Index Archive January 2006 to June 2006

(30-May-06) Wahoo Winter Gamefish Boogie

The Annual Winter Gamefish Competition at Vidal will be held on the 9th - 11th June. You can get an entry for here.

Good reading, the Monthly Report has ben posted by John.

(07-May-06) Nationals 2006 Fish Stats and Results

April report back has been posted.

Some interesting stats on the last Nationals in Port Elizabeth. Fish species Cape Recife to Sardinia. You can download the full results here as an Excel Spread Sheet

April 2006. 72 divers 2 days @ 6 hours each.

Avg. Gutted Weight
1 Cape Knifejaw
2 Bronze Bream
3 Red Roman
4 Red Stumpnose
5 Baardman
6 Zebra
7 Jutjaw
8 Galjoen
9 John Brown
10 Poensie
11 Bankie
12 Brusher  
13 Santer
14 Yellowtail
15 Goatfish
16 Bonito
17 Butter 
18 Yellowbelly
19 Red Steenbras
20 White Steenbras
21 Englishman
22 Pink Bankie
23 Scotsman
24 Hottentot
  1. Average number of fish per diver per day is 5.
  2. Total hours analysed is 864.
  3.  Top 10 common fish comprise 85% of number by species.
  4.  Rules for these stats were 1 fish per species per diver per day.
  5.  These were the top 70 divers in the country.

We have uploaded the new photos sent to us in the gallery.

(20-Apr-06) Nationals 2006

Nationals 2006 were hosted by Western Province in Port Elizabeth. John has written a report back.

(14-Apr-06) Hibiscus Inter Club Challenge

The Hibiscus Underwater Club is hosting a competition to be held on the 29 April 2006. The area is from the Umkomaas River to Port Edward. You can download an Entry form here.

New photos in the gallery, thats for sharing your photos.

(12-Apr-06) Better late than never!

Apologies to all our readers for the long delay between updates, unfortunately we have to work for a living and this often gets in the way of the important stuff like spearfishing.

John's monthly report is up as usual with interesting news and reading.

Congrats to Basie who shot a 35.5 kg Wahoo on the 29th of march off Aliwal Shoal. We have updated his merit board.

The South African Spearfishing Records have been updated to include the 2005 records

(28-Mar-06) Recreational lobster divers needed!

The Oceanographic Research Institute is running a lobster volunteer programme and needs the help of recreational divers. The aim of this project is to asses the health of the East Coast rock lobster population and they require recreational divers to report on their catches after each dive.

Reporting is done on a voluntary basis and volunteer divers will still have to adhere to all the fishing regulations. Information they require is the date and location of the diving trip, the size (or weight) and sex of lobsters caught during the dive. Other information about diving conditions or lobster population will also be helpful.

Anyone interested in providing this information that currently has a recreational lobster permit, can email Erika Steyn or phone her on 031 328 8160.

(27-Feb-06) February 2006 Report Back

The monthly report from John for February has been posted.

(26-Feb-06) Natal Midlands National Trials

Natal Midlands held their 2nd trial on 18 February to pick teams to go to Nationals that are being held in Port Elizabeth from the 2 to 6 April 2006. The area dived was Hibberdene with a choppy sea making for a difficult launch. Visibility was good with reef being seen in 70 foot and lots of reef fish about. A strong north-south current made it impossible to stay on a spot and drifts were done over two hotspots in 65 foot. Lots of fish but a scratch to find the 10 species needed to get your ten weighers. Due to a late start the competition was shortened to four and a half hours as opposed to the normal time of 6 hours.

Results as follows:

John Little 20.31 points 100%
Dave Coetzee 11.48 points 56%
Craig Burmeister 9.62 Points 47%
Greg Bissett 8.10 points 40%
Danie van Huysstun 0 points Did not dive

Natal Midlands will be sending two teams down to Nationals in Port Elizabeth scheduled for the 2 – 6 April 2006. An ‘A’ side and a development side.

