Saturday, May 24, 2014

2014 Port Elizabeth Spearfishing Nations Final Day

The third and final day of the PE Spearfishing National Championships 2014 had to be one of the best competition dive days that Port Elizabeth has ever seen.  It was an absolutely mind blowing morning with a light offshore breeze, beautiful flat seas and a lovely sunrise to start the day and the report said that it was only going to get better throughout the day. The competition was super close at this point with very few points separating the top five divers.
Waiting for the official start.

The guys were super amped in the morning to get back out there and compete for that very prestigious 1st place trophy.  The dive area that was selected by the captains for the last days diving was Area 4, Bushy Park. This area is known to have really good fish stocks so we knew this day could hold some really good catches.  Bushy Park is about 10 kilometers from Noordhoek.  You have to drive right through the reserve area to start diving, so we all decided to drive to the nearest end point of the reserve and meet up before blowing the hooter. All ten boats eventually arrived some much sooner than others and then it was go time!  The guys sped off into the distance trying to get to their favourite spot before any one else so as to see if they could bag some early keepers.

When we got into the water, we had 15 meters visibility! It varied from 8 to 15 meters vis in most places which is extremely good for Port Elizabeth but also makes hunting fish like Poensies and Musclecracker very difficult as they are very clever fish and could see us from a long way off.  We knew that long bottom times and very stealthy hunting was going to have to take place if we were going to bag some of these maxi weight fish.  After an incredible day of diving, a day few will forget, we finished off at 2pm and were all once again back on the beach by 3pm and the weigh-in got started.  It was definitely the best weigh-in of the competition thus far.

There were awesome fish caught.  As the guys arrived on the beach we could see from the catches in their bags that the day’s take was going to radically change the points standing.  All the guys moved up to the weigh-in station with their bags and we started weighing the fish.  As predicted there was some amazing fish caught on the day and the challenge was on.  We knew that there were very few points separating the top five positions and there was a major battle  taking place between Charlie Myburgh from the Boland, Neil Barnard and Guy Le Merne from KZN, Eugene van Wyngaardt from the Eastern Cape.
Rowan Carter with the fish of the day.
Some of the catches of the day included some very nice sized White Musclecracker and a couple of Yellowtail were also taken. Rowan Carter from KZN managing to land an incredible bag, the biggest bag of the tournament thus far and for the day taking a huge White Musclecracker as well as a really good size Yellowtail amongst the ten fish that he weighed in for the days catch.  Another great catch included a huge Bank Steenbras caught by Robert Moreland from the Western Province, definitely the biggest Bank Steenbras we’d seen so far in the competition.  All in all a truly amazing day and very fitting end to this great competition.

Robert Moreland Bank Steenbras
Only time would tell what the positions would be after such a day’s diving, the positions were not going to be announced until prize giving 25 May, Saturday night.  - Gully Jumpers

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