Friday, December 18, 2009

Chasing Tails - Mozambique Spearfishing Trip

I got back from 21days in Mozambique 2 days ago, and have finally plucked up the courage to get in front of the PC and answer the hundreds of unattended emails.
We had an epic trip starting in Morrongulu and ending in Guinjata, And to top it off we generally only had a couple of bad weather days which by chance landed up being travel days.

Morrongulu is a beautiful place with amazing reef to explore, maybe too much tho as we spent alot of time looking for reef that had good game fish on.We did find a good reef towards the end of our stay there and Richard managed to get a 21kg Couta on one of the dives.The expanse of reef there holds huge populations of reef fish and we took acouple good reef fish on the days before finding the game fish reef.

I Shot some good fish, I got a Snapper of about 8kg and a big Purple Cod. There were some Iggies around and I got one of 20kg, but I had to wrestle him out of a cave after being reefed. This was not too much fun in the screaming current, and I hurt my lungs which put a damper on my diving for a good couple of days.

Brett and Richard also got some great fish, and on most days got personal bests on a number of species.


 Brett de Charmoy with a 14kg Marbled Grouper / Coral Trout



Richard Leonard 8kg+ Baha Snapper

Sylvia Shoal at Morrongulu is an amazing reef and it comes up to as little as 7m, the one day we even had some surf breaking on it! We took my son Braiden and Bretts wife Lisa out for a dive and they both got great fish. Lisa shot an 11.5kg Couta, seriously not bad since that was her first fish ever!
Lisa de Charmoy 11.5kg Couta

Braiden had a blast, he shot his first Kakaap and broke broke his biggest fish record a couple times with some nice Fulvies around the 5-6kg mark. His best fish was a 9.56kg Yellowfin Kingfish, which gave him a proper hiding. Pulling him under water as he was trying to keep it off the reef.
12yr old Braiden Coates - 12.56kg Yellowfin Kingfish

We left Morrongulu and headed for Guinjata, were we found the water was green and really not what we were after. But with after some diving we found that in the afternoons at Pindane the fish were thick and even in the bad vis we could still get good fish.

Magical afternoon spearfishing - check the size of the Kakaaps between 8-9kg!


Another good arvo sesh

On the last diving day we woke to a south west pumping, we had planed to dive that morning pack that afternoon and leave early the next day. But when we saw the sea cleaning up in the wind we decided after much deliberation to stay one more day. We were hoping the wind would drop enough to catch the afternoon sesh back at Pindane.
The wind did drop enough to get out but the sea was still ruffled. When we jumped in the water was a milky blue and looked very fishy. A shoal of Rainbow runners came in as we were winding down the flasher I dived to have a closer look. Fortunately I did not take on as the next thing this huge marlin comes in. At first I thought it was a dolphin, but soon realised it was a marlin. I just managed to get my camera on and lined up a shot as it was turning away. I only had my 1.3 Rob Allen reelgun ... and a beltreel ...like thats going to help!

Anyway I took the opportunity and shot. The spear lands above the pectoral fin and the fish just stops and does a full flip onto its back. I went absolutely nuts, I could not believe that I had just shot a marlin stone dead ... and on a std 1.3 with a 20mm rubber.
You only dream of pics like this!

I got Brett to put in a holding shot, as I have had smaller fish slip off when the spear hits the spine, and there was no way I was loosing this fish. Landing the fish was very surreal it was super huge, it was still twitching and I was nervous that it would wake up and take me with the tangle of line to the bottom. The next thing was getting it onto the boat a 444 C-ski, this actually went surprisingly well and the fish fitted down the one side ...just!
Fish of a lifetime - 228kg Black Marlin
We battled to weight the fish so we landed up cutting it in half and weighed the pieces, it did loose a lot of blood but what we weighed came to 228kg. Thats over 500lb which I was very stoked with as very few spearfisherman have broken the 500lb mark.


So all in all it was an epic trip, with some great fish and some very good footage. All we need to do now is edit down the whole lot and then you will get to see the action first hand.

Coatesman




Book your own Mozambican Spearfishing Adventure go to: Spearfishing Charters Mozambique

Monday, November 23, 2009

Packed and ready to go!


10 Bells and finally packed for Mozambique.
We are off to shoot another film up in Mozambique, it has been a manic last few days getting everything ready. Our trip will take us 20 hours in the ol Landy .... bring on the redbull!!

We have a tracking device in the boat so you can log in each day and sea were we are. We will also be trying to organise internet connection while up there sothat I can keep the blog ticking.

Log into: http://196.40.106.215/digit/google_device.php?device_number=4421

The username: grm
and password are:  grm

A big thanks to the guys from GRM Technologies for sponsoring the tracking of the boat.


Off to bed for a couple zeeees

Coatesman


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sneak Peek at New C Ski 444 Spearfishing Boat

The new wider C Ski 444 with the new top deck.

We are off to go an film another spearfishing film on Tuesday. Steve Ellis has lent us his "prototype" C Ski 444 to use while we are up there. I was at the factory all day yesterday helping get all the final fittings done, and will pop in there just now to install the fishfinders and other gizmo's.

