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Big Amberjack GT and Wahoo Bear Report 31-12-2021

Master Don Solomon with a bus Amberjack 38.6kg shot in 45m boat dive South

Big Amberjack GT and Wahoo Bear Report 31-12-2021

Hi peeps and welcome to the Bear’s weekend dive report brought to you by thesardine.co.za and masterwatermen.co.za.

Hi all from a rainy Durban KZN! You guessed it the rains came down again just as the inshore was coming right in places! A series of thunderstorms up and down the coast line pretty much put paid to any sort of inshore diving this weekend. But there is hope as some vis was reported middle south coast and there is definitely clean water offshore for boat diving on the south coast! Yoh but some bus fish did come out all off the boat though and some divers got a late Xmas pressie or two from Santa! I have not heard from Master Paul Toich and Darren Halse so presume that East London and PE areas have not improved much since the last Bear Report. There are Bus GT around with some Wahoo out deep and big Ambers on the deeper marks down South coast with Zululand not reporting too much action besides the usual YFT, Couta and Dorado action and one bus GT. Some Couta did come out lower North coast but that was a flash in the pan and getting very lucky with finding a clean patch and on the incoming tide! The Bear would like to wish you all a prosperous, blessed and COVID free 2022! Happy new year!!!

In the fish pic’s this week we have Daniel Cilliers with a bus PB GT 35kg gutted and gilled boat dive far North, Jono Geyer with a size Wahoo 23kg boat dive South, Keaton with a Snoek shore dive North, Kezley Fitzgerald with a lovely brace of Shad shore dive North, Master Don Solomon with a bus Amberjack 38.6kg shot in 45m boat dive South, Master Gavin Nell with a bus GT boat dive South, Master Gavin Nell with a class fish for KZN waters Rosy Jobfish boat dive South, Master Gavin Nell with a Couta boat dive South, Master Richardt Botes 20kg GT Boat dive South, Stephan Wiid Master Brent Borstlap Like Shannon and Kannas Wiid with Couta Yft boat dive Durban, Tanya Naudald on holiday with a decent Queenfish and White barred rubbelips at Pomene Moz and Troy Eloff 4kg Stumpie shore dive Durban.

Saturday we have a light NE wind from early bells switching to a light direct E wind around lunch time. Swell starts at 1.9m 13 seconds from the South and builds to 2.1m 12 seconds from the south late arvo. Sunday we have a moderate SW blow predicted early bells which swings around to a light SE wind late arvo. Swell starts early bells at a mushy 2.8m 8 seconds from the South and drops off below 2m 10 seconds from the South toward late arvo.

So is there a dive Saturday…yes if you have access to a boat and don’t mind taking a chance deeper off the south coast and there may just be a clean patch to find South or North for a quick shore dive. Sunday if the SW comes through as predicted I would say arvo only boaties and shore diving alike.

Online video report available here… https://youtu.be/QR1DX3RhBrI

As always Dive Safe and Straight Spears from the Bear…

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Mackies then Rain and Swell Bear Report 17-12-2021

Mackies then Rain and Swell Bear Report 17-12-2021

Hi peeps and welcome to the Bear’s weekend dive report brought to you by thesardine.co.za and masterwatermen.co.za.

Well I missed the Couta action up North because I went south on Sunday…meh! Plenty Couta came out North and even one or two Wahoo! The rest of the week it was Snoek here and there mostly North with one or two coming out upper to middle South coast. Then the SW wind and rain came with some big swell Thursday and today (Friday) and a lot of rivers have popped up on the North and a few on the South coast. I hope this has not put paid to spearfishing in KZN before Xmas as the Mackie action has reached full swing! One or two small Garrick also came out but it’s basically the end of the Garrick run until next winter.

In the fish pic’s this week we have Adrian Padt and Master Juggs Holzman with Snoek boat dive South, Darren Halse with a Red steenbras boat dive PE, David Woods with a decent Couta shore dive North, Johan Boshoff with a Cobia and Catface shore dive South, Jono Geyer with a 4.5kg Catface shore dive South, Loyd with a Chanos and Couta combo shore dive North, Master Alistair Malcolm Louw with a 31kg GT Adventually Bush camp Sodwana, Master Don Solomon with a Belly and Tail combo boat dive South, Master Juggs Holzman with a brace of Snoek shore dive North, Master Juggs Holzman with a Garrick shore dive South, Master Louis Schourie with size 6kg Rock salmon shore dive Durban, Master Richardt Botes with a Snoek shore dive North, Rinalen Naidu with his 1st Wahoo boat dive North, Tanya Nadauld with a lovely Scotsman boat dive South and Zander with a Snoek shore dive North.

Saturday morning is glassed off with a light NE wind starting up around lunchtime and blowing into the night. Swell runs at 2m from the South at 10 seconds. Sunday the light NE from Saturday continues to blow early bells and picks up speed at midmorning. Swell runs at 1.8m from the SE at 9 seconds.

Well on paper (my pc screen) Saturday looks great for a dive if you do not mind the swell and Sunday might also be okay but from reports I am getting up and down the coast finding un-muddied water local and North coast is going to be difficult to say the least…boaties should find some viz out in the deeps perhaps!

Online video available here… https://youtu.be/ZEQoDGSkGh8

As always Dive Safe and Straight Spears from the Bear…

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Heat is on Mackies Bear Report 10-12-2021

Heat is on Mackies Bear Report 10-12-2021

Hi peeps and welcome to the Bear’s weekend dive report brought to you by thesardine.co.za and masterwatermen.co.za.

Jeez but I have been chasing my tail this week but managed to find some warmer water today and met up with some Mackies as did some other divers. Garrick are still on the inshore with Brusher around. Snoek in the shallows and Croc Couta out deeper. Dorado and Billfish out deep deep. The weather and conditions improved this week but started with a lot of river water muck around. Sea has cleaned up a tad later in the week with some decent viz and warmer water around today BOTH North and South coast.

