Report for Spearfishing May 2001

May 2001

May is the start of the winter months here in Natal, our winters being mild with land temperatures rarely dropping below 10c and average day temperatures of 26c. The winter months, may - august, are also the best diving months with most river mouths closed and generally settled wind conditions. The average sea temperature is around 20c with pockets of colder water encountered. The colder water heralds the start of the winter gamefish migrations up the east coast from cooler southern waters, probably to spawn here in Kwazulu Natal. Garrick, geelbek and kob are the 3 main gamefish with the runs peaking in june/july/august. The weather was a bit dicy at the beginning of may and there was still a large swell lurking about, evidence of some large storm far out to sea. Things had settled down by the 10th and clean calm seas were the order of the day for most of the remaining days. The north coast never really came alive with yellow cold water out on the bottom anywhere past 50 foot. The first garrick have already been seen as far north as Tinley, but they are not in any numbers yet. The odd big queen mackeral is being taken at selection, with reef fish very scarce on the north coast. A fish worthy of mention was a 4.6kg dageraad speared at Umdloti. South from Durban was the place to dive with the athlone ledge and scottburg having cuda action and clean water conditions. Aliwal Shoal has been diveable in 15-25m viz with light currents. The wahoo do not seem to have moved in yet as they normally have by this time. Perhaps it has something to do with the mozambique floods and the large amounts of silt and fresh water in the inshore areas. The lower south coast has also been clean on the odd day and some very good bags of fish have been taken. The sardine shoals are very much in evidence off the transkei coast and the shark nets in the ramsgate area southwards have already been lifted(25th) due to sardine activity. The sharks board are going to have their sardine hot line again, no details available yet, but once the action starts, just phone the sharks board. Last year the reports were very good with sardine activity reported along with shark and dolphin numbers. Counts are done from the air and shark species such as great whites are identified.