The new top deck finishes the boat off really well, and because the boat is now wider you dont lose any deck space. This boat is not the final 444 tho. Steve has a totally different deck layout for the production model and he has a totally new mold for the hull.

Any way I will be taking more pics and will post them as we go allong. We are hoping to organise internet access up in Moz so I can blog while I am up there. ..... And make you jealous with all our big fish :-)

Coatesman

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Spearfisherman - The Spearfisherman's Worst Enemy!

At a time when we are all worried about the bunny huggers are going to ban spearfishing, we give those who hate us ammo! Aaron McCamon is the latest in this class of fools, nobody is perfect and all are guilty in some way (even giving your fish away is a criminal offense!), but this is ridiculous. Poaching 54 crayfish and shooting a Natal Wrasse, thats 62 crayfish!!
The only thing that upsets me about Aaron McCamon being caught is the negative publicity.The only time a spearo is in the news is for 'murdering' an old fish or raping the sea. Its no wonder that we dont get the time of day from the general Joe public and the authorities.

What makes me even more irate is that when ESA's Craig Stubbs was caught selling fish, and charged. The story never made it to the press, despite a report given to the local rag (the same paper below) by the authorities. That guy should have been hauled over the coals, especially since he is a public figure.


Hefty fine for spear fisherman - Story from The North Coast Courier 20th November 2009 page 5

Here's the question? When are we going to wake up and start holding ourselves and mates accountable for our actions? I am sure that this chap might have had a different day if his mates ...who should have some influence over him had put pressure on him not to poach?

Lets keep it tidy,

Coatesman

Monday, November 16, 2009

Weekend Wrap Up

Well its been a full weekend. Some spearfishing and surfing and generally some good conditions for this time of the year. On Saturday the snoek seemed to very thick along the north coast, the fishing ski guys reported large shoals along the Umhloti to Westbrook stretch, as well as Tiffs. The guys diving trials apparently landed up in the middle of these fish and made the most of the big lazey shoals.

But by the afternoon it had quietened down, well at least on the Salt Rock side. I went for a dive with my lighty Braiden, he managed to get a small snoek. I didnt see a thing!

Braiden Coates 2.8kg snoek

Other spearfishing news was that after a disapointing week of weather up in northern Kzn Vidal seemed to come right with Luke Garlick getting a good Couta of 22kg.


Luke Garlick 22kg Couta shot off Cape Vidal
Here is what Luke had to say:
I was up at Cape Vidal this weekend, and managed this 22kg cuda, first one of the
season! There were not many around, but oakes that got fish were proper ones, all deep on
the bottom. Leven was dead quiet, I got this fish deep off vidal point on my first down.
Water still surprisingly cold 19deg! Looks as though it may just be a good pre-run this
November.

On the Surfing front there were some fun  waves on Saturday. The wind did not quiet settle down on Sunday but there were waves enough for the guys to run the "Top 8" surfing comp at Surfers. Its a comp were 8 guys voted for by the locals get to compete for  a small pot of cash.

As usual Ryan Belfore took the honours getting a good barrle that sealed the deal for him.

Winner of the "Top 8" Ryan Belfore and contest organiser and sponsor Deon Knoetze from Zulchem
Here are the rest of the results:


Ryan 13.25
Sid 11.25
Allan 9.5
Scott 8.1
Manfred 7.9
Chris 7.35
Travis 6.75

Syd also took the prize for the best move, doubling up on the prizes.

Looking forward to this week it looks like Tuesday will have some waves but then the weather goes on its ear with wind and rain. This will be backed up by some easterlies through the weekend. So I guess that there is not too much to look forward to.

Cheers

Coatesman

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Almost Summer

It is summer ..well almost!
Besides it getting a whole lot warmer, my lighty and I were on the beach this morning at 5am and it had been light from 4:30 when we woke up. The surf was small but cooking. The east had not picked up yet and there we some crackers coming through.
But when we got in the water, well .... its definitely not summer yet! The water was about 19deg at best, and my thermo top was flushing under every wave! Thank goodness the surf was good otherwise I would have gotten out.
The vis had seemed to improve a bit over nite but I was not running to get my dive gear after feeling the water.

The weekend looks promising for a dive, with some southerly winds predicted. At this stage it has been a dry spring and the rivers are not spewing mud into the sea so there is a good chance of clean water.

Coatesman

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sordwana Marlin and Sailfish


Danie 80+kg Black Marlin & Craig with a 30 + kg Sailfish Speared off the Canyon at Sordwana.

We all dream about diving a spot when its on. This past weekend was one of those for a small bunch of guys in the right place at the right time. Craig Harper was one of the guys on the trip who came right not once but twice. It has not been with out paying some dues tho, he is a committed sojourner and has loads of trips under his belt. He will be the first to tell you its not always on! Most times its a hit and miss affair.

On this trip Craig got 2 sailfish in consecutive days ..both well in the 30's. He saw a Marlin of over 200kg but could not get a very good shot so did not shoot. Danie landed a Marlin on a reel gun and Greg Audi alos using a reelgun landed a 20+ kg Couta in some very deep water. I am sure there were other fish but they did not get mentioned for obvious reasons.

I am now dreaming of it being on for me!