In the fish pic’s this week we have Andrew Hayworth 1st GT 18kg shore dive North, Arno and mate with mixed bag boat dive North, Brett with a decent Couta shore dive North, Chad with Snoek shore dive North, Christo Muller with a bomber Snoek shore dive North, Clive Honiball Todivefor Aqua with a decent Ember parrot boat dive South, Clive Honiball Todivefor Aqua with a decent Ember parrot boat dive South, Gordon 1st Cape tail shore dive Durban, Grant Laubscher with a decent Couta shore dive North, Grant Laubscher with a decent Couta shore dive North, Noah MW scholar group with his 1st Brusher 5.4kg gutted shore dive North, Grant Laubscher with a decent Couta shore dive North, Master Juggs Holzman with a brace of Snoek shore dive South, Master Paul Toich with a 9.6kg and 10.5kg Brusher shore dive East London, Master Richardt Botes with a decent Snoek shore dive North, Mike de Vos with a Catface and Snoek combo shore dive North, Nick Pearson with a 15kg Garrick shore dive South, Renier Kruger with a lovely mixed bag Cape and Natal knifejaw and Tassel shore dive South, Richard Crawford with a 3kg Grunter shore dive Durban, Rudie with a decent Snoek shore dive South and Tom Bell with a slab Garrick 22.7kg shore dive North August.

Saturday the NE wind continues to blow early bells and lets up a bit early morning then picks up steam towards lunch time. Swell starts at 1.7m and finishes at 1.9m later in the day at 7 seconds from the E. Sunday A light SW wind blows from early bells till late afternoon. Swell starts at 1.5m from the E and ends at 1.3m from the South at 8 seconds/

So Saturday iffy for a dive if the East pumps through the night but will still be divable for the die-hards. Sunday is go day for boaties and shore divers alike!

Online video available here…https://youtu.be/NXntczMKU64

As always Dive Safe and Straight Spears from the Bear…

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Umhlanga Spearfishing Club (USC) end of year Function and Prize giving 2021

Umhlanga Spearfishing Club (USC) end of year Function and Prize giving 2021

End of year functions are always fun to attend and the USC end of year bashes are no exception to this rule! Well done Club Chairman Kyle Richter and Diving Diva Christal Botes on making this year’s event extra special.

The Bear has decided to rejoin the club and has heard rumours that big things are afoot for 2022!

Ladies division and now Juniors/scholars!

Running a Spearfishing Club is challenging and running a Club that is sport orientated in COVID times must be one hell of a job. Looks like restrictions are being opened up so 2022 should see some great events from USC. Sodwana blue water open and Crayfish compo are open to the public whereas Club champs, Diving Divas (ladies Champs), Dec –January Snoek skins, Grand Slam and Species compo are club members only. Club Membership is currently open for people to join the club and costs R450 including end of year bash (spit braai!) club t-shirt and cap plus the compos above! Whatta deal! Especially if you need diving buddies, advice, tips, reports and boat dives!

Contact Diving Diva Christal Botes on 073 390 9374 WhatsApp for details and I have attached a pdf USC entry form to this post.

Well I only managed to pitch at the Function just before 6pm at Wings Club Virginia Airport Durban North. It normally starts around 1pm for Family to come down and bring kids for jumping castle etc before the serious stuff starts around 6pm ish followed by dinner and a dance to tunes spun by Durban’s original Dj and long standing club member Stuart Green AKA Firestarter.

To say a few lads and ladies had a head start on the drinking before I arrived is an understatement of note! Club member Paul THB had donated a whole keg of draft from That brewing Co. and the lads had given it a good sampling already. R30 gets you a 500ml plastic beer mug and it is drink it till it’s done!

I saw a lot of old faces and quite a few new ones at the function and this bodes well for the club in the new year. It was also great to finally meet Paul and Taylor Toich in person after doing articles for them in the past (Taylor’s 1st Daga Salmon and Border open 2021) but via social media. What a lovely couple…be seeing you two for a dive East London or Kei sooner rather than later! Also awesome to see North Coast divers I have not seen for a while Andrew Hayworth, Christo Muller and Zander.

Prize giving went well with MC Chairman Kyle Richter and Diving Diva Christal Botes assisting. Some of the stories that came out while I was there were totally unbelievable. Newbie James Purcell did very well this year getting most improved diver, placing 3rd in club champs (was running 2nd but Stuart Green’s late entry slab 11kg plus Brusher put him in 2nd bumping James to 3rd) and also getting shared Dick of the year award with Christo Muller was priceless! Hahahaha…

Also Master Alistair Jones getting biggest fish of the year (17kg plus Cape Tail) and most records broken in the year (Cape Tail and Brusher) and placing 2nd in the Grand Slam year compo! Aweh!

Well done Andrew Hayworth on placing 1st in Club Champs and Master Richardt Botes on placing 1st in the Grand Slam compo! 7 fish out of the 10 selected species is a new achievement for Master Richardt ! Aweh! And well done Diving Diva Taylor-Rose Toich from East London on placing 1st in the ladies Diving Diva USC Champs! Aweh! Great to see ladies joining and growing the Club.

Needless to say prize giving done the crowd ploughed into the spit braai for dinner and thinned out dramatically after bellies were full and quite a few peeps had long drives home. BUT!!! The hardcore Club members prevailed and the tunes pumped from DJ Stuart Green and the Dance was on. Next thing around last call at the bar this bottle of Jaegie appears out of nowhere (Kyle you evil individual) Hahahaha… Richard Forman was Zulu dancing and The Botes couple were cutting rug big time with Kay, Candice and Tanja bopping along to the tunes. James was definitely on his second wind with Dylan not far behind. Thanks on the spot camera man Morne for capturing the action. Nope I am not going to share the videos here. Join the club then I will PM you!

I have included pictures from the various divers with fish from the year and pictures of the prize giving and function.