Natal Trials Team

This is the natal team selected from 4 trails. Guyla is diving for Southern KZN so has not been selected which means that there will not be sufficient divers to send a C side

Craig Heslop 67.95% 73.60% 74.14% 100.00% 315.69% 247.74% 82.58%
A Team
Graham Carlisle 100.00% 64.50% 0.00% 72.17% 236.67% 236.67% 78.89%
A Team
Gyula Plagani 0.00% 100.00% 100.00%   200.00% 200.00% 66.67%
Angelo Spada 0.00% 80.18% 49.60% 59.26% 189.04% 189.04% 63.01%
A Team
John Girzda 81.40% 75.80%     157.20% 157.20% 52.40%
B Team
Owen Tessendorf 41.70%     91.86% 133.56% 133.56% 44.52%
B Team
Geraad Vosloo 64%     59% 123.22% 123.22% 41.07%
B Team
Jaco 0.00%   84.20%   84.20% 84.20% 28.07%
JP 30%       30.00% 30.00% 10.00%

Photo Gallery

We have some new photos in the gallery, to those who sent in photos thanks very much and sorry i took so long to get them up.

(13-Feb-06) Photos

New photos up in the Photo Gallery.

(01-Feb-06) Natal Trials

Natal Trials was dived on Deep Scottburgh on Saturday and had good conditions despite a forecasted strong NE which didn’t materialize. Results as follows:

  1. Gyula 45.12 points 100%
  2. Angelo 36.18 points 80.2%
  3. John Girzda 34.2 points 75.8%
  4. Craig Heslop 33.2 points 73.6%
  5. Graeme Carlisle 29.11 points 64.5%

It was disappointing to see such a poor turnout and hopefully the remaining two trials will see more competitors pitching. Part of the reason for the lower numbers this year is that Pietermaritzburg has split to form its own province called Natal Midlands which normally accounted for a boat load of trialists.

Natal Midlands Trials

Natal Midlands held their first trial of the season and their first trial ever as a spearfishing union on the 28 January 2006. The trial was dived off Umdloti with 5 contestants taking part. Poor conditions made for a difficult 6 hour dive scratching for fish with cold water and a big swell churning up the bottom. Only pinnacles that rose above the yellow muck on the bottom held any chance of a fish being seen let alone speared as the fish were very skittish.

  1. John Little 17.5 points 100%
  2. Greg Bisset 14.1 points 80.6%
  3. Craig Burmeister 8.4 points 48.0%
  4. Dave Coetzee 6.2 points 35.4%
  5. Danie van Huysstun 5.0 points 28.6%

More news in Johns monthly report posted here.

(27-Jan-06) DUC Annual Gamefish open

DUC is having its Annual Gamefish open on the 4th of March 2006. You can download an entry form here.

We also have some new photos posted in the Photo Gallery.

A report back from Johan Jacobs on Cape Spearing was posted here.

(05-Jan-06) Report on Diving Death by Basie Ackermann

Francios Swanepoel's (single - staying in Scottburgh after moving down from Free State a couple of months ago) body was found off Scottburgh main beach round about the 5th December 2005 - I was on the beach when it happened, but not 100% sure of the date. It was in that week. It was seen floating on backline, lifeguards went out on a duck to tow the body back to the beach - badly bloated and decomposed. Face and hand were eaten away by crabs etc. (had been in the ocean for 2 weeks), but body intact in wetsuit and weight-belt still on. I couldn't see any signs of a shark attack, even post mortem. No bite marks.

My take on this (knowing the area extremely well - I live here, and dive Back Beach very regularly):
Taking into consideration the extremely rough conditions on the day he went missing (big easterly swell and 20knot east), his inexperience (only been diving a couple of months) and the big rip he swam out in off Back Beach, his weight belt (+-10kg!) still being on when found and reports from people seeing him struggle. My opinion is he drowned due to either; 1) Panic - realizing surf was way too rough for him and trying to swim back against the rip -( his float never made it past backline, and gun was unloaded when found on beach just south of where he swam out) and then drowning or 2) due to a medical reason brought on by exertion of swimming in rough seas, and drowning.

For a fact I can tell you that there was no shark attack, as reported by the over- zealous, ill-informed and sensationalistic media, and the sad turn of events boils down to lack of experience, in my opinion. He should never have dived in those conditions - none of us down here even considered it a diveable day and he was way overweighted. It is a great pity. Condolences to family and friends.

Basie Ackermann

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