Our day in the land of the friendly people by Danie van Hyssteen

Inhambane, Mozambique

Danie van HyssteenDave, John and myself recently took a trip up to Inhambane to get away from it all and get some good spearing done together with the fishermen Gary, Paul, Leon and our running commentator, Todd(Gary’s 8 year old son). The trip started off with a few hickups, like usual, but soon we were on our way and after a full days travelling we arrived at Gary’s cottage, tired and drained, but happy to be there and looking forward to the days to come.

Spearos 0, Fishermen 1

We were blessed with a wonderfull day weather wise, which lasted throughout our stay, and everything was sorted out. Boats fuelled up, gear sorted we tried Kings the afternoon. Soon the fisherman started pulling them out, Big eyes. I saw three yellow tails coming past at speed and some small seapike. We ended up with an empty hatch. Spearo’s 0, Fisherman 1. There was a lot of plankton in the water resulting in lots of bait fish, resulting in lots of gamies feeding. The fish were just not interested in anything else than feeding, making the fishermens day off course.

Black Marlin

Day 2 saw us going out to one of the pinnacles. John decided to go hunting with his new video camera. Taking clips of Dave and myself diving and hopefully shooting something so he can make us famous. Unfortunately he almost always chose the wrong person to go down with and only managed to get some footage of us bringing up some fish, nice though with the shark action and soforth (Oh yes, we did manage to shoot some fish that day!!). The fisherman didn’t have any luck and they opted too go look for fishier spots, maybe they should have stuck around… Doing some long deep dives, Dave got a nice Kaakap and myself a Fulvie and cuta. It wasn’t that productive, until I came up from one dive and saw John and Dave to my side. A movement caught my eye and John dived quickly and started filming. A good sized Black marlin came cruising in, Dave also noticed it and dived down, but the beast just carried on on his way and Dave didn’t manage to get a shot in. I saw this whole episode playing like a film in front of me, it was awesome, my first sight of a marlin. My day was made and we decided to pack it up.

Fishermen Ahead

The next few days saw us diving the point and other spots getting some cuta, kaakap and the odd kingie. The fishermen on the other hand were clubbing it, getting personal bests and making us more envious. They were landing 18kg cuta, 10+ kingies and the sorts. We really needed a special day to get our revenge, and we had to wait to the very last day of diving/fishing, hoping this will be the day.

Spearfishermans Dream

We started early at the point, got a few cuta, and then it switched off, dead I tell you! We then left for the pinnacle, knowing the tides are about to change and hoping for not too strong current. When we arrived conditions were perfect. We dropped the marker bouy and prepared for some serious diving. The first drift, and we could see the cloud of bait fish at the end where the current hit the reef. As we approached it I breathed up and dived through the bait fish. Below them it opened up to be gamie paradise!! The first shot went off and Dave had a nice 10+ cuta at the end of his spear.

The Mike Tyson look

 As he came up he shouted for me to dive as more cuta were shoaling around the injured one, like cape yellow tail does. Just before I dove his shouting changed, an Iggy came up from the depths to have a go at his cuta!! I dived to meet the intruder and he changed his line and came for me, three times he made this mocking gesture as to say “what do you think you going to do?”.(I nicknamed this behaviour as the Mike Tyson look!) Eventually he started passing under me and I got a good shot in through the top coming out under the gills. Of course now the fight was on!! He took my gun with a 1 meter bungie on the gun side and 30 meter line with a 3 meter bungie on the bouy side. Fortunately we were off the reef and after  some time I managed to land the fish, my biggest Iggy, 20kg!!

Brindle Bass trouble

John LittleJohn speared another Iggy which unfortunately managed to get chomped and reefed up by an outsized Brindle. This was the second meal after taking Daves Iggy. The decision was made to sort out the problem as John’s gun was inside the cave with the monster. At 24 meter and with a decent current this posed to be quite a problem. After Dave did a few dives, John and myself went down with me “covering” John just in case. We were all a bit intimidated by this monster. Hanging in 20 meters covering John it was like a liquorice allsorts down there, 10+ kg bluefin Kingies, big Fulvies, Yellowtails, Cuta and then I saw the school of Iggys, 30 or more nothing less than 10 kg!!! We managed to get Johns gun out, but then things changed.

Conditions Change

The current changed and it went dead. Doing a few more drifts with Dave on the boat, John and I decided to do one or two drops before packing it up. I did another dive and when I came up saw no one around! The swell was picking up and I was 10 km offshore! After some serious looking I saw the boat, very small at that stage, some distance away. What the hell was going on? After some time they came back with me trying to hide my relief and I jumped on the boat just to find there was almost no space for me.

Nice Wahoo Plus Another Marlin

 John had speared this brute of a fish, a 32kg Wahoo!! while I was sitting at +/- 15 meter of water, and I didn’t even hear the shot!! Now this day was just getting better and better and I decided I’ll be top man so Dave can get his big one to round the day off. It wasn’t long before I heard John shout “Marlin, Marlin !!” I looked around and saw the tail come out the water, unfortunately away from the guys in the water. Apparently it passed right under Dave without him seeing it, just showing you that they are more often around than you think. With all that action we all decided to call it a day. We had our revenge on the fishermen.

A Great Sport

A day like this might come around once or even more than once in your life, some guys never experience it, but it is to be appreciated in every sense with the fish stocks dropping through illegal fishing methods and people just raping the oceans for their own benefit. We were blessed to be able to experience just such a day and I am glad I shared it with true mates. It will stay with me and everytime I have a 2M, I will think back to this day we had in the land of the friendly people.   

Danie diver