Tuesday, August 28, 2012

34th Wahoo Winter Gamefish Spearfishing Competition at Cape Vidal

This past weekend was the 34th Wahoo Winter Gamefish Spearfishing Competition at Cape Vidal. Here is an account of the weekend by Chris West:

"Greetings to those who made it there and to those that did not...I have been going to Cape Vidal Wahoo Comps since 1983 and know the history. All I can say is that it was a very smoothly run affair under Andy Norton and companies guidance. We battled for the date and basically almost became a summer competition when the weather could have ended us up in a drinking competition (we did that too)....Of course the idea of the Wahoo comp was to bring everybody down to earth and allow the hotties to mix with the gremmies.

the challenge from Wahoo to the Zululand guys was who could drink the night before and still shoot fish the next day.....sounds silly but that was the original plan.
Triple Dave, Roelof and Rob Allen digging away at the steep ramp.

The other problem was the launch had been washed away by the sea and you can check the photos I will add to this and maybe other mails . Rob Allen attacked the bank with his Colt and conquered it with the first attempt (with the boat attached) he also then made a homemade plough and moved the sand so that others could get up and down. Andy helped compact it with his cruiser.I supervised from the bank taking photos. In my wisdom I fell off a roof 5 weeks ago and am still recovering (that's my excuse)

We launched on the Thursday with Andy and XXXDave joining Rob,Roeloff,Andrew and self on Robs Boat. Everybody got fish (except me and XXX)  Traditionally we dined at Andys Chalet and ate Sashimi from Couta and Snoek followed by Beer battered Couta was awesome. Roeloff du Plooy shot a Blue Kingfish which turned out to be a new SA Record and we certified its weight on our Wahoo Scale that has just been officially certified thanks to Terry Deane. Congrats to Roeloff who also shot 3 snoek in the comp and 2 on the

We rested on Friday and prepared for everybody to arrive with DUC Chef Franklin and Mike with one other chap from DUC. We had a braai and finalised the entries to 38 competitors. Not a lot but enough make it happen. Weigh in was down at the launch entrance and some awesome fish were weighed in...
Overall Winner JP Jordaan
Top diver was JP Jordaan with a magnificent Couta 0f 29.9Kg in beautiful condition. Bill McCarthy with a Saily  there was also a Wahoo but only 7,5Kg with milk still pouring out its mouth and the rest was made up of Snoek and Couta my snoek which made me 5th placed was 8.7Kg the biggest I have ever shot and the biggest snoek of the comp.
JP Jordaan 29.9kg Couta 

Old time Zululander Billy showing the guys who's boss!
There were awesome prizes donated by the local dive shops and their suppliers. Rob Allen certainly did his thing here and it was great to see Freedivers also putting in some prizes here again. We were visited by Chantal Dixon who is the Curator for Sea Fisheries there and she joined us for our lamb on the spit with all the goodies that go with.

Plans have already been put in place for next year and our competition will reach its 35th year of existence. Thanks you to all of you who did their bit there especially to Andy,XXXDave,Ryan Berry ,Rob and Andrew and to all the sponsors.....forgot to mention that the Zululanders kicked Wahoos butts and they also won the Team Prize.

Apologies in advance if I forgot to mention something I should of.....

Chris West"

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Zululand Spearfishing Turns On

25kg Zululand Wahoo 
Wohoo! Stands for Wahoo ....
Late winter is a good time for spearfishing on the Zululand coast, the return couta are usually the target species, but the later it gets the better it gets for Wahoo. Yesterday we headed up that way looking for Couta and found some Wahoo instead .... and nobody was complaining.

The guys up at Cape Vidal also got a couple nice big Wahoo yesterday and this is great news with the annual Wahoo Winter Gamefish spearfishing Competition taking place there on Saturday. I am sure with the news that the Wahoo are there its going to be an absolute cracker of a comp.

Who knows maybe this is going to be the late winter we have all been waiting for.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Spearfishing by Brod Whittaker vol 11

If you cant see the Video CLICK HERE

Just when we needed a fix .. Brod has another great spearfishing clip! Thsi time he has some nifty tech with him, a super cool Aqua Quad! Damn it just makes me a little bit jealous, I think I need one of those :-)



Monday, August 6, 2012

Winter Couta Spearfishing Surprise.

Good haul for a shore dive
Lately the spearfishing on the north Coast has been typical of winter. Big swell most of the time with clean water, and baron reefs. It is generally a frustrating time of the year, you can dive 3 or 4 times and hit absolute blanks, with out even a hint of a decent fish.

