Close Encounter with a Zambezi Shark by Warren Bennett

Long Shot

I went for a dive on the north coast after work yesterday, the viz was pretty good so I swam out to a drop-off in 22m of water in search of some gamefish. The water on the bottom was cold and that horrible yellow colour but the first 15m or so was a decent 10-12m viz. After a few dives and spotting two big Yellow Belly's of around 5kgs I was busy relaxing on the surface getting ready for my next down when a Cuda of around 18kgs swam under me. I dived and gave chase after the skittish fish and managed to place a long shot into the middle of the fish.

Unwelcome Surprise

The fish took of with great speed pulling me around for 5mins or so. When the fish finally gave up the fight I dived down to retrieve the fish off the bottom. Just as I had the spear in my hand with the fish a mere metre out of reach, a Zambezi of over 150kgs raced in front of me showing no regard for my presence, grabbed hold of the middle of my fish, ripping the spear from my grasp and dragging my spear, speargun and buoy under water for 20m or so before the spear pulled and the buoy returned to the surface.

Round Two

The shark was now out of visibility and I thought had swam off happy with his easy dinner, when out of no where it swam right up to me again, I assume hoping I had some more dinner for it. It buzzed me for a minute or so swimming circles around me after which it settled to 8m below me just swimming slowly around me.

Time to Go

It was getting dark so I decided to call it a day. The shark followed me for about 400m until I was in shallow water of 6-8m when it finally turned around and disappeared out to sea. The strange thing was that I did not see a single small grey the whole time I was out there; I guess they hide when those big Zambezi's are around.

Zambies are Back

Whilst on the topic of sharks, a mate of mine was fishing for sharks at Umdloti Main Beach on Tuesday afternoon. He swam two live grey sharks as live bait, the result was one Zambezi landed of over 100kgs and another shark that stripped him to the drum, leaving him with an empty reel and having to go home to fight another day. Be warned, the Zambies are back!!!

Safe diving,
Warren Bennett.