Can’t wait for next year already! SEE you there!

CLUB CHAMPS:

1st Place: Andrew Hayworth

2nd Place: Stuart Green

3rd Place: James Purcell

4th Place: Daniel Cilliers

5th Place: Clive Honiball

6th Place: Rowan Coleman

7th Place: Leon Grobbelaar

8th Place: Dean Lailvaux

9th Place: Morgan Griffiths

10th Place: Roché Haviga

GRAND-SLAM CHAMPS:

1st Place: Richardt Botes

2nd Place: Alistair Jones

3rd Place: Paul Ten Hoorn Boer

4th Place: Christo Muller

5th Place: Morne Claasens

6th Place: Kyle Richter

7th Place: Steven Newby Fraser

8th Place: York Lawrence

9th Place: Alex Rice

10th Place: Quintin White

11th Place: Dylan Koekemoer

12th Place: Richard Foreman

USC DIVING DIVAS CHAMPS:

1st Place: Taylor-Rose Toich

2nd Place: Jana Wegewarth

3rd Place: Christal Botes

MOST RECORDS:

Alistair Jones

MOST IMPROVED DIVER:

James Purcell

As always Dive safe and Straight Spears from the Bear…

Oh ya here is the Application Form 2022.

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Snoek and Couta Bear Report 03-12-2021

Snoek and Couta Bear Report 03-12-2021

Hi peeps and welcome to the Bear’s weekend dive report brought to you by thesardine.co.za and masterwatermen.co.za.

Oh man but did the conditions improve from last week! I had some hard luck stories from this week as well as another Master but I won’t bore you with the details! Summer fish are here! Yay! Snoek around in the shallows and some Couta out deep up North coast to upper South coast. Dorado as well out deep! Brusher, Spotted Grunter and Garrick on the backline and in the surf zone most of the coastline. Whoop whoop!

In the fish pic’s this week we have Daanie Cilliers with a decent 68cm Shad shore dive North, Elton with a decent 12kg Garrick shore dive South, Glen Van Nooten witha a decent Tomato rockcod and an Amber boat dive Durban, Heath MW scholar group with his 1st Brusher 3.65kg shore dive Durban, Heath MW scholar group with his 1st Grunter 3.1kg shore dive Durban, Johnathan Matthews with decent brace of Couta boat dive North, Jono Geyer with a Garrick and decent Yellowbelly shore dive South, Keanu and Gordan with two Garrick and a Bronzie shore dive North, Luke with a decent Grunter shore dive North, Master Louis Schourie with a bomber Snoek shore dive North, Quinten van Heerden with a lovely brace of Garrick shore dive South, Renier Kruger with a Garrick shore dive South and Zander with a bomber Snoek and tank Spadie shore dive North.

Saturday a light NE wind starts up early bells and blows through to midmorning when it switches around to a light SW wind switching late afternoon to a light to moderate SW wind. Swell runs at 1.8m 10 seconds from the South and stays that way dropping slightly towards the arvo. Sunday a light offshore wind blows early bells switching to a moderate NE around lunchtime which picks up steam towards late arvo. Swell comes in with power early bells at 1.8m 17 seconds from the South and picks up to 2,2m by late arvo driven by the NE wind.

So Saturday looking boss for the boaties and brave shore divers. Sunday meh to shore diving and yes to boaties early bells!

Online video available here…https://youtu.be/6BSF1hL4L8c

As always Dive Safe and Straight Spears from the Bear…

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Couta are here Bear Report 26-11-2021

Master Gavin Nell with a lovely Couta boat dive South

Couta are here Bear Report 26-11-2021

Hi peeps and welcome to the Bear’s weekend dive report brought to you by thesardine.co.za and masterwatermen.co.za.

Well conditions were great on the weekend and then in went pear shaped after the NE wind cranked up Sunday arvo and not much happening the rest of the week. I dropped a potential SA record Cock grunter at Umko on Sunday and what a sight to behold as a huge shoal pulled in. I have never seen Cock grunter outside of Zululand in the North and feel a little bleak but upon looking at the footage it became apparent that the spear glanced off the gill plate! A sharp spear goes a long way…its sharp now I tell you! There have been Snoek in the North Couta South and the usual Daga salmon and Garrick still around but mostly on the South coast with North being a little dead at the moment.

In the fish pic’s this week we have Allan Potter with a Garrick shore dive South, Christo, Reece and Zander with Snoek boat dive far North, Diver unkown with a Wahoo pair boat dive South, Dyla Koekemoer and Master Jason Heyne with decent Grunter shore dive South, James Purcell with a Snoek boat dive far North, Lawrence Balcolm and Master Craig Heslop with tank Eelskin boat dive down South, Master Gavin Nell with a lovely Couta boat dive South, Master Louis Schourie with a decent 15kg Daga shore dive Durban, Master Richardt Botes with a slab Snoek boat dive far North, Nicholas Chislet witha a 5.8kg gutted Garrick shore dive Durban, Noah MW scholar group with a 3.2kg Splitpaint Parrot shore dive Durban, Rudie with his 1st Tail 14.7kg boat dive South and Troy Ellof with a boss Grunter and Stumpie combo shore dive Durban.

Saturday the NE wind blows from early bells and picks up speed well before lunchtime and it will be howling by mid evening. Swell starts at 1.4m from the South and by mid arvo is 1.8m mush from the North. Sunday the NE wind continues through from Saturday night and blows right throughout the day. Swell is around 2.7m from the North for most of the day.

So Saturday morning there may be a gap for a quick shore dive or boat and Sunday is a total blowout some viz has been reported middle South coast.

Online video available here…https://youtu.be/5-hpktAL9G0

As always Dive Safe and Straight Spears from the Bear…

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Daga salmon and Snoek Bear Report 19-11-2021

Guy and Noah MW scholar group with a Daga and Splitpaint parrot shore dive Durban

Daga salmon and Snoek Bear Report 19-11-2021

Hi peeps and welcome to the Bear’s weekend dive report brought to you by thesardine.co.za and masterwatermen.co.za.