So you can imagine that expectations at this time of year are generally pretty low when it comes to getting quality fish. Normally it is September before any action starts, and for the most part the big Couta returning from Sardine shoals down south miss us. I think they go out to sea, and only come back in up in Zululand.

This weekend things turned on its head a bit when  I was surprised with 3 Couta and a Wahoo on a local shore dive. Maybe its the no show by the Sardines that have the Couta returning early and coming in shallow to feed due to the fact that they did not find any Sardines to feed on.

The conditions were perfect and I knew the water was clean, fortunately I took my 1.3 speargun other wise I would have been in the bush. I walked a couple kilometres down the beach to a secluded reef I hoped to find some fish. (The reef is marked by a lone tree on the hill, those who know the area will know the place)
The reef was very quiet, as it has been for a few weeks and I started to look along the 14m line for some Crays when a lone single Couta swam past.

The fish striped my reel and half emptied my belt reel before slowing down. This means a whole lot of winding up afterwards but with a good fish on the end I was not complaining. I landed the big fish with out a hitch, sorted my line out and carried on scouting around for any other reef fish and crayfish. I seriously just though that was a luck fish and did not expect to see another one.

Next this a Wahoo swims in on the flasher, damn this fish must have been lost! I tentatively dropped down in-line with the fish. I am notoriously bad at shooting these fish. As was expected the fish turned up for the surface and away from me. I made a hard right turn away from the fish and swan a few more meters down, out the corner of my eye I see the fish stop and do a half turn back towards me. I pause to see if it was going to turn more but it turned away ...... damn I am blowing it!!! In a last ditch effort I haul ass up towards the fish and close the gap just close enough for my 1.3 with 2x 14mm rubbers to deliver a spear smack between the anal and dorsal fins. Once again both reels were stripped and again I was not complaining once the fish was safe on my float.

Now with 2 fish that looked between 15 and 20kg I knew that caring them the couple kilometres on the beach was not going to be fun. That and the fact that the current had turned pushing me even further away from where I had parked. I figured that a slow swim back would be easier and I might pick up a little something extra on the way.

An hour later I was still swimming and only half way home, I had reached the last piece of reef before a good 1.5km of open sand back the the beach by the car. I reefed up to take a break from the current, and while I was resting holding onto my float a Couta comes cruzing in. I leave the float and drop down next to the fish and it does the text book turn to look at me and catches my spear mid body. That's another fish on my float. not as big as the others, but wow another Couta ... This is getting better than a summer dive!

I decide to do a couple dives who knows maybe there are more, and on the second dive while on the bottom a fat Couta swims right over the top of me and once again all my line disapeared on my gun reel and my belt reel was empting fast. After a short tussle the fish about the same size as the first Couta was on the stringer and I was winding in the line. This time around my arm was starting to cramp and I had to take a few breaks in between resting holding onto the float.

By now the east had picked up and the current was getting stronger. If I was going to make make it home any time soon I was going to have to leave .... even if there where more fish around. Now the fish were a serious drag and the only way I could get ahead was to have the stringer over my shoulder and the fish on my back and in my wake as I swam. I tried the inshore but with the large swell I was not going any were fast. Walking was not an option with the 50-60kgs of fish.

The swim took almost 2 hours with only the stoke of an amazing catch fuelling my legs. That and possibly the fact that I had no other options. I eventually washed up the beach and was greeted by a black fisherman who helped me get the fish out the shore break. Had he not been there I don't think I would have managed.

Tiered, broken and smiling this was a day I wont forget in a long time.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Spearfishing the Mentawai Islands Indonesia

Jamie O'Brien surfing and spearfishing in the Mentawai Islands in Indonesia 

Over the last few weeks there has not been too much going on at home, The swell has been up more than the vis has been clean, and even when we have gotten in to spearfish there have not been to many fish around. So for the most part it has been a bit of surfing and waiting for the sea to calm down enough to get a dive in.

But talking about surfing and spearfishing check out the video clip of Jamie O Brian spearfishing the Mentawai Islands in Indonesia. (if the video is not displayed above WATCH HERE)
Indonesia and more specifically the Mentawai islands is probably ultimate place to go on a surf trip, there are generally always waves. But these guys got some flat days and landed up doing some spearfishing.

I think that's my dream trip spearfishing and surfing in an epic location like the Mentawais.