Monthly Spearfishing Report April 2010

With John being in the UK for the better part of the month he has asked me to fill in for him and write this month report which on the most part is pretty dismal to say the least.

Conditions on the KwaZulu-Natal coast have been pretty unseasonal with big fronts making there way up the coast accompanied by some typical winter southerly swell which had the surfers up early but canned any chance of a shore dive for most guys.

The water temp has also been unseasonably cold with reports of 18 degree water not uncommon on both the north and south coast. However when the weather gods have let up on there relentless onslaught some good fish have been taken and one particular that’s worth a mention Jaco’s 100kg+ marlin shot out off Aliwal. Great fish.

Lets hope that if the cold water stays around we’ll at least have a sardine run this year!

The shoal cuda have also not arrived in great numbers on our coast however as compensation there have been some crocs around with a few 30kg+ fish coming out in various fishing compos during the month. I have heard recent reports that further north at Vidal it’s been cooking on some days with shoal cuda bumping heads and boats landing 10 -15 fish in an outing with sharks and dolphins taking their fair share.

Bruce Mann from ORI came through to Pietermaritzburg and gave a talk hosted by the Maritzburg Skiboat Club on the Pondoland MPA (Marine Protected Area). The area consists of a 40 X 10km no take zone with adjacent exploitable areas. The study ORI has been conducting was to take four 2km2 areas of reef, 2 in the no take zone and 2 in the exploitable areas and fish using the same bait and tackle under the same conditions in all areas. Some interesting observations were the amount of fish caught per angler in the no take areas was nearly double than in the exploitable areas and the fish were generly  bigger. The main species tagged were Scotsman, black musselcracker, yellowbelly and catface rockcod with an overall recapture rate of 15.5% and one yellow belly being caught 9 times. The study has only been conducted over the last two years so it will be interesting what the spill over effect has on the exploitable areas.

2010 Nationals is due to kick off on Monday 3rd May hosted by Natal. The latest forecast is looking good and the water is around the 24 degree mark so hopefully we’ll get four days diving in and see some good fish bought to the weigh in. The Croatian Team has arrived and will be participating in the nationals then diving a test match on the 8th against a South African team that will be selected from the nationals results. Good luck to all teams and divers participating, see you on the water.