Coatesman

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Spearfishing News

After a fairly uneventful October, November is starting off with a bang!

News is filtering through of some guys getting some amazing fish at Sordwana. They saw 2 Marline and managed to get one of them. Craig Harper shot 2 Sailfish over 2 days, both well in the 30's. Greg Audi got a bus cuta , apparently in very deep water on a reel gun ... that must have been interesting! Did I mention the Marlin was shot on a reel gun aswell!!
Well that's enough to get my gear packed!!

This past weekend at home the snoek came on between Westbrook and Umhloti and the few guys who were the scored big time! And Along the north coast the return Garrick are starting to come through and the guys who have braved the conditions have either seen or got fish.


On a different note Barret Harvey has finished his next in the African Spearfishing Diaries, and will be showing the DVD at the following venues:
  • DUC - Thursday 5th November - 6:30pm
  • Salt Rock Spearfishing Club - Friday 6th November - 6:30pm
  • UKZN - Thursday 12th November - 6:30pm

 Barret Harvey's - African Spearfishing Diaries Vol2

I have seen the film and Barret has some footage that will make you tingle this is one you will have to get for the collection.

Today Ultimate Spearfishing Magazine also sent out their Monthly Spearfishing Newsletter. There is a comp running to promote the forum and you can win a new Rabitech Sealth Pro speargun, and the guys have hit the forum with force!! It has been good to see the how the guys get to it with a little bit of motivation. Check the Newsletter

Other than that ...see you at Salties Club Nite on friday

Cheers

Coatesman

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Shark Attack on Mark Ragotzki

I received this feed back from Fernando fro Centurion Freedivers with regards to Mark Ragotzki's unfortunate shark attack. I also spoke to Jeremy Williams from the Dive Factory who spoke to Mark and Rob. He said that the Zambie came in at a rate of knots and chomped on Marks foot, and did not give Mark much time to respond. Not the kind of thing we like to hear or think about!

Glad to inform Mark is doing well and in hi spirit. Went to visit him last night at Sunninghill Netcare Hospital in Sandton, to convey everyone’s sentiments… he says “THANKS GUYS FOR EVERYTHING”. He told me the whole story which I’ll note down so everyone is up to speed as to what really happened.

Rob, Mark and the third gentleman’s name I can’t remember were aprox 2hrs out to sea looking for big game fish. They stumbled onto a reef in the middle of nowhere that rose from the ocean floor to aprox 15m below the surface. They decided this reef was worth taking a look so Da Boyz got into the water, Mark started his decent and identified the usual fish species that are commonly found where big game fish lurk, went through a school of baitfish and headed down to the reef below. He spotted a Zambi swimming around in a non threatening manner and made nothing of it … saw a Kakaap, shot it and began to surface. Once on top, he called the boat over to assist him with the fish. Rob steered the boat to the location and began to pull the fish in, still the Zambi wasn't interested. Mark told me the speared fish was about 15m away from them when he saw the Zambi charging him and heading straight for his legs. His immediate reaction was to pull his legs up and the shark whacked his left ankle, shook him around and left the scene.
Mark climbed immediately on board, bleeding from the ankle as Rob hauled in the Kakaap which remained untouched by the shark. Another two suspenseful hour boat trip back to land where DAN came to the rescue and airvaced him back to SA. Mark told me that if it wasn’t for DAN, things would have looked a lot worse.

Mark’s only conclusion for this attack is “territorial”, the shark was clearly not after the speared fish. I reckon those sharks in these remote areas have never seen a human, therefore the chance of these sharks coming to investigate are very good. The sharks around South Africa are use to human interaction and know we are not a threat to them and not on their menu, reason why we have become a little laxy around sharks???

The wound was very well wrapped so I couldn’t see the extent of  damage. The top of his left foot has no feeling but the soul of his foot has, which is a good sign. I also had a squizz at his toes and they have a normal healthy colour which means good blood circulation. Given the circumstances, Mark looks well and I’m sure he’ll be fully recovered in a very short while. The doctors are keeping him for observation to make sure no infection sets in … that’s the last thing you want at this stage of the game. He’ll be going for surgery on Friday to see how much dead flesh there is to be cut out and to verify how things are healing. This surgery will be the first of a few to come.

Hope I was “detailed” enough to get everyone up to speed, feel free to pass this piece of news onto everyone that may know Mark or has herd of the incident and are a little in the dark.

Cya later,
Fernando.
 It would be interesting to find out more about the DAN insurance that Mark had. They flew in a small jet with doctors on board to take Mark back to an SA hospital.


Coatesman

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Spearfishing Update

Hi guys,

Sorry for being so quiet, I have been away and my mobile internet conection took a dive. And when I got back my home internet was also problematic and I am online for the first time in days.

The Cape trip was very good, I met some amazing people, the whole tuna hunt did not go eexactly as planned ...but thats how it goes.
On the the other hand I experinced almost all the sides of the Cape. From my dive at Struisbaai and seeing a Great White to the west coast and shooting a Yellow Tail and Hottie!

 Some West Coast "Tail"
The westcoast was nice and chilly, on the ride out some of the water was 10deg ... fortunatly we landed up in a balmy 14deg so it was only my toes and hands that I lost feeling in!

