Monthly Spearfishing Report February 2002

February 2002

The Cuda Classic competition being run by Wahoo Dive Club has been postponed twice and is now set for the 10 March. Poor inshore conditions together with the absence of the cuda(king mackerel) made any result impossible. With the competition being a boat or shore dive it gives some indication of how poor conditions have been along most of the Kwazulu Natal coast for the month of February. Shore divers have been very limited with just the odd day diveable. Aliwal Shoal has been less erratic with some good days with water visibility of 20m+. Some good fish have been boated from the wrecks with giant kingfish and kob providing the excitement. The wahoo are still putting in an odd appearance around the northeast pinnacle and some yellowfin tuna have been landed.

The first of the Natal trials for the selection of the teams to take part in the nationals was held in the Aliwal area on the 2 February. Conditions were perfect with 25m+ visibility with no current and warm water. The results are tabled below.

1 BLIGNAUT, JACU 17 48.3 64.1 100
2 BURMESTER, RYAN 19 65.2 59.8 93.29
3 HAZEL,GARY 17 39.4 55.8 87.05
4 PLAGANYI, GYULA 22 33.5 55.5 86.58
5 CLINT 13 27 39.8 62.09
6 HESLOP,CRAIG 8 14.7 22.7 35.41
7 GREG 8 9 17 26.52
8 BRUNO,RICHARD 5 10.8 15.8 24.65
9 COCKBURN,DAVE 3 7.4 10.4 16.22

The points system is one point per species plus a point per kilogram or part thereof. The fish of the competition was a 24kg black musselcracker weighed in by Ryan Burmester. The second trial was dived on the 23 February in much less inviting conditions. Visibility was 5-6m with cold water on the bottom and a raging north to south current. The results are tabled below.

1 ANT DUNNE 13 36.65 46.85 100 2.82
2 HAZEL,GARY 15 30.35 45 96.05 2.02
3 GREG 14 29.1 43.1 92 2.08
4 BURMESTER, RYAN 13 27.55 39.7 84.74 2.12
5 PLAGANYI, GYULA 12 28 37.9 80.9 2.33
6 BLIGNAUT, JACU 12 21.25 33.25 70.97 1.77
7 JOHN LITTLE 7 11.2 18.2 38.85 1.6
8 JOHN GIRZDA 7 9.86 16.86 35.99 1.41
9 RICHARD BRUNO 5 7.3 12.3 26.25 1.46

Despite conditions being very trying, some good bags were weighed in. The fish of the competition was a 6.7kg dusky rubberlip landed by Ant Dunne .

The cuda run has been pretty thin so far this year with not many fish being speared or caught by the boat anglers when compared to the same period last year. With water temperatures starting to stabilize on the north coast things could soon liven up and this is probably one of the areas to keep an eye on for diveable water. The Bluff to Warners stretch has had a lot of snoek(queen mackerel) action with fish up to 4kgs being taken. Cape Vidal has been producing cuda for the early morning hunters and lighthouse reef off Mapelane has provided some good catches when diveable water is found. The lower south coast is still experiencing some cold patches of water with the sharks board report of the 25 February giving the Shelly-Ramsgate area as 18c. This up and down temperature yo-yo does not suit the fish and is probably one of the reasons for the lack of cuda on the inshore reefs.

The South African spearfishing nationals are being held in the `Hole in the Wall` area on the Transkei coast from the 20-24 July. Looking back on the past three years, big wests have been the order of the day for this period along the Kwazulu Natal coastline. The nationals are always hotly contested with the top 10 or so divers going forward to dive Springbok trials. From these trials a national squad will be chosen to represent South Africa at the world championships. They are taking place in Brazil in November. With the standard of diving getting higher and higher, we stand a chance of some good placings.

A date worth noting is the annual Wahoo Winter Gamefish competition being held at Cape Vidal in May. The dates are 24, 25 and 26. See you there!

To end, any diver who has landed some big gamefish should take a look at the Gamefish Merit Board and see if they are eligible. If you meet the criteria, send your photos and we will gladly include your catch. Safe diving, john.