Monday, July 30, 2007

Wahoo Winter Game Fish 2007

Well the sea was crazy!! Big swell and strong South winds made foe hectic diving conditions, and only those who really wanted to win stayed at sea to get fish. Some guys stuck it out the whole day in seriously bad conditions and then still had to ride 24km back from Leven against the wind and swell.

It was rough, I was on a 19tf Yeld Cat and and it was not pleasant. Some were on small boats, like Chris West on his C-Ski weathered the sea the whole day at Leven and was one of the last boats to hit the beach. The boat was rewarded with a weighing Cuta that came in 5th prize. John little was another sea dog that stuck it out and they cleaned up on the prizes. Andy Henwood got a 23kg Saily, a 20 kg Cuta and a snoek that also weighed.

The winning fish was a 117kg Marlin shot off the point, and the second place went to a 28kg Wahoo.
But it was Andy taking 3rd, 4th, and 6th prizes that stood out. I guess his secret was Fittness + commitment and a whole lot of skill.

I guess I need to pull out those running shoes and get my ass on the road!!


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Freediving Film Festival


I have been stewing over this one for a while and it is time to let the cat out the bag! Coatesman's is going to be holding a spearfishing competition ... kind of anyway.

The Coatesman's Spearfishing
Freediving Film Festival

This is not a totally new concept, but here free divers will be judged on their video footage and not the unnecessarily on the fish that they shoot. The Underwater Film Festival concept will use skills that spearo's have adapted to film spearfishing to as judging criteria. This combined with a typical spearfishing competition will create a very unique and exciting competition.

Here are some of the initial categories and descriptions:
  • Best fish shot on film - Notice it did not say biggest although size will count. The quality of the footage combined with the size and species of fish will determine the points.
  • Best free swimming fish - This is not necessarily the one that got away, maybe it is the one that go left alone. Again quality of the footage and size and species will be considered.
  • Best marine life - This could be from sharks feeding to turtles shagging ....
  • The Sitter - This is for the shot of a shot not being taken. There will have to be no doubt in the judges eyes that had the spearo taken the shot he would have got the fish. An absolute sitter! Again quality of the footage combined with the size and species of fish will determine the points. (not for the trigger happy)
  • Best artistic piece - He we are looking for a great piece of filming, this can involve fish, a diver, or just sunlight and clean water.
  • Lifestyle shot - This is not necessarily in the water, this is a piece that best describes who we are and what we do.
  • Bloopers and Funny segments - if it makes us laugh ....
You will have to operate in teams, and the prizes will be to the individual behind the camera, and the person in the the section of footage. For example the Best fish shot on film will have a joint prize for the camera man and the spearo.
Each team will need to have their own laptop to 'edit' the section of film they want to submit and get it to the judges. At this stage we are looking at each team submitting 3-5 segments footage, for each category.

So when and where??
13-16 June 2008 the 16th is a public holiday and you will only need one days leave. The time of the year is also the most reliable in terms of weather, and with possible 3 days to get on the sea we should have great diving on at least on day. The prize giving will be on the Sunday nite with time to travel home on the Monday, thats unless the Monday becomes the dive day due to bad weather.

Sordwana is looking like the most viable option, as we are needing to have good clean water plus decent facilities to host the comp and power equipment. Sordwana also has loads of reef and marine life.
Southern Mozambique might also be an option, but Sordwana is looking more practical.

At the Comp.
We are hoping to do some work shops on filming by various guys who are in the know and hope that this will be a learning time as well as a great social event.

After The Comp.
At the end of the comp all the footage will be edited by professionals and each diver will receive a copy. This will also be broadcast on tv the purpose of this is mainly to attract decent sponsors and this will mean some great prizes. But a great spin off is that this is a 'green' or 'greener' view of the sport we love. And a great opportunity to educate people about how 'green' spearfishing really is. (Although this is not the purpose of the comp)

For Now:
We still have loads of admin to sort out, but it is all systems go!! I have posted this page on the Salt Diver site and your comments and thoughts are welcome.
Link to the forum Freediving Film Festival



Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Gap

As we come into Spring its the sharp guys who find the gap to get in. The sea becomes a torrent of wind swell and often river water.