Well conditions were slightly above average this week with a bit of rain and a hammer time SW blow Thursday. I managed to get a couple of dives in up North with a few Garrick around and one lonely Snoek. Snoek have been around but most of the action is up St Lucia side and Cape Vidal . There’s Daga salmon out deep and shallow with the Garrick thinning out North and still running in the South. I heard one report of Couta sighted up by Tugela. Some beast Brusher are also still lurking around in the shallows.

In the fish pic’s this week we have Chris with a Garrick shore dive far south, Grant Laubscher with a lovely Dorado jet ski dive far North, Grant Laubscher with a lovely Wahoo jet ski dive far North, Guy and Noah MW scholar group with a Daga and Splitpaint parrot shore dive Durban, Guy and Noah MW scholar group with a lovely Stumpie and Grunter shore dive Durban, Heath MW scholar group with a Dusky rubberlips shore dive North, Ian with some Bomber Snoek shore dive far North, Johnathan Matthews with a decent 12kg Garrick shore dive North, Keytin with a slab Yellowtail kingfish shore dive South, Martin Stander with decent Snoek shore dive far North, Master Joe Mulder with a size 32kg Daga salmon boat dive South, Master Juggs Holzman with a Garrick and Snoek shore dive Durban, Master Juggs Holzman with a Garrick Snoek combo shore dive Durban, Master Louis Schourie shore dive Durban, Master Louis Schourie size 15kg plus Garrick shore dive Durban, Morne Claasens with a Garrick shore dive North, Noah MW scholar group with a Lemon fish shore dive North, Renier Kruger with a beaut 13.35kg Garrick shore dive South, Rory with a Garrick shore dive far south, Timothy White MW scholar group with a decent Grunter shore dive Durban and Tristan with a Garrick shore dive South.

Saturday early bells there is zero wind till midday when a light Easterly picks up in the arvo. Swell is down at 1.3m at 10 seconds from the South. Sunday a NE wind blows from early bells picking up steam by mid morning and pumping in the arvo. Swell starts at 1.6m from the South at 11 seconds and ends up 11 seconds and 1.8m from the South in the Arvo.

So Saturday is GO day with viz being reported in Durban and South. Sunday early bells there will be a gap possibly for the early birds to get the feeshies.

Online video available here…https://youtu.be/LJRpuz4CWQI

As always Dive Safe and Straight Spears from the Bear…

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Very Feeshie week Bear Report 12-11-2021

Master Pete Jacobs and Alistair Jones with a cracker Poensie and slab Tail boat dive South

Very Feeshie week Bear Report 12-11-2021

Hi peeps and welcome to the Bear’s weekend dive report brought to you by thesardine.co.za and masterwatermen.co.za.

Well the Bear has recovered from the dreaded Rona but only after all the action it looks like! Sheew from cracker Poensies out deep with slab Tail thrown in the mix to the shallows and size Brusher, Stumpies, Grunter and Snoek itlooks like I missed out this last week. Conditions have seriously improved from last week with the SW Dr wind blowing ATM. Viz is being reported mainly South and Durban this weekend and with decent weather we should see some good fish coming out.

In the fish pic’s this week we have Alistair Jones with his PB Tail 16kg plus change and 8kg Green Jobfish boat dive South, Ashly Mays with a decent Tail ski dive North, Chad with a Garrick shore dive North, Connie Hallowell with his 1st Poensie 15.2kg boat dive South, Franco Van Biljon with a Garrick shore dive North, Guy MW scholar group with his 1st Spadie 4.12kg shore dive North, James (16) and Dad Sean Burns with a Garrick and Bronzie shore dive North, Kevin, Clyde and Leo with Garrick shot in the DUC compo shore dive South, Lincoln with a decent Garrick shore dive Durban, Master Don Solomon with a decent Daga salmon boat dive South, Master Pete Jacobs and Alistair Jones with a cracker Poensie and slab Tail boat dive South, Master Richardt and Master Louis with decent Brusher and a GT shore dive South, Noah MW scholar group with a decent Stumpie and Grunter shore dive Durban, Noah MW scholar group with a Grunter Bronzie and Goatfish shore dive Durban, Rory with a decent Garrick shore dive South, Rudie with a Yellowtail Kingfish shore dive South, Stuart Green with a slab Brusher 11.35kg shore dive Durban, Teegan with his 1st YFT 16kg shore dive South, Tyron MC Adam with a slab Snoek boat dive far North and Zander with a decent Snoek shore dive Ballito.

Saturday early bells a light S wind blows switching to a light E wind at lunch time. Swell starts at 1.9m and drops off steadily during the day to 1.5m in the arvo at 10 seconds from the South. Sunday a light SW wind blows most of the day dropping speed by the arvo. Swell is negligible at 1.2m 9 seconds from the South.

So get those double pink slips out fellow divers it’s on like Donkey Kong this weekend.

Online video available here… https://youtu.be/Spu5PeCvSYU

As always Dive Safe and Straight Spears from the Bear…

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Wahoo Wahoo Bear Report 05-10-2021

Master Richardt Botes with a Wahoo boat dive SouthMaster Richardt Botes with a Wahoo boat dive South

Wahoo Wahoo Bear Report 05-10-2021

Hi peeps and welcome to the Bear’s weekend dive report brought to you by thesardine.co.za and masterwatermen.co.za.

Will this week has been a rather slow one spearfishing wise due to conditions and viz availability but the fish are there for the taking. Garrick are in full swing return mode with bigger Brusher around in the shallows. Daga Salmon out deep with a smattering of Wahoo on the South Coast and the odd deeper pinnacle working with the Tail and Ambers. Tomorrow for the 1st time in two years the DUC Garrick compo will be held with the weigh in at PWSC 3pm sharp. There are over 30 entrants and some decent prizes so it promises to be a cracker event. I would say see you there but the Bear has the Rona and is in his cave busy recovering so at least there is a chance for you peeps out there to win…hahahaha. May the best diver get the honours!

