for a lean couple of months.

South Pier

This spot is probably one of the best spots to hunt brusher along the Natal coast and is best dived from a boat. It is however virtually impossible to dive this spot owing to the unruly element living on the south pier. To spear here now is to literally risk your life with the unsavoury types on the pier throwing bricks and trying to gaff you with large treble hooks whilst you are in the water. It seems crazy that the water police are happy with such a dangerous element occupying the pier, considering the risk factor that they could pose to shipping with firearms evident amongst them..

Cape Vidal

This area has gone very quiet with cold water spoiling conditions and the gamefish very wary and uninterested. You need to launch as early as possible if you hope to see any action at Leven Point. The fish go off very quickly and then you may aswell head for camp. Vidal is very good in December/January again when the water temperatures rise and the shoal cuda make an appearance. Sad to see the Dolphin supermarket on what appears to be it’s last legs. Before the Spar opened this was the only supermarket in St Lucia and was a hive of activity. The owner was very friendly to spearos and used to allow us to freeze our fish for nothing so long as we gave him the odd packet of fish roe.

Remembering St Lucia Ski-Boat Club

This launch provides access to Lighthouse Reef, a mere 11km down the coast and a fantastic spearfishing spot. The pinnacle at 12m dropping to 27m was frequented by a host of gamefish and this area when clean was probably one of the best diving spots along the coast. Some days large natal snoek used to pass here in big shoals with the spearos getting good bags whilst the expensive charter boats caught nothing as the fish were not taking baits or lures. This was bad for business and the charter skippers went to great lengths to try and have us banned from launching. This entailed bringing in a minimum boat size, locking the gate, blocking us in and generally making a nuisance of themselves.

Mozambique News

The windy months are coming to an end for the northern islands and this can be a very good time of year in this part of Mozambique. Plenty of spearos wanting to hunt and experience the adventure of these remote islands but finding boats to hire that are prepared to operate in this area is not easy. The Inhambane area can still be a bit windy during October with the better months being November into December when the crystal water moves in and rising temperatures mean an increase in gamefish activity.

Eastcoast Rock Lobster

October is the last month of the season for the harvesting of the eastcoast rock lobster, with the new season opening again on the 1 March the following year. A lot of the females are in berry (with eggs) this time of year and it can be frustrating working hard to catch a big lobster only to find it with berry. A big female can have as many as a million eggs ready for fertilization stored beneath her tail and it is important not to take any lobster that are in berry. Not only because it is illegal but also for the continued good stocks that we are lucky to experience along our coast.

Safe diving, John.