The weather did clear enough to get out to the canyon to look for tuna. The first day was a little rough but our skipper landed up with a 12kg longfin tuna. I got some great footage of Blue sharks and saw a Mako zipping in and out the chum line.
The second day was calm but the fish were very quiet, we saw acouple more sharks and some seals, but thats about it.
All in all it was a great trip and I learnt alot from the guys  ..... and realised how hard it is to dive in cold water!!

Other sadder news is that Mark Ragotzki - Dive Factory JHB has been bitten by a shark in Vilanculos while diving with Rob Allen. He is in hospital and it sounds like the doc's have saved his foot and he is recovering. I dont have any details about what happened yet. .....thoughts are with you Mark, get well my friend.
Gee this is a sober reminder of the dangers out there!!

Coatesman

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rabitech Spearfishing in the Cape

Well as you know I am down in the cape waiting for the wind to drop so that we can go and get some Tuna out in the deep. There is no diving going on at the moment so I have been taking some time to catch up with different guys within the spearfishing community. Yesterday I popped into Louis Hattingh's place at Rabitech. Louis is the importer of Omer and SporaSub and I sell loads of Omer fins, snorkels, masks and wanted to meet the man behind the emails and fone calls.

I can tell you how impressed I was with his shop / set up. Infact it is such an inspiration I took some pics with my cell so that can take them home and make some changes to my shop.



Louis Hatttingh's Rabitech in Cape Town
There were a few things that stood out for me. One was the range of fins and masks and snorkels! I have never been into a shop with this kind of selection before and I was fiddling with all the fins for like over an hour. Another thing that was very unique about this shop was the fact that Louis stocks a number of different guns and accessories  from different manufacturer's Along with his Rabitech range he had guns and equipment from Rob Allen, Orca, Picasso, Omer, Pelaj .... and probably more! This blew me away as the norm in this country is that the guys only promote their own gear, and are insanely jealouse of their market share.
Louis's approach to business was very refreshing, and I now have a new perspective on the spearfishing retail market.

More fins ...masks .... the list goes on!
The rest of the time we spent chatting at his coffee bar in the shop chatting about spearing, equipment his new projects and guns. All the while being totally distracted by the LCD screen in the background playing spearfishing dvd's ..... I guess it was my ADD in overdrive!

As you know I virtually never punt a product or business in this blog. I just felt that my visit to Rabitech was so inspiring I had to share it.

Cheers

Coatesman

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Potential SA spearfishing record Ignobilis Kingfish


Rhyno Linde - Massive Giant Kingfish at Bunga Nek

Rhyno Linde has just shot a Giant Kingfish up at Bunga Nek at the No13 beacon. The fish has bottomed out a 70kg scale!! This will smash the Sa spearfishing record if it can be verified and all the paper work is in place.

I will get more info and post it asap. .....what I want to know is what the 4km walk back to the camp with this fish was like!!

Coatesman

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cape Tuna Trip

I am down it the Cape for the Cape Boat and Ski Boat Club October Tuna Competitition. There is a boat of spearfishermen that have entered the comp to see how they fair against the fishermen. At the moment the comp is off due to the strong south east winds that are blowing. It looks like the first day in the water will be on Friday when the wind drops off enough to get out there.

View from the cottage in Simonstown

Yesturday we drove 3 hours east to Stuisbaai to see if we could find some clean water. All we could find was clean water very far out in the deep. We tried 5mile bank and the vis was a yummy 2m and 17deg warm. We did one dive and moved on to Arneston. The water there was a little bit better but not great. We then moved onto a spot off Die Mond in  about 18 -20m, the vis was 1m on the surface and about 5 - 6m right on the bottom. There was more fish life here and I got a Santa which looks like a slim pink Rock Salmon.
I was just getting into diving through the 15deg thermocline when I saw a Great White shark. I was on the bottom and turned around to go look in this gully behind me, and there this shark was have a look see.
It was not that big ...for a white so I am told about 4m! Fortunatly it was just having a look and swam off into the gloom. So that was the end of diving that spot!!

The launch site at Struisbaai.
We headed back to Struisbaai with not a whole lot of fish, but it was an experience never the less. The Cape is varstly different from home and it seems there is something new around every corner.

Today I am just visiting some folk but tomorrow we are going up the West Coast .... my hosts are making sure I experience every aspect of the cape .....13 deg water here we come!!

Coatesman

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Spearfishing Update - Deep Water Garrick

The sea had a small change of heart this week and actually gave us a gap to dive. Tuesday was actually very pleasant and it got quiet clean out in the deep. Wednesday morning the swell ws up so I decded to surf as the swell had churned the first 100m and it was not looking inviting.


Deep water Garrick on it's down run to the Cape

This morning the sea again dd not look all that inviting, but with next weeks tuna trip coming up I decided to get in anyway and get the blood flowing.
The swim out was bad as it always is on a low tide with swell at Tiffs. The water was not too bad, and there was about 6m vis on the surface getting worse on the bottom with 'Yellow Peril'.
A health Garrick swam up to me on the surface deep out on the drop off. It shooked and then disapeared into the gloom as is headed for the bottom. I chased and it turned to have a look what was chasing it. It gave me just enough to get a shot in.