In the fish pic’s this week we have Heath MW scholar group with his 1st Stumpie shore dive Durban, Master Juggs Holzman with a Garrick boat dive Durban, Master Louis Schourie with a decent Malabar shore dive Durban, Master Louis Schourie with a Tassel and Marbled grouper shore dive Durban, Master Richardt Botes with a decent Wahoo boat dive South, Master Richardt Botes with a Wahoo boat dive South, Melvin Pillay with a slab Tassel shore dive Durban and Noah and Guy MW scholar group with Grunter shore dive Durban.

Saturday A light to moderate SW blows til lunch time swinging to a S wind in the arvo. Swell runs at 1.7m 14 seconds from the South. Sunday a very light SW wind blows till lunchtime when it swings around to a light SE wind. Swell runs at 1.6m 13 seconds from the South.

So Saturday is doable but Sunday is the business all day long for a dive.

Online report available here…https://youtu.be/mqeVOl6kJwQ

As always Dive Safe and Straight Spears from the Bear…

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Garrick (Lichia amia) spearfishing tutorial double up CRYSTAL VIZ.

cdouble up garrick for Dylan

Garrick (Lichia amia) spearfishing tutorial double up CRYSTAL VIZ.

Hi peeps and welcome to another Master Watermen tutorial brought to you by the Bear and masterwatermen.co.za.

The Leerfish or Garrick (Lichia amia) is a species of marine fish in the family Carangidae (kingfish/trevally), and is native to the Mediterranean and the coastal waters of western Africa to the coastal waters of eastern South Africa. They have also been recorded in the Black Sea. These fish can reach 2m in length and 50 kg in weight. They inhabit the coastal wave zone where they form small shoals to hunt other smaller fish, favouring Shad and Mullet as prey.

They breed and aggregate on the KZN coastline to Zululand in the North from early May through to October and return to the Cape waters by the beginning of December. They hold off key river mouths on the North coast of KZN namely Tugela river, Mtunzini, Richards bay harbour and St Lucia.

Key spots to hunt these fish are deep midbreak runs with gullies, backline surf along sandy beaches and prominent points on the coastline from May to end of November in KZN. Stiebel point Umzumbe KZN South Coast is a great example of a good point for Garrick.

Daily catch limit is 2 per Permit holder of minimum 70cm Total length. It is highly dependent on estuaries which serve as a nursery area for juveniles. Garrick were nationally listed as Vulnerable in the 2018 National Biodiversity Assessment. Due to the current state of our local estuaries (pollution, bad catchment area management and illegal gill netting) Garrick numbers have dwindled over the last 15 years or so plus now there is more pressure due to more people fishing and spearfishing.

Garrick have and will always be one of my favourite fish in the Ocean, the way they just cruise in and surround you is an experience every spearo should have at least once in their diving careers. During recent years I have not been targeting them as much and only shoot a handful of them a year now. If everyone takes it easy on them then there should be Garrick around for future generations of spearo’s to enjoy.

Be wary though because big Garrick are spear destroyers of note and can and will snap your spear at the load notches when lined after shooting. There are many tales of the big one that got away when it comes to campfire stories at spearo meet ups. 7.5mm Rob Allen spears seem to fare the best against beast size Garrick. This I can attest to on a personal experience level having seen many 7mm spears break at the notch over the years.

In this video I am diving with my buddy Dylan Koekemoer on the North Coast of KZN South Africa and the mission was to get Dylan a Garrick of 10kg or over. I will not let on too much before you watch the vid but Dyl get’s his fish!

The annual DUC Garrick competition is being held next weekend the 6th of Nov 2021 and promises to be a cracker event. I have attached a PDF entry form on the website for those that would like to enter. All the banking details and rules etc etc are on the form. This year that trophy is MINE!!! Hahahaha…hope to see you all at the weigh-in next weekend! May the best diver win!

Here is the link to the video on YouTube give it a watch it is well worth 10 minutes of your time! Please remember to hit that like button! https://youtu.be/yEVv_MHa48E

As always Dive Safe and Straight Spears from the Bear…

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Entry Form – DUC Garrick compo Nov 2021colour.pdf

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Dominating NE wind Bear Report 29-10-2021

double up garrick for Dylan

Dominating NE wind Bear Report 29-10-2021

Hi peeps and welcome to the Bear’s weekend dive report brought to you by thesardine.co.za and masterwatermen.co.za.

Well this past week it has been all about choosing the right gaps in the weather and capitalising on decent viz and conditions while it’s good. Howling NE winds have dominated the last three days with today being the blowout of the week. Poensies and Tail are out deep on the South coast with plenty small Garrick and Brusher in the shallows. The big question on the North coast is when is the sea temperature gonna rise past 23deg C? This will bring the mackerel down from the far North in numbers and start the summer mayhem off on the North coast. Please remember that Sunday is the last day of crayfish season so you better get A into G if you want some last buggalugs for the season!

In the fish pic’s this week we have Connie Hallowell with a Garrick shore dive South, Grant Laubscher with a brace of Garrick shore dive South, James Purcell with his 1st Garrick boat dive South, Master Joe Mulder and Johan Boshoff with Tail 18,25kg and Poensie 18.2kg boat dive South, Rudie with a brace of Garrick shore dive South, Rudie with a decent Stumpie shore dive South and Timothy White with a decent Grunter shore dive Durban.

Saturday the howling NE finally gives way to a moderate SW wind from early bells dropping off towards late afternoon. Swell runs at a solid 2.5m dropping off late arvo to 2.1m. Sunday a light offshore blows early bells switching to a light East wind in the arvo. Swell starts at 1.9m and drops off to 1.6m late in the day.

