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Wahoo@DUC Couta Snoek Master Competition 2022

Wahoo@ DUC Couta Snoek Master Competition 2022

The Wahoo spearfishing club is steeped in KZN spearfishing history and has held many spearfishing compo’s over the last six decades. The Couta Snoek Master has been held over the years in a few different formats but this time around it is now a yearly compo! Thanks to the dedicated efforts of “Captian” Chris West there are now two Trophies “Couta Master” and “Snoek Master” (see pic’s) . It would all not be possible without the generous sponsors Freedivers, Rob Allen, Lizzard and Pathos SA!!!

This year we saw a record number of entrants of 60 odd Spearos and the turnout at the weigh in at Point Water Sports Club was awesome to say the least. The compo got off to a rocky start with the designated weekend being not divable due to some rather large cyclone swell. The next weekend it was called off and the following weekend Saturday (12-03-2022) it was finally game on with some viz being reported and the surf size down for the shore entry divers to get a gap!

Fish had been a bit scarce towards the comp day because of a cold upwelling in the North and South not much viz so finding warmer cleaner water with some current would be key to winning the day.

Natal Underwater Union’s Sean Burns and crew headed far North for a boat dive. “We launched up north and hunted the Princess Grant reefs. Conditions were not optimal with a reverse current and 4m viz. After the first two hours and no game fish onboard we were lucky to find a group of fishing boats on the 30m line that were catching Snoek. We hopped in and after 10 minutes we had two Snoek in the bag”.

“The action soon died down and we headed to some reef on the 15m line. While waiting and grunting on the bottom in the green murk a lonesome Couta finally presented itself. What looked like a monster fish, size being enlarged by the dirty water, turned out to be 2.6kgs! With a Couta and some Snoek in the boat and a screaming East wind making conditions worse we headed home”.

“What a great comp that tested the skills of all divers and a big thank you to Chris, Clive, The Dive Factory, Free Divers and Point Water Sports Club for the awesome day!” said Master Sean Burns.

Skipper Master Henry Mitchell with some new guys on Sangoma said “It was a great day and the water was not too bad. One of my crew members got sick and was out for the day”. Shame not the right day to be sick! He says the comp was great and he had a blast as always! He landed a decent Blacktip kingy but did not manage to get a mackie though. Master Dane Chittock did manage to get the winning Couta though of 10.51kg. Well done Dane!

Junior Noah Whittle managed to bag a Snoek of 4.98kg off Skipper James Purcell’s boat earning him 3rd place Snoek Master in his 1st spearfishing compo! Well done young man!

Tall man Rudie de Toit diving with Skipper Ters down south managed to bag a Snoek of 5.55kg getting him 2nd place Snoek Master. Aweh Rudie!

Master Chris West “Dove our asses off and just bottoms to show for it”. Better luck next time Captain, spearfishing for mackies can be extremely frustrating at times!. Speaking with crew member Clive Honiball at the weigh-in he also said fish were super scarce even the bottom fish launching and diving from DUC.

I had a newbie from Umhlanga Spearfishing Club along for my Shore entry dive at Umhlangha. Huzaifa “Huzzie” Ahmed from Stanger met me at Durbanview parking just after 1st light and the sea definitely looked divable…super flat (perfect for a newbie) and about 6m viz. Looking at the water I could see the NS current was on it which is good for mackies but not so great for unfit legs! We kitted up and walked up to the North rip and swam out to backline. As I was unwinding my flasher on the backline a beast of a Snoek appeared to my right cruising slowly by. Quick grab for a gun and a duck dive and it melted into the gloom!

I quickly called Huzzie over and deployed my flasher and as I started swimming back to the spot 3 decent Snoek pulled in and I spined the middle fish. Winning Snoek Master fish in the bag in 5 minutes! 6kg on the dot but at the time I was thinking damn that beast would have been the nuts!

We cruised around the rip for half an hour and nothing more to show. So we swam to the 8m reef pushing against the strong current on the way out. After 5 minutes on the reef Huzzie had disappeared! Couple of shouts and calls later I spotted him way down the drift and swam down to see if he needed assistance. Turns out that a Snoek had swum up to his flasher just after we hit the reef and the ensuing battle and reel over wind had put him there! Call for 2nd shot next time Huzzie! Unfortunately he lost his 1st snoek and a chance at a weigh in with only getting in a tail shot as it sped by.

I did a quick duck dive at the tail end of the reef ,looked left on the floor and then right and there was a shoal of Snoek. Steady shot on the closest big fish and managed another spine shot with my 80cm roller. We swam in and back up with not one complaint from Huzzie…bagged some reefies and bugs and swam back in.

Had a chat with Paul and Luke Shannon in the parking lot after and they had dived Tinley Manor with no joy as there was no current to bring the mackies in there. Just after I gave Master Brent Borstlap a lift up the road in my car and he managed a 4.6kg Snoek on a fast drift from North of the Lighthouse getting him 5th place Snoek Master at the weigh in. Well done Brento!

Master Richardt Botes went for a shore dive at Sheffield “Conditions were not great and I hopped in with Christo Muller to check it out anyways. Nothing doing so I headed up to a sugar cane farm spot further North and in the 3-4m green viz managed to bag a decent Fulvie kingfish with no mackies sighted.”

Dominique Fourie and Darryl McCormack swam out at Durbanview with Huzzie and I. Domz lost a Prodigal son (Cobia) and managed a 4.36kg Snoek getting him 6th place Snoek Master at the weigh in. Well done Domz!

A big thanks to Rob Allen for my new custom Xflex wetsuit and Callum Etschmaier for all the lovely pic’s. Callum made a video from Rob Allen for the compo! Here is the link…

Gonna be warm this winter! Also thank you Chris West (MC), Sean Burns(NUU), Clive Honiball (ToDive for Aqua)and one and all participants without you this compo would not be possible. It was an awesome event and I will definitely see you all next year! Results and pic’s below…


1. Dane Chittock – 10.51

2. Brett Dixon – 10.08

3. Craig Heslop – 7.22

4. Andrew Cochrane – 4.66

5. Don Solomon – 3.94

6. Sean Burns – 2.24


1. Jason Heyne – 6.00

2. Rudie du Toit – 5.55

3. Noah Whittle – 4.98

4. Brett Dixon – 4.76

5. Brent Borstlap – 4.6

6. Dominique Fourie – 4.36

7. Chadd Smith – 3.18


1. Henry Mitchell – Kingy

2. Richardt Botes – Kingy

3. Clive Honnibal – Parrot

4. Chris West – Spade

5. Kevin Benecke – Parrot

6. John Girzda – Parrot

7. Dane Salmon – Kingy

8. Dave Hanncock – Tassel

As Always Dive Safe and Straight Spears from the Bear…

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