This might seem unusual but Garrick do seem to swim in deeper water on their return trip to the Cape. I guess this means that the Garrick are on their way back, which will mean that when the water clears there should be plenty of action on the local points.

Thats all for now. It looks like the next gap to get in might be Saturday morning.

Cheers

Coatesman

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

How to Spearfish a Spanish Mackerel?

How do you shoot Spanish Mackerel or Cuta? That's the 'Spearfishing How to' question I hear a lot from guys coming into my shop. I even had a guy who I went for a dive with today say, "will I ever shoot a Cuta?"
The truth is yes, they are not that difficult its all about the 'the right time' + 'right place' ..oh and the right equipment or speargun is going to help alot!

Here is a short vid on spearfishing Spanish Mackerel that we stuck on the DVD Good Times as a bonus feature. I hope you enjoy this and come away with a few helpful tips.



If you cant see the vid go here: Spearfishing Spanish Mackerel Tutorial

Cheers

Coatesman

Friday, October 9, 2009

Boarder Open Results

Well it was another bleak week on the coast, and nothing to report! I have had a couple guys asking when I am going to post again, but when there is nothing to write about ...well like now there is nothing to write about.

What I did get was the final results back from the Boarder Open at the Hole in the Wall.

BORDER OPEN 2009
1
Greg Audi
15.55
100%
2
Kurt Roberts
14.43
92.79%
3
James Lawson Smith
11.21
72.09%
4
Herman Lahey
10.94
70.35%
5
Ryan Scheepers
10.60
68.16%
6
Mark Ahlin
10.44
67.13%
7
Darren Hanner
10.40
66.88%
8
Corrie Versluis
9.76
62.76%
9
Mark Constantinou
8.24
52.99%
10
Joe Mulder
8.00
51.44%
11
Tony Swart
7.65
49.19%
12
Jeremy Williams
6.71
43.15%
13
Gert Jordaan
6.58
42.31%
14
Paul Toich
5.92
38.07%
15
Johan Stone
5.81
37.36%
16
Rory Haschick
5.72
36.78%
17
Carl Werner
5.45
35.04%
18
Trevor Hutton
5.16
33.18%
19
Jacque Greef
5.00
32.15%
20
Ashley Willcox
4.85
31.18%
21
Chris Coates
4.37
28.10%
22
Justin Lindsay
3.62
23.27%
23
Shane Johnson
2.63
16.91%
24
Terrence Roebert
2.27
14.59%
25
Pierre Scheepers
2.26
14.53%

Rob Allan
DNW


Haymish Goodbold
DNW


Daniel Swanepoel
DNW


Robert Prezel
DNW


Carrick Morris
DNW


Dominic Becker
DNW


Trevor Harris
DNW


I guess thats all for now, lets hope the southerly winds today clean up the sea for once!!

Cheers

Coatesman

Monday, October 5, 2009

Boarder Open 2009



Gregg Audi 22kg Black Muscle Cracker


We thought the weekend was going to be a wash out at the Boarder Open 2009, but it all came together and it was a raging success. The sea even tho it was ruffled by the north east's the vis was not too bad considering and some good fish wee shot.

Gregg Audie won the comp and also shot the biggest fish a 22kg poensie. Kurt Roberts came in second with James Lawson-Smith in 3rd.

It was a real good time and guys came from all over the country to try and see how they could fair in the waters off Hole in the wall. There were 40 divers a new record for the usually intimate Border Open.

See you next year

Coatesman

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Whats Going Down?

Well whats happening??? Nothing too exciting!!

We were hoping the surf would be cranking this  morning but it was a little all over the place. But it was good to get a paddle in.
On the Dive front there is, has and looks like there wont be anything happening for some time!
The sea is just not happy!!!

This is natures answer to the MPA!! I can remeber the one year not diving for 3 months in a row! And so I am resorting to putting up pictures of Naked Sexy Chicks with Spearguns like last week!!

But I hear the dive down at the Hole in the Wall is not too bad and so we will be trekking down there for the Boarder Open to brave the sub 15deg water!! So we wont be doing Salties Club nite this Friday..... we will have to do something exciting during the month.

Other than that ...zip zero squat nadda!

Coatesman

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sexy Spearfishing Chick

 
 Sexiest Spearfishing Chick - Sashimi's Revenge By Serge Birault

A mate sent me this pic of this betty called Sashimi's Revenge from Serge Birault AKA PapaNinja

Too good!!

Coatesman

Monday, September 21, 2009

North Coast Weekend Round Up.

Well the diving has been up to maggots the last few weeks and this weekend was no exception. We were hoping the south would clean it up, but it was still murky on Saturday morning.

On the flip side there was a good 3-4ft swell running and Saturday turned out to be a pearler and the boys spent hours in the water surfing. Most spots were cooking on the low tide between 9 and 11 am. I unfortunatly needed to work so missed out on all the good stuff.

There is good news tho ..... The Ultimate Spearfishing site is coming together really well. We got the forum up and working this weekend, it has over 50 categories and we have not finished with the freediving section yet. This means that it is the most organised spearfishing form in Africa and with exposure to over 600 of the mag subscribers I am sure it is going to be a very busy in no time.