The diving condition are not normally great, but you can still get fish. More importantly squeezing in a quick one helps keep the body fit and in touch with diving .... coz next thing its on and if you can only get to the back line before having a hart attack, you are going to miss out.

Some chaps squeezed one this morning, the south dropped enough to get in before the next big wind hits. They said the water was about 5-6m but the swell was picking up, and was sturring up sediment. A small snoek was seen but no fish were speared.

Another mate saw the swell and decided to surf rather, he said it was not great ..... probably the mediocre banks playing havock. I saw the sea early and it looked like there was a nice clean swell running. If only we had banks!!

I have been trying to get a good report for the weather this week end up at Vidal, I have not found very reliable forecasts yet. I suppose we are going anyway and what will be will be!


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Oh Boy Here comes the wind!

We are expecting a small south here at home today with a stronger one tomorrow. So we might get a dive in.

However the forecast for Vidal this weekend is looking bleak!!!! The annual Winter Game Fish by the Wahoo guys is on and the wind looks like it it going to let loose. Its the problem with this time of the year, it is some of the best fishing ....but the worst weather.

In saying that, the forecast has changed twice in as many days so I think we will only know on Wednesday or Thursday whats going to happening.
Never the less I know the Wahoo boys will throw one HELL of a party any way!! At this stage the Sunday looks like the most fishable and with the promise of large wahoo and cuta around ...... I will be chompping at the bit.


Monday, July 23, 2007

The World Record Spanish Mackerel!!

I was reminded by Rory of this pic of Greg Pickering and his World Record Spanish Mackerel. You get the feeling that if you added a few kilos to this fish and held it in front of you it would just look ridiculous!
Current World-record narrow-barred Spanish mackerel
46 kilograms Dorre Island, Western Australia, July 18, 2004 by Greg Pickering

I also found this pic of Barry Paxman who often gets front page time on our Salty Diver web site. I think that you can clearly see the difference in the size of these fish, they are super long! Thats why it is always a good thing to take the photo standing up holding the fish up against your body. That way the picture does not get distorted. Another good habit is to either have the tail touching the ground or the V of the tail under your chin. I like to hold the head ... it does make the fish look more impressive.

Barry Paxman's previous world record Narrowbarred spanish mackerel
37.2 kilograms , Muiron Islands, Australia, Sept. 29, 2001

Here is another Previous World Record Cuta, damn this is impressive! Out of the last two pics I like this one the most. It not only looks good, it is not deceptive in any way.

Previous world-record narrow-barred spanish mackerel
39.5 kilograms Murion Islands, Exmouth, Western Australia, Jan 1, 2002 by Ian Fearnley

So next time you get a beast of a fish and are getting the pics down, don't be too embarrassed to take your time and get the right shot.


Some more interesting Spanish Mackerel Facts - Read Here

Friday, July 20, 2007

The truth??

I have hear many stories about this fish this one sound the most plausable.

Hi Chris

I have it from a reliable source that the Cuta was in fact
26kg’s. The guy who told me knows the owner of the boat on which that photo was
taken. Seems someone doubled the weight and sent out the photo as a prank. Koos
is also not a huge guy and so the fish is deceptively large in the pic.

Hope that helps. I will send you more info if I get some. I must
just add that my heart did a skip at the though of a 52kg cuta but if you really
think about it, it is a little too big to be true.

Anyway, have a
good one down in durbs.

Elrod Muller

Today was the Day

Damn! It was good this morning ...and guess what I was in the office at 6 bells! I should have been suiting up about to go and spend some QT's with 'my' sea. In my mind I thought well I will push a hard one on Saturday ....... the old saying ' tomorrow never comes' applies. The south wester is going to hit earlier than expected and I don't think we are going to get in tomorrow.
Sunday might be ok we will just need to watch the swell.

A rumor has it that Koos Jordaan's Cuta was not 52kg as stated on the pic that was circulating. Does any one know the real story?


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Mapelane Light House Reef

52kg Cuta shot off Mapelane Light House Reef

I grew up on Mapelane Light House Reef, my grandfather was the guy who cut the first road to the place in the 50's. So naturally I have a special place in my heart for the place. Every year I tell my mates:
We should go to spearfish off the Light House Reef at Mapelane during late June early July thats when the big cuta are around.
But we never seem to get there. I have experience the 'BIG Cuta' run there and it is amazing, my largest on line is 36.5kg ...... I was 12 years old at the time!
Now I get this 'surreal' picture of a 52kg Cuta speared off Mapelane Light House Reef, and all I can think of is - could have..... should have .... but we didn't!