So Saturday would maybe be doable late arvo and Sunday all day is definitely go day for a dive.

Online report available here…https://youtu.be/Cydlu4xkHFU

As always Dive Safe and Straight Spears from the Bear…

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Buck moon Bear Dive Report 22-10-2021

Teegs bluff cobia 2

Buck moon Bear Dive Report 22-10-2021

Hi peeps and welcome to the Bear’s weekend dive report brought to you by thesardine.co.za and masterwatermen.co.za.

Last night we had a beautiful full gibbous moon (Buck/hunters moon) rise at 7pm. Only problem with this combined with the spring tides plus the Usual buck moon NE wind has chopped up the inshore quite a bit. General sea conditions today were a little dismal with left over East bump and white caps out to sea at 9am this morning. Ja the beastly easterly blew for three days and the North coast was showing signs of improvement, now it is toast. Viz has been reported out deeps down the South coast! There are Cape tail around even as far as the lower North coast with 8 to 10kg shoal models putting in an appearance. Garrick are in full swing return mode heading back South for the summer and the Grunter have started to arrive. Brusher are also knocking around but nothing really on spear this week due to the abysmal inshore conditions.

In the fish pic’s this week we have Heath MW scholar 1st Stone bream shore dive Durban, Kezley Fitzgerald with a 10.2kg Garrick shore dive North and Master Don Solomon with a decent Cape tail boat dive South.

Saturday a light W offshore wind blows earl bells till midmorning when it switches to a light NE wind which does not pick up speed towards the arvo. Swell is average at 1.6m and 9 seconds from the East being bigger South and smaller in the North dropping off to 1.3m later in the day. Sunday a moderate to fresh SW wind blows from early bells and only drops off Sunday evening. Swell starts chunky at over 3m and builds towards lunch time and drops off late arvo.

So Saturday pink slips are required for permission to dive! Sunday there may be a gap early bells (the weather sites have been getting the SW timing wrong recently) before the SW turns the sea on it’s head again.

Online report available here… https://youtu.be/lbmPBScUlFM

As always Dive Safe and Straight Spears from the Bear…

#masterwatermen #Kwazulunatal #kznnorthcoast #kznsouthcoast #kznseaconditions #kznfishreport #kznweather #bearreport #spearfishingkzn #spearfishing #roballenspearfishing

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Arone Mangoele Subsistance Fisherman and deck hand Bilene Mozambique charity drive

Arone Mangoele with a bus Seapike

Arone Mangoele Subsistance Fisherman and deck hand Bilene Mozambique charity drive

Arone started fishing and spearfishing from age 13.

He had been working around Highlander fishing lodge for a while then he got his own boat and started subsistence fishing in the area to support his family .

So for last 2 years he been catching fish for market and providing Highlander fishing lodge with fresh fish.

He has a wife and 2 children, two daughters, the first is 1year and 8months old and the other one is 1month and 15 days old whom he is the sole provider for! Through lodge deck hand work and subsistence fishing he was managing to support his young family well but due to being bed ridden for the last 2months with his legs being paralyzed from what we suspect could have been stroke related he can no longer provide for his family!

The lodge organised transport to Maputo to get him into hospital and get scans done and Specialist support but was turned away due to COVID restrictions.

He has always been assisting Spearos that visit the area with trips and showing them the spots .

Apparently one of the most helpful guys around that area for visitors and locals alike!

Christo Muller from KZN based SPEARO group has offered to do a Mercy charity run up to Bilene in Moz on the 28th of October taking with Nappies and Baby formula donated from a local Spar retailer here in KZN. He has also run a raffle locally and managed to generate about R5k in cash to take up with him to buy urgent food etc that the Family needs and to deliver the donated goods. He will also asses when arriving there if he can help get Arone to a specialist for the medical attention he needs.

Apparently Arone has been moving around on crutches but obliviously has a lot of muscle atrophy and needs rehabilitation to get his legs working again.

Looking for any food and nappies size 3 and formula Nan 1 for his kiddies…Any other food or cash donations are welcome to say the least!

Please if you can spare anything get hold of Christo on +27 61 455 6380 before the 27th of October!

Spearos always help other Spearos out! Let’s get Arone back on his feet and providing for his family!

As always Dive Safe and Straight Spears from the Bear…

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Plenty fish Min viz Bear Report 15-10-2021

Master Louis Schourie with a decent bag Garrick, Stumpie and Grunter shore dive Durban

Plenty fish Min viz Bear Report 15-10-2021

Hi peeps and welcome to the Bear’s weekend dive report brought to you by thesardine.co.za and masterwatermen.co.za.

Well this week has been all about hunting the shallows and decent viz. Some lovely size shoals of return Garrick are around heading home for summer in the Cape. Just remember that return Garrick are not gonna hang around so get your shot in quickly when you see them. Average size Brusher are thick at the moment in the middle to upper South coast drains and gullies. One or two beast size Brusher have been seen but nothing landed as of yet. Offshore South coast one or two Cape tail are starting to come out on the deeper pinnacles with smaller Ambers around in shoals.

In the fish pic’s this week we have Kevin with a return Garrick shore dive Durban, Kezley Fitzgerald with a lovely Garrick and Brusher combo shore dive South, Master Louis Schourie with a decent bag Garrick, Stumpie and Grunter shore dive Durban and Troy Ellof with a Splitpaint Parrot shore dive Durban.

Saturday morning early bells a moderate SW wind is set to blow freshening before lunch time and blowing into early evening. Swell starts at 2.2m and picks up to 2.7m late in the day. Sunday the SW wind continues to blow dropping off towards the afternoon. Swell is chunky at 2.8m and 11 seconds from the South.

So its touch and go for early bells Saturday morning all depending on how accurate the predictions for the SW blow is. Sunday lunchtime on might be doable for a boat launch.