One of the key features is that you can login with your Facebook login. This means you dont need to remember another login and it intergrates with your Facebook portfolio.
You will have your own photo galleries and apps just like in Facebook ... so it is a facebook for spearfishermen. AKA Spearbook!

Go have a look...  LOGIN and even go check out the forum.....

Cheers

Coatesman

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Divelessness

How else do you discribe the last few weeks! Unless you are one of those guys who dont mind diving muck and have lots of time on your hands, you probably have not dived a whole lot this month or two.

One would thing that with the southerly wind we would have gotten some clean water, but maybe we have had too many southerlies and no strong North Easts out at see to drive the Mozambique current?

Funny thing tho ...in a a week or so we will be moaning about the North Easts!

Anyway it looks like the Saturday might have some waves ...

Cheers

Coatesman

Friday, September 11, 2009

Uneventful Diving Week

Its been a slow week on the coast, the sea has generally been green and mucky. Some snoek did come out early in the week, but that was in 2 - 3m vis! Not what I call exciting!!

I got a dive in yesterday arvo as the south started. The vis wasnt too bad but it was quiet. I mustsay it was good to get in the water again. Its been my 2nd or 3rd dive in 2 months!

This weekend looks like a surfing weekend, with 2.9m swells at 13 seconds. The swell looks south west so there is a possability that it misses us and goes out to sea. Which willl mean that we can maybe dive in the morning.

Other than that the local boys are getting together to paint the Lane wall. If you are keen to get involved pull in the lane after the rugby.

All good catch you later

Coatesman

Friday, September 4, 2009

Spearfishing Spearfishing and more Spearfishing!

As far a s Spearfishing goes it was something we used to do on the north coast many many moons ago!
Gee this murky upwelling we are experiencing is the pittys! Umhlanga and Zinkwazi have been cleaner than we are!!
I even got news back from a mate down at Port Edward who had been for a dive and got some fish.
I also got a call froma nother mate of big bait balls and possibly sardines off Toti and the water was diveable!
But back home it muck!! So much so some of the mates shot off to Sordwana to spearfish, and even tho it was quiet they did get one good fish.
Warren Blackmore 23kg Cuta off Sordwana

Other Spearfishing news is there is another Newsletter out from Ultimate Spearfishing check it out

We also did the Xfins lucky Draw for the guys who are in the running for the spearfishing blades.
Check It Out

Tonight is also Salty Divers Club Nite and we will be running through the new web page. Salty Divers
Its going to be fairly relaxed and the weather looks great for a braai.

Other than that there are some southerly winds predicted for this weekend which could end our streak of bad water ...hold thumbs!

Cheers

Coatesman

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Great White Shark and Surfer

If Yesterdays pics of the Great White Shark did not send shivers down your spine! Well Hows this pic? I wonder if the surfer knows he was being watched by the white.

Coatesman

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Great White Sharks at Zinkwazi Beach

 
 4.2m Great White Shark at Zinkwazi Beach
The last thing you want to hear about is the big Great White Shark caught in the shark nets at Zinkwazi Beach.
What makes it even more scary and not a freak thing is that they caught another one today of 2.8m!!
Just the view to make you want to go swim!!
Apparently these are female sharks, they caught and released the 4.2m one the day before but it returned and died in the nets yesturday. The second one was smaller only 2.8m ...it would have to bite mybe twice to swollow you!!
I think that the cold upwelling of water we have been experiencing has some hand in this freak occurrence. Not that we dont get Great White Sharks here, just not 2 in 2 days.
Not so happy to be dangeling my toes tomorrow morning!!
Coatesman

Monday, August 31, 2009

Mozambique Malongane Spearfishing Magic

Garrick Morris 35kg Wahoo Speared at Malongane

Garrick is making a habit over the last few weeks of shooting good fish. I can just hear the mutters from the peanut gallery ... me included!!
But if you dont go you dont get lucky!!

Here is Garrick's mesagge he sent:
Hi Guys

Went up to Malongane in Moz this weekend and hit a serious luck with this nice Wahoo. Only spent about 3 hours in the water because of the wind but the Wahoo were wild when we got in. This fish was far from the biggest one that we saw.

Cheers
Garrick

Man I am green ... like the sea is this morning!!

Coatesman

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Crayfish Poaching

There has been allot of publicity lately of all the proposed MPA's that will close off huge areas to the public. These areas in many instances will make Spearfishing almost impossible, take the proposed area from Sheffield beach to Zinkwazi. If they pass this the only place we will be allowed to dive is Tiffanies and south towards Westbrook and La Mercy.

So Why bring all of this up again? Well when guys get busted for poaching in the very area the greenies are having a heart attack over well that can not be good for our sport or our cause.

I dont think there is any one who argue good conservation ...but when they give us a total ban. Every one will loose out.

Here is the article posted in the Daily News.