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Its a Hard Life!

This week looks like a pearler, I got in last nite and water is nice and clean. I took my 9 year old son Braidy for a dive hoping to get him to get a Garrick. No Garrick but we saw a rather large snoek, it did want to get speared and darted away with out Braidy or myself getting a shot off.
Snoek - They are such bad sports!
We still had fun pulling some buggs, playing with an Octopus and watching life underwater pass us by.

I should have dived this morning, but work has been a bit hectic. But I am not too stress as it looks like we might dive every day this week. A light west today and light variable winds till the weekend. So lets see what happens!!

Other News-

Wahoo Winter Game Fish 2007 - The winter Game Fish is only a week and a bit away and things are hotting up!! The guys are already storming the shop sorting out their kit for the comp.
Iain and crew were up at Vidal this weekend and he dropped a Marlin. So having your kit in top condition is paramount.
Late July going into August is a good time to be up there coz anything can happen. Some times the Wahoo are on but most the time you are after the large return cuta. I know of a number of guys that highlight this time of the year for Vidal, so it will be interesting to see what fish are going to come out on the day.

Shark Week - Just something of interest... Discovery Channel has a whole week of shark programs in Shark Week. Some of the shows are premiers and are showing for the first time. There is one called Deadly Stripes .. shot off Aliwal Shoal with Mark Addison. I will be making a plan to see that one for sure. Check this link- Shark Week

Monday, July 16, 2007

Mallards Comp

Mike wrote:

Well boys there are some big bus cuta still around in the deep.

The mallards comp was fished over the weekend. some 350 angles approx and a total of 10 fish that won prizes!!! There were min weights on species so cuta for example was 10kg.

My mate got one of 9.9kg so got an iron and a kettle for a hard luck prize!!! Martin won a lucky draw of R3000 as most prizes were raffled off because no fish were caught!! The winning fish HOWEVER was a cuta of 36.8kg taken on sat morning 8: 30 off SEABELLE deep!!. This bus was caught on a vey large live shad. The oke walked away with a mallards cat 500 with 2 * 50hp mercs.

2 yellowfin tunny weighed biggest 19kg i think and 2 prodigal sons, 2 snoek over 7kgs as well. Other than that it was a very dull 2 days fishing! ]

Looking forward to the Wahoo comp on Sat 28th.



Wahoo where are the Wahoo??

Just no Wahoo on Aliwal shoal!

We hit the shoal on Saturday, we knew the weather was going to be good and the oppertunity was there so we went. We were kinda hoping that the current would have already turned with the north east on its way and the south not being to hard. But the we were not that lucky, we had hoped to see some Wahoo not impossible at this time of the year, although May does seem to be Wahoo month on the shoal.

We headed out to the 19 fathom mark and it was an interesting reef, loads of good reef fish and some nice ledges. I was kind of hoping to see some Dagga ....
There was some action in terms of baitfish and the like but no game fish!

We did land up diving with some humpback whales, and some Bronze Whalers, and landed up with some footage of the sharks. But with the slightly green water the footage was a bit miffy.

Barry and Scott Paxman had a different weekend to us ......

They got Wahoo!! Barry got 2 wahoo one of 29,4kg and 27,2kg and Scott Paxman got one of 20kg.

Barry Paxman with a 29.4kg Wahoo

I am sure with the Winter Game Fish at Vidal in 2 weeks some Wahoo will come out on this side of the globe. But those are great fish ...I am going to be getting all the tips I can from the Paxman's ...... they must be doing something right!

Scott Paxman with a 2okg Wahoo

Anyway dreams dreams and more dreams!!

The dive looks good for this week, mild weather and a light south west tomorrow should give us plenty opportunity to get in. The down side being that this time of year is really hit and miss with the fish. It can be frustratingly quiet. And then that bus Cuta ..... from out of now where! I guess thats is what keeps us in the water!!!



Friday, July 13, 2007

Got to love clean water.