As always Dive Safe and Straight Spears from the Bear…

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Spring rains. Bear Report 08-10-2021

Spring rains. Bear Report 08-10-2021

Hi peeps and welcome to the Bear’s weekend dive report brought to you by thesardine.co.za and masterwatermen.co.za.

Rain, rain and more rain was the story of the week with plenty rivers popping their banks and spewing super moo brown water into the ocean. So finding the gaps in the river water to get viz is the trick at the moment! On the bright side the rivers opening up has brought the Garrick on thick around the river water areas and some big Snoek are around on the North coast as well. Brusher are around in the shallows and the deep with some shoals being sighted as well. The muddy water should bring the big Daga salmon into the shallows to feed in the ginger beer coloured sea water.

In the fish pic’s this week we have Clive Honiball with a Brassy kingfish shore dive Durban, Heath and James 1st Marshmallow fish shore dive Komatipoort and Master Chris West with a decent Brusher boat dive Durban.

Saturday early bells a light offshore wind blows switching to a moderate to fresh SW wind by midmorning. Swell starts off at 1.3m jacking to 2m later in the day with the SW wind. Sunday the SW buster continues to blow from Saturday dropping off in the late afternoon. Swell starts chunky at 3m and drops off to 2.5m in the arvo.

So it looks like a dive Saturday morning early bells otherwise the weekend is set to be a blow out with the SW wind dominating.

Online video available here…https://youtu.be/cvfaDiR6IAg

As always Dive Safe and Straight Spears from the Bear…

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Brusher Season Bear Report 01-10-2021

Master Louis Schourie with a 9.6kg Brusher shore dive Durban

Brusher Season Bear Report 01-10-2021

Hi peeps and welcome to the Bear’s weekend dive report brought to you by thesardine.co.za and masterwatermen.co.za. Its brusher season!

So we are still being lambasted with Spring Equinox weather with minimal gaps to dive in-between all the wind and swell. Plenty rain fell from the heavens this week and so far not too much damage has been reported with the odd river popping and putting super moo into the sea. There are fish around though if you persevere and have plenty patience. Brusher are around with the bigger models moving in. The Garrick seem to have moved up far North with a few being shot in Zululand at Sodwana!

In the fish pic’s this week we have Danie Cilliers with a Garrick shore dive far North, Diving Diva Christal Botes with her 1st Garrick shore dive South, Grant Laubscher and Alex with a 17.5kg Wahoo boat dive far North, Guy McCarthy MW scholar group with his 1st Garrick shore dive far North, Master Juggs Holzman with a Garrick and Shad combo shore dive Durban, Master Louis Schourie with a 3.5kg Catface rockcod shore dive South and Master Louis Schourie with a 9.6kg Brusher shore dive Durban.

Saturday a light SW wind blows from early bells and picks up speed late in the arvo. Swell runs at 1.7m and 11 seconds from the South. Sunday a buster SW wind comes through early bells and puffs out in the arvo. Swell starts with power at 3m plus at 12 seconds from the South early bells and only settles down in the evening.

So Saturday looks good for a dive and Sunday is most likely a blow out with the busting SW wind.

As always Dive Safe and Straight Spears from the Bear…

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Dylan Van Tonder and the Car key thief Great White shark.

Great White shark with Dylan's Bouy and Keys

Dylan Van Tonder and the Car key thief Great White shark.

Clickbait headline some would say but this one is definitely a true story from Port Elizabeth, South Africa. I have had a proper buzzing from a Great White in the shallows before and these sharks do not play games! It is all well and good when you have a boat to call to hop onto but when you are shore diving there is no escape till you hit dry land again…

Over the years I have heard some harrowing stories from divers about their encounters with these fearsome sharks but quite often it is just a looky loo at each other and exit stage left by the diver and the Great White shark swims on to terrorize someone else at a later date. I have heard of one encounter similar to this one but there were no fish shot when a Great White swam up to one of the diver’s buoy and ate it swimming off with the buoy in its mouth ripping the speargun out of the diver’s hand.

Dylan Van Tonder and his diving mate Kyle Hiscock were shore diving off Beachview when they had a brush with a 3.5 to 4m Great White shark near Port Elizabeth South Africa recently. Dylan says the diving conditions were awesome besides being a bit cold (17 deg C) for that time of year with plenty of activity fish wise in the area on their second dive for the day.

They were out about 150m behind the backline (breaking waves) and Dylan had lost a White Steenbras (Pignose grunter) of about 5kg and had managed to bag a decent Cracker (Brusher) of about 12kg when Kyle saw a large Bronze whaler shark.

Not wanting to lose their catch to the Bronzie they then swam in a bit shallower to get away from the pesky fish stealer when Dylan felt two almighty tugs on his floatline and thought that the Bronzie had taxed his Brusher on the stringer attached to his buoy.

Next thing he was having to hold onto his speargun for dear life and there was huge splashing and commotion by his buoy and he saw the size of the sharks fins and realised it was a Great White shark that had taxed his fish and was now attached to his buoy via the stringer and heading for the horizon at ski-boat speed!

Try as he may he could not get his gun off the floatline and Kyle’s rig and line plus buoy also got tangled up and towed out to sea with such speed it removed his fins! In the end they both had to let go and beat a hasty retreat back to the beach and safety minus spearguns, buoy’s and fish!

When they hit the beach they could see the shark at the one buoy going mad and eventually submerging with Dylan’s rig in tow. Dylan had left his car canopy key on the buoy so had to break into it to get back home.

They came back an hour or two later and could see Kyle’s rig and Buoy a couple of hundred meters out to sea and bravely swam out together and retrieved it. They are very lucky diver’s to still be around un-injured to tell the tale!

As always Dive Safe and Straight Spears from the Bear…

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Spring Equinox Bear Report 24-09-2021

Spring Equinox Bear Report 24-09-2021

Hi peeps and welcome to the Bear’s Spring Equinox weekend dive report brought to you by thesardine.co.za and masterwatermen.co.za.

