Aliwal Shoal Report November 2010 - Basie Ackermann

Apologies for a late report, but I have been in Mozambique thinking the fish are there. I was wrong.

Ok, to the report.

Not only did the sucky-ness (nice word!?) of the last three torturous months continue, the severity thereof actually increased. Magtag!  I, for one, am so sick of it. Persistent reverse current and gale force winds ad naseum (for the mentally challenged among you, it is Latin for “enough to vomit from” - loose translation.)

General conditions - and Fish

There was a competition.  A lot of fans attended, but only the big fans competed. Lasted three months, until eventually there was only one fan standing. In fact, two. One from the north and one from the south.
Fan as in turbo powered, propeller bladed, monstrous wind generating fans, not the bra throwing kind that you sometimes fantasize about when you pretend to be a rock star singing whilst showering. Ja, and you thought I didn’t know about that. Big Brother, boy, Big Brother.

Wind speed of 25-35 knots nearly daily, and in opposite directions. Knots, not the moffie KM/H you see on SABC 2 weather channel.  That screwed up everything, because the visibility actually wasn’t bad, with lots of 20metre plus days. The first day of north south current in a month on the 18th, and guess what?  Drum roll please……….SAPPI SAICCOR!!  6 metre visibility.
Not that it really mattered, for that was the first day when the fans in the competition really turned on the turbos. I think the fan from the north cheated with some nitro boosting. Must be from Stanger or Tongaat, and have a “souped up” 1.3 Chico..
Water temperature 23-24 degreesCelsius. Not quite summer water yet, but things did improve slightly.

On the 22nd there was a small window till 10am, (stay with me here, it’s not meant literally – although if you thought it was an actual small window then you probably have no clue what literally means.. hey I must really  find me a better target reader – and that is not someone working at a shooting range either… focus!) with north south current and 20m viz, and Gerhard Vosloo was on the button (focus!) and was rewarded with a 20kg Wahoo and some small Fulvies.  Then that pesky fan was at it again.

The 23rd saw the right current, with Sappi all over the Shoal, but everywhere else 20m plus.

Dorado, Seapike and some smaller Wahoo came out.

On the 25th it was still the right current, full of effluent in the morning, then clearing to 20m plus. Gerhard on it again and got 8 Wahoo, all in the 8-12kg range. Shoals of them. On a positive note there are a lot of reports coming in about healthy Wahoo stocks, and a lot of Dorado around.
The 26th the current was light reverse again, but even then Garret Staats and mates managed two Wahoo around 20kgs, and some Dorado. Lots of Dorado around, (have I said that already? If you are not sure, just go back three sentences and find out – there you go – see I have mentioned it – well done, you are starting to focus) as well as Yellowfin Tuna.

So things started looking up in the last week fish wise. I went off to Mozambique for a week, but heard it went quiet again. Also seems like the fans overheated and lost their turbos.

Lots of Whale Sharks spotted along backline, so worth a look for an Iggy or Prodigal Son.

There is a new resident on the Shoal. Unwelcome.
A 3,5m female Great White has been seen repeatedly by both spearos and scubbies. So take note. Was seen again this weekend (11 Dec) so it’s hanging around.
 Reports of 19 Fathoms also being loose with sharks – Zambonis/Zambuks/Zambies: a new and as yet to be confirmed shark with a long tail, not unlike a Thresher (but not) – lots of them too - and even an Oceanic White tip.  The same type of shark causing havoc with the Red Sea’s Christmas trade.

So cut holes in your hoody and look behind you.
Not now chop, when you are diving! Besides, why are you wearing your hoody when you are reading this report?? Strange boy….. a little off, if you ask me.

Have a Blessed Christmas and remember it is not about the gifts, eating and falling down drunk, but about celebrating the birth of Christ.

Enjoy our Oceans!
Basie Ackermann