The last few days have been great for diving. The clean water has blessed some with great dives. Iain and company got some nice Dagga south of Durban, some guy nailed the snoek on a point up here. And the have been some interesting fish being seen.

Morne saw a BUS Cuta in less than 10m of water ..... he said it was really big ...

Mike sent me this:
did a morning dive at Umhlanga lighthouse. Much of the reef has been sanded up but the vis was epic. No Snoek. Had some dolphins come cruising past and 2 secs behind them but some distance off 2 barrel size yellow fin tunny probably in the 30kg range. this is the second time i have seen these fish in such shallow water and with dolphins.
But all hope is not lost!!

Check the synoptic chart for south africa from 18h00 last night. The front has already moved off. And the next big one is going pass underneath us.

So I dont think the sea is going to be too bad this weekend. I am going to be looking for fish!!

On the swell front:
I am hoping that it passes us out at sea. Everything is kind of hinting that it will and if the, wind holds off like it supposed to Saturday will be a pearler.

Anyway ...time to work!


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Where is the Fame Wreck off Ballito?

With the good vis Morne and I went to look for the Fame Wreck off Ballito. I had very good marks for it and even in bad vis was able to know which side of the wreck I was on.

But it has gone!!! Thats right Poof vanished the Fame Wreck is no longer where it was. I am sure that a couple hundred thousand ton two story high trawler does not just vanish. So where is it??

Rumors say it is off Boulders some where ........ I would love to find out!!!

The Fame Wreck off Ballito used to be a favorite Dagga hunting spot. And guys have got some good cuta and Kingies on line there aswell.

The wind looks like it might hold off for an arvo dive. Tomorrow the west is going to pump and hopefully will keep the good water around.



Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Super Fine!

Well the water is super fine, over 10m vis and light north south current. The temp was about 21.8deg and there was lots of bait fish and life on the reef.
All in all everything was right for fish ...... but we saw squat! Warranted we were only on the drop off for about 25min at first light. I am sure if you spent some time in the water today you would get some fish.

The weather looks good for the next few days with a west on Friday so this weekend is looking 100's. It would probably be a good time to organize a boat trip down south!!

There is a possibility of some swell on Saturday, but there is a good chance it is going to be out deep and will not effect the shoreline. Friday will be no good tho.

Gett'n amped


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Should have dived again!

Had an early start at work again this morning and the sea looked epic. I did squeeze a dive in late last night and it was great. The vis was only about 5-6m with lots of little jelly and wiggly things, that the fish were feeding off.

I had got a call from a mate who had dived in the morning and he said that the snoek were loose, but that the water had turned a little green. I went any way and managed a nice snoek from a large shoal in about 10m.

I could not help but wonder what the fish were doing deeper out so I did not hang around for more snoek.
It was a bit gloomy with the vis and light fading but the sea was alive. I could hear some Dagga drumming away and tried to get close to the sound. There were the ever present Grunter .. one was easy in the 6-8kg bracket, but I could hear the Dagga and did not want to miss out on an opportunity.

On the one dive while returning to the surface 2 very big tuna swam over me. I tried to close the gap and succeeded at first swimming in the fishes blind spot. But the outside fish saw me and spooked the closer one. I just could not get close enough. They were barrels probably over 30-40kg ... I would have had to have been close with my 1.2m.

I dived until it was to dark to see any fish, quiet an experience. I hit the beach with a snoek and buggs .... an some amp for some tuna!!

On the weather side the east will probably mess things up today. Its a pity the dive would have been good with the nice weather we have been having. There looks like a south will come through at the end of the week, so the weekend looks promising for a change.

On the synoptic chart there ate two strong cold fronts that will pass us. Fortunately it looks like they will go under us and not push too much swell. It would be nice if they blow for a day and send some clean water.

Also dont forget the comps coming up:

The DUC open is on the 14th July
Wahoo winter Game fish at Vidal 28th July

For more details visit and check the forums.

See you out there


Monday, July 9, 2007

To Days the Day ..... but its Monday!!

Hell its Monday and the sea looks great. I have one hec of a day ahead of me and it was seriously not an easy decision not to dive.

The vis looked good and the swell not too big at all. In fact there were no waves to surf at Ballito main beach.

