Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Spearfishing Bliss

Well its a lovely day in Africa, the sea is clean the sun is shining and 80% of the country is on strike!! That means some of the mates are taking the day off and enjoying the bliss.

I went for a quicky and got a Grunter of about 5kg, and saw a baby Dagga.

There was abit of swell so I am sure the guys got some waves aswell. In fact when we got to the beach a mate of mine was there with his fishing ski, telling us how much easier there are compared to swimming out. After 4 tries he left his ski on the beach and swam to the spot. Never the less we beat him to the spot and there was a little jesting going on about the ski story. ..... every man for his own I suppose!!

Here is something amazing .... Eric Allard who shot that awsome Dog Tooth Tuna up at Tanga also sent this pic of his Rob Allen Roto Moulded Foam Filled Float that got crushed when the Doggie took it down. Rob said that the float is designed to be able to handle 40m with no effect on the buoy. Read Erics response to Rob ...very interesting!!

Rob Allen Roto Moulded Foam Filled Float, crushed at 60meters.

Hi Rob,

I may be off by 5 m at the most on the depth of the second float. It was down there with line fully extended and no less than 10 m from the surface (if not 15 m), so the depth the first float was at must have been somewhere between 50 - 60 m down.

The fish was in Tanga. It is my favourite and most productive Tanga spot about 5 nm offshore, and about 1.5 nm off the outer reefs (so about 3.5 nm from shore to the outer reefs). I start my drifts where the bottom is about 100 m (it drops fast to below 120 m further south from where I get in the water, and am not quite sure how much further below that still further south) and drift onto a shelf that flattens out at 38 - 40 m. This has been a very very productive spot and is where I have speared several yellowfin in the years past, when the mantis prawns were around until 2004, plenty of wahoo, my black marlin, sail, and where I have seen these doggies before. The problem there is that the doggies don't seem to be interested in the flashers as they are at Latham (that is what was so amazing at Latham, as they come right up to the flashers in schools from a bottom of about 50 - 70m).

The current heads north and there are thick schools of unicorn fish and rainbow runner right on the slope. Before you hit the slope, and throughout the drift (which is about 500 m long from the time you get in the water to the time you get back on the boat) it is likely to see the wahoo. As you hit the slope, you dive into these thick schools. The water can be as clear as 40 m viz, and normally no less than 20 - 25 m (or it is just not worth diving there as the wahoo will not be there and you aren't going to make it to the bottom and shoot bottom fish, or even the doggies). I have seen the doggies there before just sort of idly 'hanging around' between the schools of smaller fish, well out of reach. The last time I saw them they were simply too deep down, as they were on the slope so probably below 40 m depth.

So it is very likely this fish, in its initial run, went down the slope and into 100 - 120 m of water. The rear float was down at least 10 m for about a minute as I swam after the rig trying not to take my eyes off the disappearing float. The rear float then came back up and I followed the fish for quite some time. It never died until I brought it to the surface almost an hour later, now in shallower water (it swam north west and toward the main reef) and at least 1 nm away from where I speared it. It was a long so not a good shot and the spear never went through. I was very conservative at brining the fish up, so took my time ensuring that every time it wanted to run, it could without any extra jerking motions. Sure enough when I grabbed the fish the barb was visible just under the skin (but by then I had a second shot in it). I was lucky. This fish did not die or completely tire itself out after the first few runs like the ones in Latham did, but they were better shots.

I suppose the good thing is that the float still worked, it did its job and the fish was landed!! I wish I could tell a story of how a big fish pulled my float so deep it crushed it!

Cheers

Coatesman
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