Massive fine for poacher
23 August 2009, 09:06
By Fred Kockott
Amid increased crayfish poaching along KwaZulu-Natal's coastline, KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife officials have welcomed the slapping of a R100 000 fine or two years imprisonment on Howick crayfish poacher Paul Wilfred Ferguson.
Bust for catching 47 crayfish at Hyde Park beach at Nonoti on the North Coast, nine of which were undersized, Ferguson was convicted in the Stanger Magistrate's Court on Friday.
He was convicted for not having a licence, exceeding the daily bag limit of eight crayfish and being in possession of undersized crayfish.
R85 000 of his sentence was suspended for five years on condition he was not convicted of the same offence, and Ferguson walked free after paying R15 000.
Welcoming Ferguson's conviction, Ezemvelo spokesman Wayne Munger said there had been a noticeable increase in the number of crayfish offences that KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife staff were encountering.
He said this was due to high prices paid for crayfish on the black market.
"Hopefully the sentence that Ferguson got will serve as a wake-up call to others who are catching crays illegally," said Munger.
Munger said Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife conducted regular patrols along the 620km stretch of coastline from Port Edward to Kosi Bay, and prosecuted as many as 1 200 offenders of the Marine Living Resources Act every year, 20 percent of which are crayfish related. 
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife officer Selvan Pillay said he had been working on a marine patrol when he and his team noticed Ferguson diving at Hyde Park beach on Thursday.
"We concealed ourselves and watched what he was doing. He left the water with a bag and hid it in the bushes," said Pillay.
"When we confronted him, he was really shocked, but there was nothing he could do," said Pillay. 
"We found 47 crayfish in his bag, nine of which undersized. He acknowledged that he had broken the law."
This article was originally published on page 2 of The Sunday Tribune on August 23, 2009

So expect that "Parky" to be hiding in the bushes!! I know some things were more or less accepted in the past by the general diving community. I just think its time we started looking out for ourselves and kept our noses clean.
Or we could be in for a big shock!!

Coatesman

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Spearfishing in the Gap

Garrick with a 38kg Daga speared of Durban

With all the wild weather the sea was a mess before the weekend. But rumors of clean water off Durban filtered through and the guys who heard the call and took the gap came right.
Garrick clapped this 38kg beast off the Fontao.
And I heard stories of some daga off the Nebo aswell.

Up the coast there was also a small gap on Sunday before the wind and the snoek were loose. One chap clapped a couple but got taxed before he could hit the beach. I tried later on Sunday bt the wind really messed things up, and it will go down as not one of my best dives ever!

The east is pumping and it looks like the sea will return to being upside down!! But there is hope for Saturdays dive ... Who knows?

Look out for that Gap!!

Coatesman

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Minutes ASCBOA meeting

I got this in the mail and thought you guys needed to read it.


Hi All
Just a basic summary of the KZN MPA expansion workshop that was attended by Mark B and myself last week. After two long days there were presentations by Dr Jean Harris, Dr Kerry Sink, Alan Boyd (MCM), Peter Chadwick (WWF) Bruce Mann, Mandy Lombard, Grant Trebble and a whole lot more. The basic jist of the meeting was about this great mathematical software that once all the inputs have been entered spits out recommended areas for either creating MPA’s and expanding some and rezoning some. In laymen language they want to protect 20% of all fauna and flora on the SA coast. So if you protect 20% of everything then the Idea is that there will be enough of everything to take us into the future for our children’s children. There is also a view to try and have MPA’s in conjunction with terrestrial protected areas in order to get that land sea thing. Each needs each other in the big picture.The big problem with this is that all the inputs are coming from the users such as the fishermen, spear fishermen and apparently divers. With a result the very places that the spearos have given them are now subject to protection and zoned as no take areas. It was quite evident that the clever people giving presentations talked about the current MPA’s as though they were giving protection to marine life. It was also quite evident that the audience other than those in the know received this information as though there was protection in the current MPA’s and accepted it as such.
Observations from the various speakers (Not All) were as such:-
Dr Gene Harris eKZNW
Took Underwater Africa’s presentation as a reality check for all the scientists as to what’s happening on the ground. That there is a huge communication gap between the policy makers and the people on the ground and what’s actually happening. (Strange, I thought that’s what we keep telling them from ages ago) There was also talk that user groups should be taking part in this process from planning stages as they can Identify practical problems on the ground. In doing this they will also have input into the process and therefore more buy in.
Alan Boyd (MCM)
Was probably the worst presentation and it is clear ther is no trust between MCM and the user groups. There were comments in the audience that they cant understand why we are not MCM’s biggest ally being non consumptive. Nobody in the audience other than those in the know understands all the problems with the current MPA’s.The most disturbing thing in Alan Boyd’s presentation was that it seems that there is quite a lot of things in process that is going to give MCM the power to regulate most non consumptive users in MPA’s. (A scary thought)
Rob Crankshaw (Clansthal Conservancy)
He spoke about the rezoning of the Aliwal Shoal MPA to include the river at Widenham the land in between and the last river just south of the crock farm forming the eThekwini southern border. These two rivers would be the northern and southern boundary of lines going out to sea forming no take zones. I don’t believe they talked to any of the diving fraternity which leads me to believe they have ulterior motives for their noble cause. Basically the  right thing for the wrong reasons. Funny between MCM and the greater planners their ideas and legislation is all the wrong thing for the right reasons.
Of all the other potential MPA’s two will incorporate Protea Banks and the Bluff. Funny that’s all the places that scuba divers use. The other thing is that at least 3 of the MPA’s tabled currently have beaches serviced by the sharks board. So more MPA’s with shark nets. All they will do is zone the MPA and give permits to NSB to continue.
Some of the MPA’s tabled are zoned so intricately that trying to police the Aliwal MPA would be a walk in the park compared. That is if you have the resources to police them. It was tabled that they can’t police the current ones so why create more. Acording to Cedric Coetzee they have the money and resources. There seems to be a huge gap (communication & financial) between the upper echelons of KZN wildlife and the people on the ground. In the same breath it was decided that compliance was only going to be possible with the help from the users, especially the non consumptive ones. Quite difficult when you keep creating these laws and permits/ conditions that keep ticking us off.
Talking of zoning it was noted that all current MPA’s have different inconsistencies with zones, Zone A, Zone B and Zone C. Zone a being sanctuary No entry only travel through but not be in possession of fish etc and by the way you are only allowed to stop if you are sinking, B being no take zones though pelagic fishing is allowed but it must be catch and release, and Zone C which you are allowed to keep fish (Pelagic only) and no bottom fishing allowed. If you apply this to Aliwal it does not make sense as all the almost opposites apply. (The core area being zone B and the rest being zone C)
There seems to be some initiatives that may be explored with the WWF. The WWF is all for partnerships with business and they have some interesting concepts.
Well that was pretty much it in a nutshell. We did have lunch on the eKZNW budget and we clearly saw why they cant afford to launch their boats as day one lunch snacks or sandwiches were diabolical.
I am sure at the next meeting we will catch up with this regard. The other thing that was evident is that if one does not have a body that represents your user group they will run over you as you wont have the opportunity to attend forums such as this and stand up against all the shortcomings and people that make inadequate policy, rules and regulations that reflect on not only the environment but on us negatively.
Anyone want more info with this regard please contact either me or Mark B and I am sure we can elaborate.
Regards

