Aliwal Shoal Report December 2008 - Basie Ackermann

Let me start by apologising to all the regular readers of my report (all three of you) for not producing the goods.  October’s report was bludgeoned to death by some ‘insurgents’ from the Eskom Army and died a gruesome, unexpected death in the arms of my motherboard ( again), and in November I was away. 

General Conditions

This month was a bit of an extreme display of conditions. We started off with a bang. North south current, 12-15m visibility and 25 degrees Celsius water temperatures.   Blue Mozambique Channel water pushing in, with some days of 40m visibility and highest recorded temperature of 27 degrees Celsius. Water, not air.

Then the fairy tale ended on the 15th. Current swung slightly offshore and pulled the muddy Umkomaas river water out, saturating right down to the bottom, and the visibility dropped to 6m. Even bigger surprise the next day when this was combined with some seriously cold upwelling.  0-2m visibility and 16(!) degrees Celsius.  No current. These marvellous conditions lasted a solid week, and since then has slightly improved to 20 degrees and 6-8m green gorilla snot. Roll on summer. There was a slight improvement at year end, with 12-15m with a light south north current and 23 degrees Celsius.

Fish Wise

All the action happened in the first two weeks. For obvious reasons. No self respecting fish will be seen in the crap we’ve had the last two weeks. Some good sized Ignobilis around, with Emil Pirzenthal doing his bit and landing good specimens ranging from 18-38kgs.  Smallish Wahoo also attended faithfully in shoals, with Paul Putter and crew boating 5 in the 8-mid 20 kgs on a perfect day (7th) in perfect conditions. Emil shot a pair of Dorado, 18 and 19 kgs respectively, and a 22 kg Wahoo and saw 5 different Marlin. Obviously a cooking day.  And what were you doing on the 7th????

On the 8th a fishing boat got 9 Yellowfin Tuna, Emil once again in there with two Dorado and some smaller Ignobilis. Gerhard Vosloo had an early morning drift and landed an approx 20kg Yellowfin and 12-14kg Cuda.

Guyla Plaganyi shot a nice 40 kg Yellowfin on the 11th, with some cuda, Wahoo and Dorado. Ferdie Burger visited the Nebo in 30m visibility on the 12th and landed a 25kg Salmon, with Neels shooting a 35kg Sailfish.  Happy days were here, and then it all changed.

All in all it was a good  start to summer, with good prospects, and once the sea stops being confused and starts finding  itself, the potential should be there for a good fishy 2009. I hope you will be part of that.

Enjoy the ocean!

Basie Ackermann