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.


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


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!!


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!!


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.



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!!


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!!

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 should be fun.

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"


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Syd's Bizarre Quad Surfboard

Syd's Cross breed surfboard ... old meets new!

I bumped into Syd the other day at Jono Huthinson's shaping bay and they were glassing up this bizarre looking board. It wasn't an egg or a pin tail fish like the Shaun Thompson ones that are popular. This is well just different. If I remember correctly the board is 5'4" and 20" wide.

I asked Syd if the board worked .. and on came a very animated explanation of how well the board worked. This is not his first one .. he had one made up a short while ago, but got nicked by an angry girlfriend! He must have really dug that board that she would be that jealous. .... but we wont go there!!

Is it an Egg, a Fish, a Quad ......??
Another thing that is unique about the board is that has been glassed using pigmented glass. It is how the guys in the old days did it, but it is a serious skill and a work of art. I watched Jono pulling the resin from the glass and meticulously ensuring that it was 100% even as it shows up all patchy otherwise. Freak its a mission, but the end product it out of this world. I think we have forgotten what a good board looks like, and we have gotten so used to the usual spray and sanded finish.
Anyway Syd is up at Ponta at the moment with his Zulu Surf Adventures and it looks like he will get some serious surf later this week. I am keen to hear how this new one goes and if he sends pics will post them for sure.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Pending World Spearfishing Record Dive at 60m

Trevor Hutton has a pending world record for spearfishing at a depth of 60m, on a constant weight dive. The dive took place on wednesday 22 July 2009, at no.1 fishing ground. off Durban, & fish taken was a Natal Steenbras.Check out this Youtube Vid: Click Here if the vid does not show up

Also pop into Trevor's blog to read his account of the day. ...very cool


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Ultimate Spearfishing Magazine - August News Letter

One of my mates calls me today and says, "dont you write on your blog anymore"

I do its just I have been so busy trying to set up the new monthly mail letter for the magazine. That and well the sea has been muck with not much news from the Kzn North coast.

Anyway the newsletter is done and I only hit the send button minutes ago. If for some reason you dont get the mail .... well you could subscribe or go check it online ..
Ultimate Spearfishing Magazine - August News Letter

I also did a new short video on Dagga Salmon check it out.

If this video does not show Click Here

Lastly the Spearfishing DVD Good Times is finally out, and I am going to show it to the Salty Club guys at Club nite on Friday. If you can make it out to Ballito pull in .....

Cheers for now.


KZN Spearfishing Trials

Hey guys the SAUFF guys have finalised the dates and rules for the KZN Spearfishing trials for those who want to qualify for the team next year.
Here are the proposed dates & rules.
For more info contact Iain Ewing on

14 November 2009Westbrook to Umhloti
5 December 2009Rocky Bay to Scottburgh
30 January 2010Bluff to Toti
20 February 2010Hibberdene area
13 March 2010Off Durban

This is subject to conditions. Area may be moved or postponed and reserve dates to be decided depending availability of divers.
  1. Natal Spearfishing Trials will be held from October 2009 to March 2010 to prepare and select the best team to represent the province at National Champs. National Champs are scheduled for May 2009 in KZN.
  2. Refer to attached plan of scheduled Trial dates and reserve weekends.
  3. Each province can select a maximum of four teams of four divers to represent their province at Nationals. In Natal we have three divers per team and sacrifice the fourth team member for a top man to handle the boat during the competition.
  4. Thus the top twelve divers are determined from a series of three competitions called “Trials” held to very strict rules and regulations similar to those of Nationals.
  5. The selection of these divers is orchestrated by a selection committee made up of the Natal Underwater Union (NUU) Spearfishing Officer, The DUC Spearfishing Officer and one other experienced spearfisherman (to be selected by the NUU Officer) .
  6. In the event of dispute and or conflict the decision will be referred to the committee for adjudication and advice, however in the event of deadlock, the Natal Underwater Union Officer has final say.
  7. Every diver participating in Natal Trials must be a paid-up member of a Club recognized by the Natal Underwater Union.
  8. The Entrance Fee for trials is R400.00. To enter contact Iain Ewing 0824592812. This must be filled in and paid to Iain BEFORE the first trial.
  9. The R400 will go towards the four teams’ costs during Nationals and is also a token of your commitment to competing in Trials and at Nationals.

