Spearfishing Spots along the Natal Coast
Kwazulu Natal has much to offer the spearfisherman. With the Zululand spots such as Cape Vidal and Sodwana Bay having all year round diving conditions and lots of big gamefish action. The world record black marlin was shot in this area recently. To our wreck diving where 40kg+ dagga salmon are often speared and big ignoblis kingfish provide some thrilling action. Influenced by the warm Agulhas and Mozambique currents which flow southwards down this section of the coast, our waters are home to a rich diversity of fish life. On any dive spearfishermen can expect to encounter large gamefish along with the many different types of reef fish found here. Spearfishing only enjoys a relatively small following in numbers when compared to the sport of angling, but is one of those sports that once the bug is with you it never leaves. The small numbers together with other inhibiting factors such as dirty water and rough seas at certain times of the year, have ensured that the pressure of spearfishing on the fish stocks over the years has not been too great. Thereby providing a natural control and ensuring that there is lots of good diving still to be had in these waters.
There are two types Dives.
The shore dive
Two divers start a dive at an entry point, and depending on the current, drift over reefs known in the area. Most shore dives last in the region of 3-4 hours. On a shore dive you would probably not go much deeper than 60 foot and in the season will also catch 8 rocklobster during a dive. Weather and time permitting, most divers plan for two shore dives in a day.
The boat dive
This entails an early launch with 3 or 4 divers, depending on the boat size. A much bigger area is dived and depths vary from 60 to a 120 foot depending on the divers ability. In both types of dives the plan is to do an early morning hunt for whichever gamefish is running and then a scout for reef fish hot spots later. In the last couple of years spearfishermen have started to dive the undived realm. Guys going 20miles+ out to sea and diving pinnacles that come up to 35m such as high points off Mtunzini to mention one. Also diving deep spots in bad viz with a shark pod on and using the pod to dive where there are a lot of great white sharks.
The Kwazulu Natal coastline stretches from Kosi Bay in the north to Port Edward in the south. A distance of approximately 560km. This can be broken up into three areas.
- North Coast
- South Coast
Most of the Zululand area falls in the St Lucia and Maputaland marine reserves and are gamefish only areas. With diveable conditions all year round they are popular holiday destinations with spearfishermen from all over South Africa. The cuda run starts here in January with lots of shoal sized king mackerel migrating down the coast. During February the run is in full swing. King mackerel are encountered here all year round along with wahoo, queen mackerel, kingfish, sailfish, kaakap, and tuna. A number of big black marlin have been shot in these waters.
The north coast is bounded by the Tugela river in the north and Durban as the southern limit. The north coast has quite a few rivers that open to the sea during the rainy months, November to march, causing the inshore conditions to deteriorate. The large amounts of silt that are deposited in this way are also responsible for the yellow peril that lurks about on the bottom and can be stirred up by the smallest of north easterlies. The best months to dive here are April to July with the most consistent chance of good visibility. A south westerly followed by light north easterlies are the best conditions for cleaning up the visibility.
The south coast stretches from Durban southwards to Port Edward, a distance of 160km. With lots of rivers on this section of coast, the rainy months make the inshore conditions mostly undiveable. The south coast is characterized by short beaches bounded by rocky headlands and has a lot more reef areas than the north coast. The annual sardine run takes place along this section of coast during winter. Shoals of sardines(they are the same species of pilchards caught of the west coast) move up from the south eastern cape coast accompanied by large gamefish. This is an exciting time for divers with big gamefish and even bigger sharks encountered right on the backline. An experience you will never forget. The 50-60foot reefs are very productive along the lower south coast from Mtwalume southwards to Port Edward.