Monthly Spearfishing Report September 2008

Conditions

A windy start to the month for much of the South African coast with big seas closing the N2 highway in the Port Elizabeth area and damage done to many beach-front properties along the Cape coast. Waves were measured at nine meters by the South African Weather Service along the southern Cape coast. Veld fires causing billions of rands worth of damage across the country in the dry windy conditions. Seems like the big blows we were expecting in July/August are making their appearance in September with north-easterly winds followed by strong south westerlies and snow on the Burg towards the end of the month. September turned out to be a very windy month with not many diveable days and fairly rough seas. Sea temperatures not getting much above 20c but will start to warm-up by the end of October.

Fish-Wise

Not much news as not a lot of diving done due to the windy conditions. The Bluff still working for cracker(white musselcracker) when conditions allow and the Deep Scottburgh reefs holding lots of bottoms. The grunter migration southwards happens around this time of year and most of these migrating fish are in the five to seven kg range. The Barge can be a very good spot along with the Umhlanga wreck for these fine eating fish.

CMAS

Quite pathetic really when you go on their site and look under spearfishing and they have no news with the Spearfishing World Championships a little over a month away. Nothing about location or dates and this from the world governing body. A few years back they tried to have spearfishing ruled out of their sphere of activities so makes you wonder if they really have our best interests at heart.

Tag and Release

Had some interesting feedback on the tag and release story. Seems like in the States where fishing and related industries are big business earning over 100 Billion dollars a year, tag and released fish mostly survive. With that type of money involved I suppose anything is possible. But in East African seas when you release an exhausted fish and add blood into the equation the chances of survival are very slim.

White Musselcracker

The minimum size for this fish is 60cm and this equates to a weight of 5kg. The smaller fish have a pointed mouth where bigger fish have a much rounder mouth. Important to get used to judging under-size fish as it is a pity to waste a fish.

Caught Red-Handed

A Marine and Coastal Management inspector was recently arrested for being in possession of R115000 worth of perlemoen and is out on R500 bail pending his court appearance along with his co accused. The inspector had false number plates on the MCM vehicle he was entrusted with for catching the very villains he was in cahoots with. Lets hope this is an isolated incident.

Wahoo Dive Club

One of the few clubs in South Africa dedicated solely to the sport of spearfishing. They have been at their present location at blue lagoon for over twenty five years with a rich history of top spearfishermen and interesting characters. They are currently in talks with Durban Undersea Club which was started by spearfishermen in the early fifties. Plan is for Wahoo club to amalgamate with DUC. DUC is one of the three water sports clubs located within the Point Development and have been battling developers for years to remain where they are currently located. Plan is for the three clubs to be housed in one new clubhouse in what has become prime real-estate.

Sodwana Bay

Spoke to John Matambu, a local at Sodwana, and though conditions have been very poor with strong winds and rough seas, there have been a lot of fish coming out. Some greater amberjack up to 40kg with lots of longfin yellowtail(tropicals) and yellowfin tuna. Fishermen also getting fair catches of sailfish. Water temperatures at 22c by month end and should start warming up soon.

Cape Vidal

Spearos lucky enough to find settled conditions are getting some good fish up at Leven Point. Mark Keyser was up there towards the end of the month and managed three wahoo all over the twenty kilogram mark. Not many cuda about but queen mackerel should also be a good bet on the shallow reef.

World Spearfishing Championships

News in is that Jaco, Jules and Allan are based on Isla Margarita where the spearfishing worlds is to take place from the 23 to 26 October 2008. Scouting has been going well with warm clean water the order of the day and things are looking good.

Safe diving, John.