Well at this stage of the aftermath from the cut off low it seems like it is a no dive report! The surf dropped off after a few days of NE wind which is great news but there appears to be little or zero viz reported in the last week! Thanks cut off low! Sardines are still coming out sporadically with Winkelspruit area South coast being the centre of most of the netting activity. Some big sharks are coming out with the shore anglers but no decent gamefish as of yet.
Peeps please give the netters space when they are pulling the nets! If there are spare Sardines they will sort the public out with some freebies at the end of the net pull. Also bear in mind if you are diving near nets being pulled that the skippers of the netting boats are not really on the lookout for you and your dive buddies! Prop rash means a serious trip to a hospital and Surgeon!
Good news is the weather seems to have been tamed for the meantime with good conditions predicted for this weekend. Saturday a light NW offshore blows early and switches around to a light NE in the arvo with the swell running at 13 seconds and 1.7m from the South. Sunday early bells a really light offshore blows then dies off to just about zero wind all day with the swell running at 11 seconds and 1.5m from the South.
So Saturday and Sunday are looking great for diving weather wise if some clean water pulls in! Sunday is probably the better day for a dive if you have only the one day free.
Special shout out this week goes to Dave De Wet from Frame Autobody panel beaters in Durban for donating a GOPRO Hero 8 to the channel !
It was all big excitement on Monday morning when the Sardines arrived down the South coast and nets were pulled at Port Edward and Ramsgate! Then the weather god’s decided to put on a huge fireworks display of thunder and lightning up and down the coastline for the Sardine’s arrival. Unfortunately this put paid to any sea based activities the whole week with the cut off low throwing plenty rain, swell and wind at our coastline. Damage control is Lower to middle South coast trashed with brown river water far out to sea, heading North thereof it is not so bad with blue line of cleaner water moving in on the North coast today (Friday). Couta and Snoek were coming out before the cut off low came through.
Fish pictures we have this week are Connie Hallowell with his 1st Natal knifejaw shore dive South, Luke Shannon with a brace of Couta boat dive Bluff and Zander with his 1st Snoek shore dive North.
So weather this weekend is a bit calmer (relative to during the cut off low) than during the week with sunny skies again in Durban today (Friday) but still some jacked swell. Saturday a -light cross offshore blows in the morning (WSW) swinging to a light SW wind Durban and South Coast. The SW only reaches the North coast later in the day. Swell averages at 2.3m in the morning switching to swell from the South picking up strength during the day to a 20 (yes twenty seconds) swell period. Sunday the swell period has dropped off a tad to 17 seconds but the swell size averages out bigger at 2.6m. Sunday there is a light offshore (NW) in the morning switching to a NE wind around 11am which freshens during the day.
So… hmm… is there a dive this weekend? Looking at the swell and all the river water around the chances are minimal unless you launch in the large surf and head out to deeper marks.
It always amazes me that one week the fish are literally jumping out the sea and the next it seems like the fish have all swum away to better waters! The Couta have all swum up North and the Wahoo seem to be scarce with the Garrick still putting in a shine here and there. Big surf dominated this week with a couple of NE blowers putting paid to any decent viz.
I only have one fish picture this week of Master Richardt Botes with his 1st Garrick of the season shot on a shore dive down South. An extremely quiet week peeps! News is reaching my ears though about sporadic sightings of pockets of Sardines in the Transkei and the inshore sea temperature Ramsgate and South thereof has dropped to 20 degrees C. 19\18 is the magic temp that normally brings the silver shoals up the Coast!
The weather Saturday looks pearler with a light offshore wind blowing in the morning switching to a light onshore in the afternoon. The swell is set to run at 2.2m off Durban with it being bigger South and smaller in the North. Sunday a moderate to Fresh SW blows from early jacking the swell to over 3.5m by mid morning.
So Saturday is go day if you can get a launch or a swim in past the surf and Sunday looks set to be a total blow out.
My Cleaner Wrasse buddy: Hi peeps and welcome to another Master Watermen episode!
When you spend many long hours in the water, waiting for your intended catch to swim by you get to see some amazing sea creatures. My favourites are all the small pretty fish who come to check me out. And this video has three very pretty feeshies, who are not camera shy at all!
Most of us have seen baby Kingfish (Jack’s) species hanging with Jellyfish as cover but they normally tend to hide behind and in the Jellyfish when you get closer for a look. The first fish in the video is one of these juvenile kingfish but he is definitely not camera shy and sends it full throttle for the camera lens when I get closer to his beautiful purple Jellyfish home!
Next up we have a pink see-through miniature Pipefish. That is also not camera shy. I get these little fellahs in summer using me and my floatline as cover as they drift with the warm current while I am looking Queen Mackerel and Narrow-Barred Spanish mackerel (aka couta). When you see the size of him it is no wonder he is looking for cover! Must be scary being that small and drifting out deep all on your own!