As you can see by the title of the report Spring Equinox was this week (21-09-2021) and not much diving was to be had between a downpour, loads of wind and every beach from North Pier to Saltrock being closed. This is due to sewage spills (town beaches) and chemical toxins via UPL and the Umhlanga river opening to the sea again. What a disaster of note for the long weekend and the poor critters that inhabit those waters. Not much in the way of fish reports due to the lack of diving but the usual suspects, Brusher and Garrick, should be around on the backline with Daga salmon and Cape Tail out deeper off the pinnacles and wrecks. Well done Team South Africa on placing 5th at the Spearfishing worlds in Sardinia this last weekend. And well done Champ Jaco Blignaught on placing 7th overall in the Individuals.

In the fish pic’s this week we have James and Noah MW scholar group with a Stone bream and Bronze bream shore dive Durban, Luke Bester with a lovely Couta and Tropical tail boat dive far North and Noah MW scholar group with his 1st Natal knifejaw shore dive Durban.

Saturday early bells there’s dead calm until a moderate NE wind starts blowing just before lunchtime. Swell is negligible at 1.4m at 12 seconds from the South. Sunday a moderate to fresh SW wind blows from early bells till the evening with a 2m swell running from the East till it gets pushed from the South by the SW wind.

So Saturday is GO day if you can find some decent viz and Sunday early bells if you can squeeze in a dive before the SW wind pulls through.

Online report available here… https://youtu.be/a1rkyylaZGw

Spring Equinox dive report

As always Dive Safe and Straight Spears from the Bear…

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Bear Pro Tip for mask fog. Burn clean toothpaste

Bear pro tip mask for tooth paste

Bear Pro Tip for mask fog. Burn clean toothpaste

This Bear Pro tip brought to you by LE’Com Safetyjames.

No more mask fog!

We have all had the dreaded fog in our dive masks and it is the pits…literally.

Today’s dive masks are made with silicone skirts which require a release agent (type of oil) during the moulding process. This in turn gets on the lenses of the diving mask and needs to be removed before wearing a new diving mask for the first time. Mask fog! Over the years I have seen various “solutions” for sale or being used with mixed results and have found out the hard way what works or does not work. Please note various sun block lotions\creams and makeup also have oils in them which can cause a previously defogged mask to fog up again the same as a new mask will if not treated with the process below.

In the video I show my tried and tested method of defogging/degreasing using a brand new Rob Allen Snapper mask. https://youtu.be/u2vaTg6-oUk

Here are the 10 steps to a happy defogged Dive Mask…

1st you remove any stickers once it is out of the retail packaging.

2nd Now you burn the inside of the lenses using an ordinary lighter eg: Bic, taking care to not touch the lenses with the flame and to move the flame out wards from the centre of the lens towards the skirt keeping the heat away from the skirt. A “fog” will be seen moving towards the edges of the lenses.

3rd Give the whole mask a rubbing with liquid dishwashing detergent while it is still dry.

4th Rinse in warm water in a container.

5th Using a dry new sponge and dishwashing liquid give the lenses and whole mask skirt a rub\cleaning.

6th Rinse the soap off under warm running water.

7th Dry the whole mask with a clean dish towel.

8th Cover the inside of the lenses in toothpaste (avoid spearmint or menthol flavours) using a toothbrush to get in all the corners and leave to dry overnight.

9th Once the mask is dry, rinse off with warm tap water and a toothbrush.

10th one drop of dishwashing liquid on each lens inside and rinse off before use.

Works a charm and has never let me down.

As always Dive Safe and Straight Spears from the Bear…

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Giant Pickhandle Barracuda Bear Report 17-09-2021

Master Gavin Nell with a giant Pickhandle Barracuda just over 19kg boat dive South

Giant Pickhandle Barracuda Bear Report 17-09-2021

Hi peeps and welcome to the Bear’s weekend dive report brought to you by thesardine.co.za and masterwatermen.co.za.

Well with neap tides this week and full swing spring Equinox weather this week has been below average diving conditions wise. Wind from the North East then wind from the South West throw in a golosh of rain and that’s the week in a nutshell. So you have to be on it to get dives in this time of year unfortunately but some divers were and the Brusher have definitely arrived and the Garrick are still around with large shoals of Pickhhandle Barracuda on the South coast deeper pinnacles. It won’t be long and the steam train Cape Yellowtail will also be on the deeper pinnacles down South coast. While I am writing this the South African Team just walked onto the stage in Sardinia for the parade before the Spearfishing World Champs starts tomorrow (Saturday 09-2021) at 08H00 CET. Wishing the lads best of luck and a safe championship! Goooo Bokke! Live feed here … https://web.facebook.com/Apneapassion/

In our fish pic’s this week we have Master Gavin Nell with a giant Pickhandle Barracuda just over 19kg boat dive South, Melvin Pillay with a decent Brusher 9.2kg shore dive Durban, Rudie with his PB Brusher 7kg and a Garrick shore dive South, Scholar Guy Mcarthy with his 1st Stone bream shore dive Durban, Troy Elof with a decent Brusher and Grunter shore dive Durban and Troy Elof with a decent Natal stumpie shore dive Durban.

Saturday the SW wind that has been blowing the last two days drops off around 6am and switches to a light NE wind late in the afternoon. Swell is chunky at 3m early bells dropping off to 2m late in the day at 14 seconds. Sunday a moderate NE is on it from early bells picking up speed after lunch to a proper buster. Swell starts just over 2m and builds to a mooshy North 3m swell late in the afternoon.

So prospects of a shore dive this weekend are looking very slim to say the least. Saturday looks good for a launch for the boaties either Durban side or down middle South coast.

Online report available here…https://youtu.be/qQXLdQaENK8

As always Dive Safe and Straight Spears from the Bear…

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