The winds look light and if the east holds I will try a late arvo dive and / or early tomorrow.
Tomorrow the east will pick up a little not too good if you were planing on a dive on Wednesday. With a small west predicted for Thursday.

So we should have some interesting news coming from the guys in the water over the next few days. ......... Its never like this on the weekends ...sob :-(

Happy days


Friday, July 6, 2007

Its green!

Just a quick update ....

Shefield is a murky green 2-3m
still got some bugs tho...

This Weekends Synoptic Chart

Sea Level Synoptic Chart for Southern Africa.

Well if you like suntanning today is going to be a great day for getting some winter sun. But if you are like me ... not one who cares too much if the sun shines and is more concerned about the visibility and swell size. Then then next few days are probably good days to clean out the garage!!

That said if you look at the synoptic chart you will see a small low pressure moving up the coast. If by some chance it pushes a small south wind we might get lucky with a dive. But if not I think we will be waiting for the front to pass and ... hopefully hoping in on Monday.



Thursday, July 5, 2007

Where is the action?

I have a couple guys calling and asking whats going down and if there is any vis. The water is not too bad with a good 5m vis. The swell was up this morning tho ... the forecast showed it dropping today?

The east has already started to puff and will blow moderately all day. The east should be light on Friday and Saturday with a healthy west on Sunday. So I am not too sure how good the vis will be this weekend. Scotties is looking good with 6-7m vis at the moment. And with all the fish down south it might be the way forward.

Catch you later


Wednesday, July 4, 2007

That feeling when you know you missed it!

You know that feeling ..... ya the one that hits your gut? When you know you missed out?
Well yesterday was one of those, I saw the sea before dark while the tide was high and it look nice. No waves but it had loads of potential. The forcast said the wind was going to be 100's.
I managed to drive past the beach at 2.30pm the tide was already coming in and a light east was starting to blow. And guess what ...... I got that horrible feeling!Surfers Point at Willard Beach Ballito
starting to look like there is some life in the place.

I saw some waves break on Surfers Point, something which has not happened since the storm in May. And I could see that if I was there earlier it would have been cranking.

This is the down side to winter! The waves go off ..... but generally on the low which is normally between 8 and 11am near the spring tide. And that means that I am at work!!!!

And I get that feeling alot!!

Well the wind is going to behave itself again today and with the dropping swell a point dive should be the order of the day tommorrow. Thursday brings a mild east but with some luck we will still be diving on Friday and the weekend.

Dont forget the Salty Divers Club meet on Friday. Bring your 'dop n' chop' + the wife or lady friend ..... its gonna be fun. I have some training I will be doing and maybe a guest speaker ???

Will keep you posted.


Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Typical Winters Morning

Well I was at work early and only got to see the sea while it was still dark. But the conditions looked great, I wonder how clean it is? I will have to go down later today and give an update.

I took a look at the webcams for the south coast and the sea looks great. The wind forecast looks good as well and I am sure the guys who are able to get in on the midday low tide will get some waves later.

But for now ... its back to the grind stone ........ grind grind grind


Monday, July 2, 2007

Andy's Geelbek and Snoek from the Bluff

Andy's Geelbek 9.8 and 9.35kg
just short of the Salt Divers Club Record

2x Geelbek plus 2x Snoek .... Nothing wrong!

I am especially stoked as I only recently made up this Freedivers Reelgun for Andy. Its always good to see the guys shooting fish with kit that you have helped out with. If you want to know more about these reelguns I did do a write up on them go check .. Freedivers Reelgun



How was the wind?

Hey guys,
How hectic was that wind? If we had sand banks to surf on we would all be grinning with the hope that tommorrow would produce some epic waves. The wind at the moment is just grooming the swell nicely ... but there is little hope of decent waves!
Thge water is not dirty... just a little stured up with the swell ... I am sure that we will get in on Wednesday tho ...
Drew shot some nice fish this weekend (not sure were) I will get some pics up soon. He got two Geelbeck and two Snoek, all good sized fish.
You are probably wondering how the Surf Compo went ... it went well dispite the waves been a little off. The conditions were great and we had a blast. Brad Johns walked away with the R2000 prize ...nice one!
My PC is down at the moment ... so todays feed back is a little scketchy .... pls dont hang me for the spelling errors .... no spell check :-(
Any way will catch up later today or in the morning with a full report.