Report on Diving by Darrell Hattingh - 06-Oct-2003

Here is a report by Darrell on what diving has been like the past couple of days on the lower south coast. This would be a typical shore dive for KwaZulu-Natal divers where at this time of year the most productive diving is in the shallows.

What to Expect

You can expect to see white musselcracker, commonly known as brusher or cracker. These robust fish mainly live in the shallows hiding in the white water and darting out every now and again to see what is happening. They feed on mussels and red bait and there presence is evident by the bare patches on the rocks where they have been feeding. A nice size fish would be 10kgs with the South African record being 22.2kgs. Garrick are also plentiful during this time of year and they patrol along the backline in search of food. They average 8 to 12kgs with a big fish around 15+kgs. You can expect to see the odd kob in the shallows and as these fish regularly weigh over 30kgs, backline diving can be very exciting

Good Conditions

It’s been another 2 days of good conditions down south with almost a repeat of last week. Not much fish about, though there are still some brusher to be found. - Got in this morning with my appie Michack (who I am teaching to dive) and `the comeback kid `- George Askew.

Spiked

Michack has recovered from his Barbel spike a few weeks ago when he decided to spear a sea barbel. These fish have very sharp spines that are coated in a toxic mucous that is very poisonous. Wounds from these fish need to be immersed in very hot water for at least 30 minutes. Treated Michack with hot water and disprin from the chemist and do not imagine he will be in a hurry to tangle with one again.

Brush with a Raggie

We swam out at Anerley this morning and saw a nice Brusher, which slinked past out of range. Got some bugs out deep and a nice size raggie swam up to me on the bottom which Mishack had seen from above and it happened to be his first shark sighting. I prodded it off though it was not at all aggressive and swam up to see Michack wide-eyed and a bit nervous. Mark Lange tells me he has caught a couple in the nets this week and tagged three of them. George missed a brusher of about 10 kg on the way round the point and I bagged 2 bronzies and a small brusher of 2 kg. Cheers - Darrell.