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Snoek Fever by Christal Botes

Christal Botes with Snoek Fever in Durban

Snoek Fever by Christal Botes

SNOEK FEVER: Durban KZN – After months of no spearfishing and having had to move back to JHB in 2022, I thought my diving days are finally over. Until November of 2023 when me and my hubby decided it’s time to catch a break. And we also had the Umhlanga Spearfishing Club End Year Function that was coming up so this would be the perfect time to go to Durban.

Arriving in Durban the weather caught us by surprise, it was raining almost every day. It wasn’t the rain that kept us from diving but the big swells that came through with the rain. I kept thinking to myself was I even going to get a chance to get in the water or was it all for nothing? So we decided to wait for the weather to clear and hopefully see if there were any diveable water around. And then one morning when the sun came out my hubby said to me it’s time to pack our dive gear and drive up coast to go look for diveable water hopefully the swell would’ve dropped too.

As we drove up coast all you could see was rivers that had popped and dirty water pouring into the ocean. We drove past Tinley Manor and the water started looking a lot better. We then went to this one isolated beach and my hubby said to me this is it. It’s now or never. As we were gearing up the tide started rising and you could see some clean water about 2 kilometers from the beach pushing in. We swam out past backline and the reefs were quiet, just the local small reef fishies hanging around. We then drifted with the current to this one ledge where the water colour changed to a blue 7m. This was as clean as it could get. We reef hooked on the ledge and waited.

Then suddenly my eyes caught a flash coming in from the side, at first I thought it was my hubby’s fins or something and then I saw it. A big shoal of Natal Snoek (Queen Mackerel) came cruising past me. I dove down and was amazed to see such a healthy shoal of fish, lined up my gun as best as I could and took a shot. As I surfaced I thought I had missed and then my reel went crazy, adrenaline kicked in and I knew I had Snoek Fever.

I slowly pulled the line giving the fish enough slack to tire itself out. It quickly got tired and was easy to pull in towards me. When I grabbed him by the gills and was so stoked to have finally shot my first Natal Snoek. I then euthanized it and put it on the stringer. We drifted for a couple more hours and another shoal passed, at this point I was already exhausted and ready to get out.

My hubby also got a snoek and he could see that I was getting tired so we decided to swim back to the beach. I could feel that I was unfit from not being able to dive in such a long time but it was all worth it in the end, this fish had been on my bucketlist for so long and I was overly grateful for it. As we got to our guesthouse I immediately filleted my fish and put it in the freezer.

When we got back home in JHB I knew that my kids were going to be so happy to have some fresh fish for dinner, so I prepared some battered fish for them and they ate all of it. I can’t wait to get back in Durban again.

by Christal Botes

“Whoohooo Christal what a lekka article! Plus you can read it to your kids every night as their best bedtime story too!” – Xona

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March/April ‘Cuda report plus spearfishing

March/April ‘Cuda report plus spearfishing

The ‘Cuda have made their annual pilgrimage to down south and some great catches are filtering through.

The first real action was by Happy Hooker who got two proper fish, nice and early on. Way down off Seaprk somewhere. Then the Niteshift got one in the same place the following weekend. Story and video here.

Matt Wainwright then got a live mackerel down the gullet of a nice fish. His fish came in at 15kgs.

But Dave Phillips off Durban has been having the most fun. On his ski. On his first submission he flashed us his first ‘Cuda of the season. A really nice fish seen below. Then a few fays later, Dave banged it out there for another ‘Cuda and three Natal Snoek! The Snoekies couldn’t resist Dave’s little Mydo SS Shad spoon.

Hopefully this weather will improve and we can expect some more ‘cuda action this April.

And then over to the spearos, who have also been seeing a few.

‘Couta in the news underwater too…report by Jason Heyne

The diving conditions have average this week with one or two day’s being excellent. Wahoo, ‘couta and snoek are the main fish on the menu this week and rumours have it that the garrick are off the kei.  Well done Wickus on getting fish of the week a new HUC club record Queen Fish at 10.47kg. As always dive safe and straight spears

Send your catch photos and stories to The Sardine News and contribute to the collection of goings on fishing, surfing and diving wise up and down our coast. Click here to submit online, or email umzimkulu@gmail.com anytime.


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KZN Spearos enjoying clear diving conditions

KZN Spearos enjoying clear diving conditions

Clean and clear diving conditions last week. For a change! Says spearfishing scribe Jason Heyne.

The diving conditions last week were slightly above average with good weather . Big queen mackerel and ambers are coming out. Saturday a moderate northeast was forecast and played out with  a 1.6m swell running. Sunday the northeast wind was up early morning with a light offshore blowing switching to a light onshore later on with a 1.7m swell running. Viz was reported north and south. Club merit fish of last week went to Dylan with his 1st yellow fin tunny and fish of the week goes to Neil with his pending SA record amber! As always dive safe and straight spears.

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Brusher reported by KZN Spearos

Brusher reported by KZN Spearos

Brusher reported by KZN Spearos. As well as the usual suspects, posts Jason Heyne from Durban waters.

The diving conditions this week have been below average with one or two good days. A huge low pressure system has moved in and the sea is literally on its head today (Friday). Brusher have started making an appearance and the usual suspects (garrick, snook, couta and daga salmon) are around. Saturday morning the south West continues to blow dropping off during the day with the swell running at 3m dropping off to 2m late in the day. Sunday morning a light offshore wind blows switching to a moderate north east later in the day with the swell running at 1.8m. Viz was reported south today. So it looks like Sunday morning may be diveable. Well done Peter Jacobs on getting fish of the week a very respectable garrick of 16.8kg! As always dive safe and straight spears

To all like minded conservationists…pls sign against shark nets below…Tx

https://www.change.org/p/sean-a-lange-kwazulu-natal-shark-net-killing-machines-out

 

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SA Spearfishing record for marlin smashed

SA Spearfishing record for marlin

SA Spearfishing record for marlin smashed

Although details are scant and the catch is still to be accepted by the record keepers, Jason Heyne brings us news of the all new SA Spearfishing record for marlin. And it looks like a shore dive at this stage!

Over to Jason…

“The diving conditions this week have been well above average. Decent fish are coming out on the north coast and it looks like Guy Le Meme broke the South African spearfishing record for black marlin. Well done Guy! Saturday the northeast picks up speed during the day with the swell starting small at 1.2m and building during the day. Sunday morning the northeast drops off and a fresh southwest comes through later in the day with the swell running at 1.8m. So it looks like Saturday morning is good for a dive. Good viz was reported north and south today. As always dive safe and straight spears”

Thank you Jason!

Well it looks like the Couta have arrived and there seem to be quite a few about. Enjoy this weeks really chokka-blok gallery of fish shot this week up and down the KZN Coast.