  1. Divers are required to phone Garrick between 5pm and 8pm on the Friday before a trial to confirm the dive area, meeting place and time.
  2. If due to bad weather a trial has to be canceled on the Saturday it then takes place on the Sunday. Decisions on whether or not to dive will be made by 8pm on the day preceding the competition. If the weather is not suitable then the trial will be carried forward to the allocated reserve weekends (Refer planned dates and reserve weekends).
  3. Remember that a lot of people are getting up early and may be traveling from afar to attend a trial so divers can be forgiven for being ten minutes late but will lose one point for every five minutes thereafter. (This will be strictly monitored.)
  4. There will be a meeting to discuss the day’s proceedings, and a meeting place at sea will be decided. Once all the boats meet at sea the trial can begin. (No spearing is allowed before this time.)
  5. All diving will be from boats because Nationals take place off boats and World Champs are dived off boats.
  6. Each boat is allowed to have a top man to handle the boat during a Trial and no less than 2 divers may dive on a boat. Prior to a Trial commencing divers must arrange the boat they are diving on. It is not the responsibility of the organizers to do this.
  7. Note that no chum or burlying is allowed.
  8. All divers must dive within 40m of their OWN float. Floats must be used at all times when a diver is in the water, must be a readily visible color, be a minimum of 1.5 liters, and be clearly visible in the water during choppy or rough seas.
  9. A trial lasts for six hours. Any diver seen in the water after the six hours will be disqualified. For safety reasons at the sixth hour the safety boat must be notified by radio or cellular phone that all is ok, and the boat is heading for the launch site.
  10. All participants must comply with current regulations of Sea Fisheries and Marine Resources legislation
  11. Points are allocated to each divers catch as follows.
    • Only one fish per species is allowed. All fish may be weighed in un-gutted
    • A maximum of 10 fish may be shot
    • Divers may keep their fish after the weigh-in is complete.
    • Each fish must weigh a minimum of 1 kg to qualify.
    • Seven species that are excluded from competition are Surgeons, Angel fish, Unicorn fish, Batfish, Sea Barbel, Barbel Eel and File fish
  1. After beaching all divers are required to load their fish into bliks and proceed to the weigh-in.
  1. It is forbidden to exchange catches.
  2. To facilitate comparison between different competition days, each diver’s points are calculated as a percentage of the top diver. The top diver scores 100%.
  3. After four trials each diver’s top three percentages are averaged and thus ranked.
  1. If a diver makes the top twelve in Natal Trials they are divided into the A, B, C and Development Team. All twelve divers are awarded NUU Colors (Dolphins).
  2. For a diver to get Natal Colors (Wildebeest) they must have dived in the A, B or C team at least three times and at least once in the A team or if never in the A team then they must have come in the top ten at Nationals once.
  3. The Natal Underwater Union Awards three trophies each year to competitive divers based on Trials results.
    • Anthony Benjamin Trophy for the biggest bottom fish. Biggest Gamefish Trophy. –
    • Top of the Log Trophy for overall highest percentage.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Spearfishing and Surfing Weekend WrapUp

Well the weekend wasnt a total right off!! Although I should have dived on Saturday morning. We got to the beach as it was getting light and chin wagged for almost an hour, deciding weather or not it was worth getting in.
I think we convinced our selves that it was not that clean and headed home.

I eventually got in for a surf ... which was actually quiet good. I got some great barrels and it was uncrowded, my cuppa tea! Anyway the water looked not half bad, so you can imagine I was going, "we should have dived"

The wind then pumped through Saturday and I took my lighty to Durban on Sunday hoping to get some runners on the new sand spit in front of Addington Hospital made by the sand pumping operation.
But I think the swell last week totally flattened the spit making the beach ruler straight again.
So the waves were super fast and surprisingly bigger than expected, making for some interesting surfing.
There wasnt going to be any top turns so I coached Braidy on some barrel riding ... gee and he got some crackers!! ...... creating a monster!!

Anyway the sea this morning was a little alover the place .. and the swell was very east, rather unusual after the strong southerlies. The water still looked good so I guess we might have some diving later this week.