Spearfishing: is a popular water activity in South Africa, given its diverse marine life and extensive coastline. Here are some considerations for spearfishing conditions and the gear required:
- Spearfishing Conditions:
- Visibility: South Africa offers varying visibility conditions. In some areas, you may have crystal clear waters, while in others; visibility may be reduced due to factors like wind, currents, rain water wash from rivers, plankton blooms or surge.
- Water Temperature: Coastal waters can range from cold 16 degrease to mild 24 degrease in temperatures. Depending on the region and the time of year, you may need a 3.5mm wetsuit or 5mm wetsuit to be comfortable.
- Currents: Some areas may experience strong currents, especially around points and headlands. It’s important to be aware of the local currents to ensure safety.
- Marine Life: South Africa has a diverse marine ecosystem, including various fish species and potentially dangerous marine animals. Be aware of the local marine life and any potential hazards.
- Spearfishing Gear:
- Wetsuit: Choose the appropriate wetsuit based on water temperature. A 3.5mm wetsuit for the Kwa Zulu Natal region and a 5mm wetsuit for the Eastern Cape, Cape and Western Cape regions.
- Mask, Fins, and Snorkel: Essential for breath-holding and manoeuvring underwater. Opt for high-quality gear that fits well. Black silicone mask and snorkel with mouth piece is recommended, long bladed plastic or carbon fins are the most commonly used.
- Speargun: The choice of speargun depends on personal preference, the type of fish you’re targeting and area you are diving, Spearguns that are more powerful are suitable for larger fish, while shorter guns with thinner rubber 16mm or 14mm may be preferred for smaller species in more confined spaces.
- Knife: A dive knife is a safety tool that can be useful in various situations, such as cutting through entangled lines and killing fish that have just been shot to avoid attracting sharks.
- Weight Belt & weights: Helps in maintaining buoyancy control. Adjust the weight according to the thickness of your wetsuit and depth you are diving .
- Dive Watch Important for tracking dive time and depths, helping to prevent diving-related issues.
- Float and Dive Flag: Increases visibility in the water, alerting other watercraft to the presence of divers.
- Catch Bag or Stringer: Used to store the fish you catch while in the water. Here boats and kayaks may also be used; however it is illegal to have rock lobster on or in a vessel in South Africa without a commercial permit.
Always ensure that you are familiar with local regulations and obtain the necessary permits for spearfishing in South Africa. Additionally, consider taking a spearfishing course to enhance your skills and knowledge of safety practices specific to the region.