 

Juan

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cape Vidal at Spring means Big Cuta

Posted by PicasaKoos Jordaan and his Son Spearfishing at Cape Vidal

I posted some pics last week of some good fish that came out again at Vidal. And it seems like it was'nt a luck the Big cuta are there. Apparently they are running deep and are very skittish ... but worth trying your luck!!

If only I had the time!!

Coatesman

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Spearfishing Cape Yellow Tail

Justin Maddock - Cape Yellow Tail speared off Rocky Banks
Here on the North Coast the sea has not been friendly to the spearfisherman. However the Cape seems to be still producing some good diving. Justin Maddock and his mate Roly climbed into some Cape Yellow Tail while spearfishing this weekend, about 12miles off Milers Point.
Apparently Dungeons was breaking so there must have been some serious swell around!! Just shows you how protected launches and bays can help the conditions. Back here at home even tho the swell was half the size as the Cape we were in the bush if you wanted to dive.
There is a small chance Saturday will be good for a dive ...but I think it will be a surfing weekend again!!
Cheers
Coatesman

Monday, August 17, 2009

Friday Arvo Surfers Lane Cleanup

Some of Da Boys getting their hands dirty
On friday arvo some of the boys from the North Coast Surfers Union pulled together and gave our lane a TLC. The municipality had finally come and removed the 2 or more weeks of rubbish that littered the lane that morning .... but they did a bit of a rush job at it. Check out these pics. 
The other thing was all the holes, stones, rubble and mess still left over from the Mr Price Pro a number of weeks ago. We got stuck in trying to remove what we could, but its almost a no win situation. 
What was grass is now just rubble.
For now we will just try and keep the place clean until we can get permission to build the new deck .... which we were promised we could do after the Mr Price. We intend taking the Municipality up on this and we are just waiting for the drawings to be finalised.

Ryan Belfore in top form
This weekend was also supposed to be the local Winter Classic but large lumpy surf caused the guys to call it off till next week. There was an expression sesion for an hour before the east totally wiped out the surf.
Ryan Belfore won best move, Marcus Theron got the best Barrel ...and I got the best wipe out!!! Damn I am getting old!!
Syd finding a cooker even once the wind was on it.
Keep an eye out for the comp next weekend ...it should be fun.
Coatesman

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Return Cuta at Cape Vidal


Rob Allen Cape Vidal - 25 & 28 kg August Return Cuta

Its no secret that the place to be spearfishing in the first 2 weeks of August is Cape Vidal. If you are lucky enough to be able to watch the weather and get up there in between the wind ... well you could just come right with some 'Return Cuta'.

So what is a 'Return Cuta' this is a big fat sardine fulled cuta on its way back to Mozambique ...probably to go and spawn. The fish generally don't eat on the way back up .. well thats an assumption based on the fact that the ski boaters don't often come right. And there are numerous stories by spearfisherman of wall to wall 20 plus kg fish just cruising north!!

I know many guys who try spend a week up there over this time in hope of getting a good day in. Over the years John Little and crew have made the mission many times, only to be blown off the sea. .... Oh but they still did get good fish!!

Rob Allen took the gap on Tuesday to do some "product testing" and proved the 'return cuta' theory right. 

When I grow up I want to go "product testing"

Coatesman