Then last but not least we have a Cleaner wrasse (Labroides Dimdiatus), that followed me off the reef on the seafloor, whilst I was catching crayfish, all the way to the surface! Quite unusual…then he proceeded to clean me (on the surface) just like I was one of his fish in line at his cleaning station on the reef! As you will see in the video he was definitely not camera shy at ALL!
Have any of you had a Cleaner wrasse come over and clean you whilst diving? Please let me know in the comments below.
Well the swell eventually dropped off and the sea cleaned up and the Couta were still local with some size Rockcod coming out pre sardine run. Also seems like quite a few guys getting shoal Wahoo out deep. Bad news is the swell is set to crank this weekend.
We have so many fish pictures this week! Here we have Abdalla with his 1st Garrick shore dive, Alistar Jones with a bus Catface and 14kg Couta boat dive South, Master Carl Werner with a slab Eelskin dive South, Glen Van Nooten with a Wahoo boat dive South, Glenn Van Nooten, Michael Green and Collin Townsend with some lovely Wahoo boat dive South, Graham and Lincoln with fat winter Garrick shore dive Durban, Hennie and Duan with decent Wahoo boat dive South, Jaco and Troy Ellof with Couta 16kg on the right shore dive Durban, Kurt Bunge with a size Catface shore dive South, Luke with a decent YFT boat dive Durban, Master Don Solomon with a decent Amber boat dive South, Master Juggs Holzman and Master Jason Heyne with Couta shore dive Durban, Master Louis Schorie 18kg Couta shore dive Durban, Master Richardt Botes with a class 7kg plus change Yellowbelly shore dive South, Master Richardt Botes with a lovely brace of Wahoo boat dive South, Renier with big Cape knifejaw shore dive South and Troy Ellof with a 14kg Couta shore dive Durban.
So the dreaded big surf is back again with the swell averaging at 3m local and a bit bigger down South on Saturday morning with a light to moderate SW wind blowing till mid afternoon. Sunday the swell drops by a meter to 2.6m odd being a little bigger in the South. A light long offshore blows early with a NE set to blow and pick up speed during the day on Sunday.
So protected surf launch or dive for Saturday and maybe a chance for a dive Sunday early bells if we are lucky!
This week has been a difficult week for shore diving due some rather large surf dominating up and down the coast but the weather has been epic to say the least. Some lucky divers managed to get into the Couta on the local though and the Wahoo are at their usual hangouts out deep with the odd smattering of Snoek on the in shore local as well. The first pilot shoals of smaller Garrick have arrived with fish coming out from the middle South coast to the middle North coast.
This week we have Andrew Trevathan with a decent Couta shore dive Durban, Glenn Van Nooten with a Wahoo boat dive South, Kobus Delport with a Garrick shore dive Durban, Lincoln with a brace of Garrick shore dive Durban, Master Don Solomon with a slab 9.8kg Kaakap shot at 46m boat dive South, Master Jason Heyne with a decent Rock salmon shore dive Durban, Master Juggs Holzman with a 10kg Couta shore dive Durban and Troy Ellof with a 17kg Couta shore dive Durban.
It looks like the weather gods give us another good day at sea Saturday with an offshore wind early bells switching to a light NE wind later in the day. Please take note the offshore looks set to bust down South so be careful boating wise out deep. The swell still looks like it’s going to be jacked Saturday at 14 seconds and 1.8m in Durban and bigger in the South to smaller sets in the North. Sunday morning a light offshore blows switching to a moderate SW just before lunch time in Durban and mid morning in the South. The swell looks like it finally gives up Sunday morning at 11 seconds and 1.4m only to have the SW jack it again in the afternoon!
So if you can brave the Surf Saturday is go day AND Sunday early bells is a winner too for a shore dive and same applies for the boaties too!
It has been a week of big surf with maybe a day or two’s gap in between for a dive and viz mostly being reported way out in the deep. Some lucky divers did get in though and managed to get some fish with Couta still being around and apparently reef fish being quite thick on the deeper marks offshore.
We have Dylan with a decent Shad shore dive South, Kurt Bunge and daughters Bluefin and Big eye kingies boat dive far North, Master Louis Schorie with a shoal Couta paddle off Durban and Master Richardt Botes with a decent Couta and Blue barred parrot shore dive South.
The NE wind blew today (Friday) again flattening the swell out a bit but apparently not helping the viz. Saturday morning the NE drops off with not much wind till later in the afternoon when a light to moderate SW starts blow into the night. Swell for Saturday starts at 1.8m down South and is way smaller at 1.4m in the North. Sunday morning a light offshore blows North and off Durban with a SW starting to puff down South which freshens during the day and reaches the North in the afternoon. Swell Starts at 2m and gets bigger as the SW freshens during the day being larger South and smaller in the North.
Hmmm…not sure how much viz is going to be around after 3 days of NE but it is looking good weather conditions wise for a dive Saturday and maybe Sunday morning North coast. The weather apps have been a bit off so timing of SW blow is hard to predict!
Great White shark and Shoals of Sailfish sighted off KZN coastline
Winter is starting to kick in in KZN with one or two Humpback whales being sighted and some Garrick (Lichia amia) starting to come out. The Aloes are not yet in bloom though but the winter swells have arrived and even one or two small shoals of sardines being sighted down in the Transkei.
Winter brings big gamefish and big sharks inshore to feed and last week was no exception with a rather large Great White being seen by fishermen out on Silver mine off Ballito on the North coast of KZN. Sailfish have also arrived in numbers with a whole shoal being recorded by Scuba divers off the Aliwal Shoal and a mate of mine dropping one off Sheffield stairs on the KZN North coast last week.
May and June are some of if not the best diving months in KZN with June being my favourite spearfishing month of the year. Generally clean water and calm seas with a lot of action in shallow water makes for great diving plus the arrival of the sardines really spices things up!
Just about everything in the Ocean eats sardines and they act as a huge magnet pulling Ocean life inshore to follow them and feed on them. I have had some hectic experiences diving with the sardines from a shoal of Bronze whalers (sharks) trying to eat me to shooting Couta (Narrow barred Spanish mackerel) in 3m of water off rays on the backline!
So get that gear prepped and ready for the chaos that will come and get psyched! Also keep your eyes peeled for Mr Great White and treat him with the respect he deserves…it’s his Ocean after all!
One last thing please take caution when rushing to park down by the sea to dive! Check the picture out to see why!
The featured clips were submitted by the public to us. We are redistributing these clips in the interest of news. If any of the following clips are yours, please get in touch so we can credit you and discuss the video clip with you. Sincerely, the Master Watermen team and The Sardine News.
Great news this week the sea came right and some lucky individuals got some fish! There were lots of shoal Couta around this week and I got the smallest mouse Couta (2.5kg) out of a shoal on a shore dive up North. It looked way bigger in the 25m viz hahaha!
Poensie and things
Here are some fish from the week and we have Brett with a brace of Couta boat dive Durban, Clive Honibal with a Snoek and some bottoms shore dive North. North then Leon with a GT boat dive South. Master Gavin Nell with a beaut 22kg Poensie boat dive South. Master Louis Schorie with a decent Rock salmon ski dive Durban. Master Richardt Botes with a lovely Rock salmon boat dive South. Matt Pender with a decent Englishman boat dive Durban. Rory with a bus Shad boat dive South and Wesley Smith with a brace of Couta boat dive Durban.
First Garrick of the Season
Kevin with the 1st Garrick of the KZN season shore dive.
So the weather sites got the prediction wrong for today (Friday) with the swell not jacking too much and the SW wind only coming late in the arvo. I see the swell has jacked a bit of Durban this afternoon and evening with the wind picking up to just under 20 knots. Saturday a light to moderate SW is set to blow with the swell averaging just over 2m up and down the coast. Sunday the swell drops off slightly just over 2m south and 1.8m. North with a light offshore wind in the morning switching to a light onshore in the afternoon.
At a pinch I would say maybe there may be a dive early bells Saturday (if the weather sites get it wrong again?) morning and definitely look for a dive Sunday if the swell has not jacked too much.
The bad news is just about zero diving was done this last week and I do not have a single feeshie picture for you peeps. The thunder storms pulled in a couple of times over the last week and messed the sea up as well as bigger than average swell running up and down the coast!
The good news is it looks like the weather comes right over the weekend and the swell drops off.
We had a moderate SW blowing most of today (Friday) and some heavy quick showers of rain here and there which hopefully won’t fill the rivers and cause the sea water to go chocolate milkshake again! April is normally a drier month than it has been recently so here is holding thumbs that May is a better month for diving!
We have a moderate SW blowing from early bells Saturday morning through the day and dropping off late arvo. It blows harder in the South and lighter in the North and the same goes for the swell Starting at 3 plus meters South and 2.5 m North dropping off to 2.5m South and 2m North in the arvo. Sunday the wind blows light offshore early bells and swings around to a light Southerly wind just after midmorning North and South. Swell starts at2.3m in the South and 1.7m in the North and should drop off slightly during the day.
So it looks like Sunday is go day shore or boat dive if you can find some viz…Just bear (pun intended) in mind that its low tide early bells so a later dive on the pushing tide would probably be the best bet!
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